Talking during the opening day of the two-day international conference titled 'Promoting Excellence in Women Development' organised by the women's study centre at Punjabi university on Thursday, experts raised serious concerns over visible victimisation, discrimination and exclusion of women, which is leading to slower social and economic progress in the country.
Presiding over the conference, vice-chancellor Jaspal Singh said suppression of women had been an age-old phenomenon all over the world, especially in India.
"India has earned the reputation of being one of the worst when it comes to women's issues. Women are subjected to living in unacceptable conditions, where education, illiteracy and lack of awareness are common," Singh said.
He added the only silver lining was excellence of girls in terms of merit and top positions at every level of education as compared to the performance of the opposite sex.
In her inaugural address, chief parliamentary secretary Nisara Khatoon said if given a chance, women could perform at par with men in any field.
She called upon the women's study centre to play an active role in sensitising women and making them aware of their rights and responsibilities.
In her key note address, Richa Tanwar, director of women's study centre at the Kurukshetra University said conflicting views on development of women had added to the problem rather than solve it.
"Women are not treated as ends in their own right. They are treated as mere instruments of ends as reproducers, caretakers, sexual outlets and agents of family's general prosperity," Tanwar said.
Meenakshi Sharma, director of the women's study centre of the university said over 300 papers were received which would be presented in 21 sessions.