Vice President Venkaiah Naidu appealed to all political parties to arrive at a consensus and ensure the passage of Women's Reservation Bill for providing reservation to women in Parliament and state legislatures.
Vice President Naidu pointed out that reservation of seats for women in Panchayats and Municipalities has proved to be successful.
Addressing the gathering at the Women Entrepreneurship Platform Conclave on Sunday and after presenting Women Transforming India Awards 2018, organised by the NIITI Aayog, WEP and UN in India, the Vice President said, "The contribution of Indian women to GDP, currently at 17 per cent, was well below the global average of 37 per cent. Only 27 per cent of women in India were gainfully employed. These are the numbers that pose a challenge to the lawmakers and lawmakers of this country, and this is where NITI Aayog's efforts in empowering women entrepreneurs through WEP is especially commendable."
The CEO of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, the UN Resident Coordinator in India, Yuri Afanasiev, Tennis star Sania Mirza and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
Observing that a country cannot progress if half of its population was not encouraged to be an equal partner in progress, he said that India in the past few years has recorded a healthy growth in women entrepreneurship.
"Discrimination against women has to end in terms of differential wages or skewed opportunities for career advancement. The private sector can play a major role in ending discrimination by being equal opportunity employers and it is time that the 'glass ceiling' is shattered," he added.
The Vice President said that it was high time that people should focus on gender equality while adding that "women have to be given a level playing field". He presented Women Transforming India Awards 2018 to 13 women who have excelled in various fields from different parts of the country.