Desmond Tutu calls on Meira Kumar

February 8th, 2012 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Meira Kumar New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu called on Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar here Wednesday with the two discussing women’s empowerment and other related issues.

Tutu was leading a four-member delegation of the Elders Foundation, an international independent group of global leaders who work for peace and human rights.

Former Norwegian prime minister Gro Brundtland, former Irish president Mary Robinson and Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) founder Ela Bhatt were other members of the group that met Meira Kumar at Parliament House.

Meira Kumar spoke about various legislative and other measures being undertaken in India, especially in parliament, towards the empowerment of women that will “do away with the existing exploitative and unequal practices which have haunted women for many years”.

Referring to the landmark legislations to provide representation to women in local bodies in rural India, the speaker said such moves have provided an appropriate platform for the women to contribute into the decision making processes at different levels effectively.

“There is an enhanced realization among them that they should involve themselves more actively in appreciating issues such as family planning, child marriage, domestic violence,” she said.

She informed the visiting leaders about “a credible institutional mechanism to look into the plight of women” in India like the National Commission for Women and State Commissions for Women.

Tutu pointed out that the exclusion of women from public life has affected the world adversely.

He emphasized that woman’s issues and concerns should be addressed and reflected in all laws, plans and programmes of action.

The Elders was brought together in 2007 by Nelson Mandela and has former UN secretary general Kofi Annan among its member.

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