President Mukherjee emphasises women empowerment

President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday stressed the necessity of educating women, providing them economic independence, and legal rights and social awareness for their empowerment. The President expressed his views while meeting a delegation from Young FICCI Ladies Organisation (YFLO) at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Speaking on the occasion, Mukherjee congratulated the YFLO for its enthusiasm and encouragement to an important cause and said "a society which cannot respect women cannot be called a civilised society".

Outlining the steps to empower women, he said the first and foremost necessity was education of women, which would help them to understand their problems and develop in them consciousness to look for solutions. He mentioned economic independence as the second necessity to make women independent. "On many occasions, the economic value of the contribution of women is not highlighted. The contribution of women is also not highlighted through services which are not accounted for in economic terms. This should be changed," the President said.

He described legal rights granted to women through various laws as the third aspect which is important for their empowerment. Mukherjee said that creation of social awareness in this regard, is the fourth necessity. "The need was for involvement of all sections of society in order to sensitize people to give women their due and empower them. It was necessary to change the mental frame and do away with prejudices," he said. The President also emphasised that it was necessary to avoid "tokenism", and said that though this may seem like a long and arduous journey but success could be achieved through commitment and sustained efforts.

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