Naidu bats for adequate representation of women in legislature

The Vice President said the country’s progress will be hampered if women are not empowered politically.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday pitched for adequate reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures and urged all political parties to arrive at an early consensus on the issue.

He said the country’s progress will be hampered if women are not empowered politically.

Mr. Naidu also expressed concern over reports of neglect and abuse of the elderly, saying the “completely unacceptable trend” must be checked and noted that it is the sacred duty of the children to take care of the aged members of their families.

“We must also ensure adequate reservation for women in Parliament and all state legislatures and I urge all political parties to arrive at a consensus at the earliest on this important issue.

An official statement said the vice president observed that it was “unfortunate” that the proposal was pending for a long time.

He made these remarks while releasing reports on ‘Status of Sex Ratio at Birth in India’, and ‘Elderly Population in India: Status and Support Systems’, brought out by the Indian Association of Parliamentarians for Population and Development.

A bill to provide for reservation to women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies was passed by Rajya Sabha but lapsed after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.

Addressing the virtual event, Mr. Naidu said districts with larger imbalances in sex ratios should receive greater attention from elected representatives.

The vice president called for strict implementation of laws banning female foeticide and dowry, while ensuring free and compulsory education for all girl children.

He said that women must be given an equal share in the property so that they are economically empowered.

The vice president stressed the need for greater attention from public representatives, policy planners, political parties and other important stakeholders on eradicating poverty, illiteracy and social evils such as gender discrimination.

He also wanted all the state governments to pay greater attention to these issues.

Mr. Naidu also called for moral education in schools so that children grow up to be responsible and sensitive citizens who view gender discrimination as immoral, the statement said.

He also batted for equipping the elderly population with “new age” skills so they can lead fuller professional lives and keep contributing to nation building.

Mr. Naidu said it must be remembered that if young are the ‘demographic dividend’, seniors are ‘demographic bonus’ for the nation.

The vice president underscored the need to reorient the health system to address the specific needs of the elderly by providing medical benefits and ensuring insurance coverage.

Calling for the revival of India’s age-old joint family system, he said that our family system must serve as a model for other countries to emulate.

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