India’s G20 Presidency: Time to empower women

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Kashmiri ladies walk down a freeway lined with almond blossoms.
Kashmiri ladies walk down a freeway lined with almond blossoms | Photo: Reshi Irshad

In the past, women were not treated on par with men. They were denied access to the outside world. Their lives were confined to their homes and didn’t have the liberty to venture out and see the world themselves. They could not think of reaching the highest echelons of the government. Scientists were the last thing on their minds. They were squeezed by the illogical customs.

A woman who obeyed his father and husband was accepted as the best woman. On the other hand, opposing the inhumane laws, was an open invitation to torture and emotional stress. However, with the advent of science and technology and broad-minded intellectuals, things have begun to change.

In the case of our country, the President is an Adivasi. It means that both women and the untouchables are shedding the past baggage and are coming into the limelight. In the same vein, Nirmala Sitharaman is the Finance Minister. Moreover, the top university positions are held by women from different areas of the country. In business, many are leading from the front. In the hospitality sector, they are not behind anyone.

However, there is a lot to do in this regard. The G20 Summit can help us to realize these dreams. What can be done in this regard is briefly discussed in the coming lines.

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The first is increasing the percentage of women in the Parliament. 14 per cent of women are involved in the law-making body of the country. Their percentage must be increased. This issue must have been taken into account by the past governments. They didn’t address this problem. Now the responsibility has been thrown at the incumbent government. It is trying its best to represent as many women as possible. The present government has the largest percentage of women in the Parliament.

The second is gender equality. The notions of biological man and woman have to be buried far away. The present world is becoming gender-free. One who has the potential can come into the arena and prove his or her mettle. However, the majority of people still believe that women are inferior to men. This mindset must be changed. The G20 Summit is an opportunity to do away with prejudices and stereotypes. Gender equality will help in reaching the country’s pinnacles of development. It will contribute substantially to the GDP. Moreover, it will result in a reduced frequency of crimes.

The third is “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”. This slogan invented by Mr Narendra Modi must be applied in letter and spirit. Foeticide and infanticide must be stopped immediately. The guilty must be dealt with strictly. These are serious crimes and point towards the declining humanity in us. No one has the authority to kill a human being on the pretext of superficial differences. The Arabs used to bury their daughters alive after birth. However, we have surpassed them in this regard and killed the girls in the wombs. I request the Prime Minister of India to come up with stringent laws against this.

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The fourth is the trickling of technology into rural areas. Brilliant girls are waiting for the opportunities to open up for them and show their talent to the world. Decentralization of digitalization is the urgent need of the hour. Exposing girls to the outside world can add to the changing picture of the country.

So, the G20 Summit in 55 cities of the country should act as a catalyst in blooming the talent of women. They demand a compassionate attitude from the men folk. It is in our hands to raise their status and bring their potential forth. Let us hope that women are not underrepresented more in the future and are joined with the mainstream of “One family, One world”.

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