India on Friday joined the top 32 women nations of the world with its initiative on gender budgeting and women empowerment at grassroots levels getting special appreciation at a meeting called by US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. <b1>
Participating for the first time at the Women Leaders’ Working Group, Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury elaborated on steps taken by India for empowering women and spoke about new initiatives like law against domestic violence and setting up self help groups to empower women. “My effort was to negate India’s image of a country of dowry deaths and female feticide,” Chowdhury told HT from New York.
The working group consists of about 40 women leaders from around the globe including heads of the states. The meeting was held on the margins of UN General Assembly at New Work on the theme of the “Progress on Women’s Empowerment”.
Chowdhury also spoke about the success of gender budgeting and its overall impact in implementation of government policies, while pointing out at micro and macro level policies for women in India. “India has done for women what many developed nations has failed to do,” she said and added, “India is moving towards becoming a powerful women based economy”.
However, she admitted of numerous challenges being faced by Indian women because of traditional hurdles. The government is making its effort along with the civil society, she said.
India was specially mentioned by Libya and Nepal for its success in women empowerment. Libyan representative made a special mention of 32 women battalions of Central Reserve Police Force there and said the women battalions were doing a ‘great job’. Nepal representative told the group about how Indian women are making fast strides in all walks of life.
The meeting ended with a decision that all 32 countries will chalk out a global programme for empowerment of women before the next meeting.