According to Press Trust of India, Tanmaya Lal said, "the women worker participation rate in India's urban areas is significantly lower and needs improvement. Several important measures are being implemented to increase the participation of women in the workforce."
He also said that although in the past years there has been an increase in recognition and implementation of women's rights, there still remains hurdles in the road to effective empowerment of women. He highlighted India's resolve and commitment to empowering women in achieving sustainable development. He also cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message that a woman's multi-tasking abilities remain their greatest strengths. He also added that PM Narendra Modi has stressed that the problem is no longer about women development but 'Women-led Development'.
Highlighting India's rich history of women leaders, Tanmaya Lal said that India has had female Prime Minister in Indira Gandhi, and president in Pratibha Patil. Several Indian states have been led by female Chief Ministers. Sumitra Mahajan, a woman, is currently serving as the Speaker of the lower house of Parliament.
He also said that due to the reservation of seats for women, India has seen a rise in active female political leaders and workers at the grassroots level. This means that almost one million women are engaged in decision making positions.
Tanmaya Lal further elaborated the prominent role female scientists played in satellite design and launch. He also informed that India was the first country to successfully deploy an all women Formed Police Unit for UN Peacekeeping mission a few years back.
He also told the UN session about the landmark legislation passed by Indian parliament last week which increased the maternity leave for women from 12 to 26 weeks for both commissioning and adopting mothers. The maternity leave is higher than the prescribed maternity leave by the International Labour Organization. In 2013, the Indian Parliament also adopted an Act which provides protection to women workers against sexual harassment workplace and for the prevention and redressal of such complaints.
He also outlined for the session several other measures taken by the Indian government to promote gender equality and women empowerment such as 'e-Haat' for women entreprenuers, and the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' campaign which focuses on promoting education for girl child.
(With Inputs from Press Trust of India)
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