"Discrimination against the girl child and atrocities against women are a blot on our collective conscience. Sexual harassment, women trafficking and female foeticide should shake us and awaken us," Sonia Gandhi said at the party's meeting in Jaipur.
"Gender issues are fundamental and the entire party must bring this to the heart of political activity and change mindsets," she said.
On the situation on Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, she said: "Dialogue with neighbours must be based on accepted principles of civilised behaviour."
Asking the Congress to look at its strengths, weaknesses and threats, Sonia Gandhi said: "There is increased competition and inroads have been made in our traditional strongholds. We have to strike a fine balance between respecting alliances and ensuring rejuvenation of the party."
She asked party men to observe austerity. "Lavish weddings will lead to questions on where money came from," she said.