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India committed to gender equality: Govt tells UN


United Nations: India has told the UN that an enabling use of information and communication technology (ICTs) tools in advancing gender equality and empowerment of women will be a “game changer” in the development process and help overcome the digital divide.

Reiterating India’s commitment to gender equality, Secretary in India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development Vinay Sheel Oberoi said here that the country strongly believes that women are equal partners and agents of sustainable socioeconomic change and development.

Oberoi yesterday said that a fundamental key to development process is encouraging equal partnership among all women, girls, men and boys in overcoming persisting and emerging challenges of the 21st century.

“Enabling use of ICTs tools in advancing gender equality and empowerment of women would be a game changer in this process and help overcome the digital divide,” he said at the 59th Session of the Commission of the Status of Women here.

He further said that with the Sustainable Development Goals in place, political will, resource mobilization, including Official Development Assistance in gender equality, would be critical in realising the objectives of a truly inclusive, equitable and transformative post-2015 development agenda with a gender perspective.

He highlighted that mainstreaming of gender perspectives in legislations, policies and programmes for development is a high priority for the Indian government.

Noting that gender budgeting has been institutionalised in the country’s annual budget, Oberoi said several measures have been initiated  to strengthen financial inclusion, especially for women.

He cited the example of the small deposit scheme ‘Sukanya Samridhi Yojna’ and the the establishment of the country’s first all-Women’s Bank to assist women entrepreneurs.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationwide multi-sectoral initiative ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao – Save the Girl Child, Educate Her’ launched early this year aims at addressing the declining child sex ratio and targeting discrimination against women in a life cycle continuum, he said.

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