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Archive for the ‘women politicians’ Category

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has shot down Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Renuka Chowdhury’s plan to celebrate November 9 as ‘national girl child day’. Reason: November 9 is Sonia Gandhi’s birthday.

In a bid to highlight the issues concerning the girl child, like female feticide, higher malnourishment among them and discrimination, the WCD Ministry proposed to celebrate November 9 as ‘girl child day’.

Why doesn’t Sonia want national girl child day to fall on her birthday? Wouldn’t the leader of a country with a problem of this magnitude feel honored to share this day with the girls of India? Or does she feel it would bring her undue attention on an issue that she may not be doing enough about? Perhaps Ms. Gandhi was burdened with the idea that every year while enjoying her special day she would be reminded that many girls in India never celebrate a birthday.

At this year’s Women’s Day celebrations, Ms. Gandhi said:

…the Constitution entitled women to equal opportunities and rights, but in some parts of the land the rate of female foeticide was high and the gender ratio terribly skewed. “Girls are not being sent to school in many places and women face prejudice and discrimination at the workplace,” she said. These issues should get focus at the , she said.

It appears from the above statement, that she recognizes the importance of working on these issues, but is she giving it more than lip service?

India’s newly elected first woman President Pratibha Patil has also promised to fight for the rights of women and an end to the widespread practice of aborting female fetuses when she was sworn into office in July.

In her speech, Patil promised to use her influence to focus on ‘India’s stubborn list of social ills’.

“We must banish malnutrition, social evils, infant mortality and female feticide,” said Patil, who was dressed in a white sari with a green border. “We must fight poverty, ignorance and disease.”

India loses an average of 7,000 girls every day through abortions because of a traditional preference for sons, according to a UN Children’s Fund report last year.

Abortions have also resulted in a severely skewed gender ratio in India, where there are only 927 females for every 1,000 males — far lower than the worldwide average of 1,050 females.

“I am deeply committed to the cause of education… the empowerment of women is particularly important to me,” Patil added in the speech to parliament.

Both Gandhi and Patil are vowing to erradicate dowry-related violence and female foeticide, and other crimes against women. The daughters of India are counting on them to take action on their promises.

News sources:
Birthday pangs for national girl child day
Sonia appeals for greater focus on women’s issues
India’s First Woman President Vows Fight for Women, Unborn Girls

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