Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday stressed on the need for a change in societal mindset to address the issue of India's skewed sex ratio.
"While observing that the flagship scheme Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao has created a positive impact, much more needs to be done to change societal mindset," a statement from the Vice President's Secretariat quoted Mr Naidu as saying.
In a Facebook post titled "End Discrimination, empower women," the Vice President said that with women constituting about 50 per cent of India's population, progress could not be achieved unless they were given equal opportunities in all spheres, including the political arena.
"We need to show that gender discrimination no longer exists through our actions and deeds--that should be our goal. I urge all political parties to arrive at a consensus at the earliest on the long-pending proposal to provide adequate reservation to women in parliament and state legislatures at the earliest," the Vice President was quoted as saying. He also emphasised on giving equal property rights to women for their economic emancipation.
The statement said that the Vice President had recently released a report by the Indian Association of Parliamentarians for Population and Development - "Status of Sex Ratio at Birth in India" which mentioned that there had not been any change in the sex ratio at birth in India from 2001-2017 and that the number of girl children born is much less than what is the general or natural norm. It was brought out by the Indian Association of Parliamentarians for Population and Development.
"This is an alarming issue that needs to be addressed on a war footing by all the stakeholders--from the society at large to parliamentarians, government, policymakers, opinion leaders, media organisations, and organisations working to empower women. I call upon every citizen to act like a warrior in completely eradicating social evils like the dowry system and in eliminating "son preference" mindset," Mr Naidu said.
He stressed on rigorous implementation of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC and PNDT) law to bring about a balance in the sex ratio and said that there should be zero tolerance towards any kind of discrimination or violence against girls and women
"I want every Indian citizen, particularly the youth to join the Yagna of building a prosperous and happy India where there will be no discrimination of any kind. The people must collectively declare a war on poverty, illiteracy and other social hurdles coming in the way of building a New India," Mr Naidu said.
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