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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

World

Women's reservation in local bodies in India impressive: US
PTI
Washington, March 28, 2012
First Published: 09:55 IST(28/3/2012)
Last Updated: 09:57 IST(28/3/2012)

The United States has hailed the measures taken by India to include women in governance by giving them reservation in local bodies.

"I was impressed at the measures taken by the Government of India to include women in governance through requirements for one-third representation of women in the legislature and one-half representation in their local governing bodies, panchayats," said Reta Lewis, special representative for global intergovernmental affairs.

Women's issues, she said, were being integrated in Strategic Dialogues with China, India, and Pakistan, and through efforts such as the Community of Democracies, the Iraqi Women's Democracy Initiative, and bilateral and multilateral outreach, US was working to ensure women's voices were heard in emerging democracies and governments, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"As a follow-up to secretary Clinton's participation in the 2011 US-India Strategic Dialogue, I travelled throughout India to promote US-India state-to-state partnerships essential to building bilateral ties between the United States and the world's largest democracy," Lewis said in her remarks to the US Mint Federal Observance of Women's History Month.

Referring to her India visit, Lewis said she interacted with numerous women business, state, and local leaders who were empowering women through Self-Help Groups, and using their leadership to highlight women's issues, such as cervical cancer.

"I met with chief minister Jayalalitha of Tamil Nadu who was very supportive of our efforts to connect Indian state leaders with their US counterparts," Lewis said.

Women will be important drivers of China's entrepreneurial class, which will spur more job growth and lead to more balanced economic output than China is enjoying today, she said.

"Another effort to support the role of women in the global economy debuted at the recent APEC Women and the Economy Summit. The US is working with all Asian/Pacific economies to remove barriers to women's economic participation.

"The 21 economies of APEC are among the most dynamic in the world. Together, we represent more than half of total economic global output, and more than 60 percent of women in the APEC economies are part of our formal workforces," she added.


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