Women must be made equal stakeholders in humanity’s progress: President Murmu | India News


NEW DELHI: On International Women’s Day, President of India Droupadi Murmu in an article penned by her states that while there is a healthy representation of women at the grassroots level in various decision-making structures as we go up in the hierarchy, we see fewer and fewer women.
Pointing that this is as true for political bodies as for the bureaucracy, the judiciary and the corporate world, the President asserted that she firmly believes that the social mindset needs to be changed and that the world will be a much better place if women are made equal stakeholders in the progress of humanity.
“On Constitution Day last year, I was delivering the valedictory address at the celebrations organised by the Supreme Court of India. Talking of justice, I thought of the under-trial prisoners and then could not resist speaking at length about their plight. I spoke from the heart, and it made an impact. Today, on International Women’s Day, I want to share some thoughts with you in the same spirit – straight from the heart,” Murmu states at the outset in her article titled “Her Story, My Story – Why I am hopeful about gender justice.”
Sharing the tweet posted by President of India’s official twitter handle with the link of the article, Prime Minister Nrendra Modi said in a quote tweet,” On the way back from Tripura I read this article and found it very motivating,” Urging others to read it as well, the PM said, “On Women’s Day is chronicles the life journey of a very inspiring person who devoted her life to service and rose to become India’s President.”
Murmu at the beginning of her article states that right from her childhood days she has remained perplexed about the status of women in society. “Sometimes I felt that as individuals, a majority of us recognise men and women as equal. However, at a collective level, the same people impose limits on half of us,” she adds.
The President further states that while she has seen most individuals progressing towards the notion of equality, at the social level, however, old customs and traditions, like old habits, linger on. “This is the story of all women around the world,” she asserts.
“In the twenty-first century, when we have achieved unimaginable all-round progress, many nations are yet to have a woman as the head of the state or head of the government. At the other end of the spectrum, unfortunately, there are places in the world where even today women are considered lesser human beings; where even going to school can be a question of life and death for a girl!,” she states.
However, Murmu goes on to say that this was not always so. “In India, there were times when women were decision-makers. Our scriptures and our history talk of women known for their valour, scholarship or administrative skills. Today, again, countless women are of course contributing to nation-building in their chosen fields. The only difference is that they have to prove their worth in two domains – they have to excel in their career and also in their homes,” the President states.
She goes on to reflect that while there is a healthy representation of women at the grassroots level in various decision-making structures as we go up in the hierarchy, we see fewer and fewer women. “This is as true for political bodies as for the bureaucracy, the judiciary and the corporate world. What is noticeable is that even the states with higher literacy rates display the same trend. It shows that education alone does not guarantee financial and political autonomy for women. Therefore, I firmly believe that the social mindset needs to be changed,” the President adds.
Murmu states that deeply ingrained gender prejudices must be identified and purged to create a peaceful and prosperous society. She adds that while conscious efforts have been made to promote social justice and equality these steps have not proved adequate to ensure gender representation. “In education and jobs, for example, women lag far behind men more because of social conditioning than any design. In a number of convocations I have attended in different parts of the country, I have noticed that women, if given a chance, often outperform men in academia. It is this indomitable spirit of Indian women and our society that gives me confidence about India emerging as the torchbearer of gender justice in the world,” she further states. The President said that not only economic progress, but climate action too would speed up if women are included in decision-making.
“The story of women’s emancipation has proceeded slowly, often painfully slowly, but it has proceeded only in one direction and has never made a U-turn. That is what gives me confidence to believe, as I have often stated, that the coming Amrit Kaal up to the centenary of India’s independence belongs to young women,” she emphasises.
Dwelling on measures being taken to bring change, the President lays emphasis on the fact that “prejudices and customs not favourable to women are being done away with either through legislation or through awareness.” This she said seemed to have a positive impact as Parliament today has the highest number of women representation. “Needless to say, my election as the President of the world’s largest democracy is a part of the saga of women’s empowerment. I believe the spirit of “innate leadership in motherhood” needs to be invoked to promote gender justice. A slew of government programmes to directly empower women, such as ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, are steps in the right direction,” Murmu states.
“Thus, today, I wish to urge each of you to commit yourself to one change, in your family, neighbourhood or workplace – any change that would bring a smile on a girl’s face, any change that would improve her chances of moving ahead in life. That is one request, as I said before, straight from the heart,” Murmu asserts in the conclusion of her article.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here