National issues should be addressed by women in one voice: Kiran Bedi

December 19th, 2007 - 10:27 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Dec.19 (ANI): Women should be national women, contributing collectively to the development of India as a nation, said Kiran Bedi, former Director General of the Bureau for Police Research and Development at the conference on Women as Catalyst for Indias Transformation, here on Wednesday.
Women should be catalyst to transformation at national level as one voice rather than being isolated at the local level, she said.
Speaking at the session on Indian Women: Transforming India, she said that the transformation is happening in isolation with individual efforts and women should collectively bring in better leadership for a better country.
Only women have the scope to bring change as large numbers of women are coming into social life with a changed mindset, said Bedi. She urged the women to contribute to the national development rather than being followers in their respective fields.
Chetna Sinha, Chairperson, Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank emphasised the importance of microfinance for women empowerment and said that nearly 72,000 women have account in the Mahila Bank of which more than 20,000 women are entrepreneurs after 10 years of its operation in Maharashtra.
Women should have financial control along with access to ensure social stability and equality. The woman empowerment and access to basic needs like a bicycle has contributed to low dropout rates of local girls from schools, said Sinha.
Highlighting the importance of a collective movement by women, Sumona Dasgupta, Assistant Director, Women in Security Conflict Management and Peace, said that a movement called Athwas, which means a warm handshake has brought changes in the mindset of policy makers in Jammu and Kashmir.
Illustrating her experience, she said that conflict in the valley has affected men and women differently and the project Athwas as a process of listening by the women of J&K has transformed the life of people in the community as a whole.
Anjali Bhardwaj, Working Committee Member, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) said that Right to Information can transform the life of people who have been marginalised. The act can empower people and act as a tool to ask for their entitlement, she added.
Shampi Venkatesh, Vice President, NIIT said that IT education can bridge the gender divide along with the digital divide. Technology has brought a paradigm shift and has ensured mobility to women, she said.
The current ratio of men to women at IT companies is 76:24 which is expected to be 50:50 by 2010, informed Venkatesh. Companies should create support system and women oriented human resource policies to recognise women as a major contributor to overall growth, she added.
Moderating the session, Omkar Goswani, Chairman, CERG Advisory stated that women have been instrumental in bringing transformation and have contributed largely to the empowerment of other women. (ANI)

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