Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar delivered the 17th Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture in the city on Wednesday. She gave the lecture on ‘Breaking the glass ceiling: Barriers in the journey of women’s empowerment’ and spoke about her experiences and observations about women’s empowerment movement.
“The caste system and the dowry tradition are two major social issues we have to address to make sure that discrimination against women stops. The caste system is the root cause of honour killing and the dowry tradition is responsible for female foeticide. Women are discriminated against since the day they are born,” Kumar said.
Kumar also said that though education was the biggest tool to empower women, rising dowry demands according to a man’s educational qualification is a worrying trend.
Justice P Sathasivam, Supreme Court of India, was the guest of honour at the event. He spoke about the history of women’s rights in the country and the legislations to protect these rights. But he also acknowledged that laws alone are not enough.
“A wider social movement of education of women’s rights is needed. Human rights for all must be made the focal point in good governance,” he said.
The lecture was also attended by Justice Leila Seth, Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri, Odisha governor MC Bhandare, Rahul Bhandare and women rights activist Mohini Giri.