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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

Sonia Gandhi speaks up for empowerment

Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 31, 2013
First Published: 23:24 IST(31/8/2013) | Last Updated: 01:22 IST(2/9/2013)

Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said merely making legislations and announcing policies would not help in empowering women in India. 

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“(A) lot of measures have been taken by our government to protect and empower women… it is important that the laws and policies get implemented effectively on ground,” Sonia said at the Delhi launch of Ahimsa Messenger, a central scheme for empowering women against violence.

During UPA-II’s term, she said, a host of women-centric legislations, including the Criminal Amendment Act, were cleared by Parliament.

The expeditious enactment of this stringent anti-rape law came in the wake of the nationwide outrage following the horrific gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student in the Capital last December.

Besides, the government enacted the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act in April and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act last year.

Sonia called for a “social revolution” to help change the mindset of the people and bring about gender equality in society.

“…the mindset and old thoughts of our society have to be changed. Giving women equal status as men is a very big challenge and the wall of discrimination amongst women has to be demolished,” she said.

Ahimsa Messenger, Sonia said, would go a long way in bringing about a change in the mindsets of people and address atrocities on women.

Speaking on the occasion, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said the Ahimsa Messenger programme would help to prevent violence against women and children.

“As part of the scheme, girl/women volunteers would be trained to spread awareness about their basic legal rights, economic and social growth, safety and dignity,” she said.

Tirath said the scheme announced in 2009 was launched on a pilot basis from Pali district of Rajasthan last year. Saturday’s programme marked the scheme’s nationwide launch.


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