President calls for social movement for gender equality

April 9th, 2011 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Saturday called for a new social movement for gender equality and protecting the girl child.

Speaking here at the national launch of Nanhi Chhaan, a foundation working for protecting girl child and environment, Patil called for changing the social attitude towards women.

“We need a new social movement for gender equality that changes society’s attitude towards women and promotes an understanding, that women and men have a complementary and supplementary role to play,” the president said.

Calling dowry an evil responsible for the killing of girls, the president said: “It is high time that this is changed, and in this men and boys should take the lead.”

“We must focus on education and health of the girl children, as well as empowering her economically as financial freedom is a must,” she said.

The president stressed that the role of NGOs, along with the government, was very important in spreading awareness.

Appreciating the initiative which involves different religious institutions to sensitise communities about protecting the girl child and environment, the president said the girl child, trees and secularism were essential for the future.

According to the preliminary figures of Census 2011 released last week, child (0-6 years) sex ratio has reached an all time low of 914 females against 1,000 males. The child sex ratio was 927 females against 1,000 males in the 2001 census.

“Our girls who are mothers to mankind and trees which are Mother Earth’s most valuable gifts need our protection. In their survival lies the future prosperity of the planet. Our satyagraha (demand for truth) is to fight this malady that has become ominously rampant in our society,” chairman of Nanhi Chhaan and Fortis Healthcare Harpal Singh said after the launch.

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