Chandigarh, March 7:- Emphasizing the need for strengthening partnerships & equal participation of Women, in every field of endeavour, the Punjab Governor and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh, Gen. (Retd.) S.F. Rodrigues, PVSM VSM, called for a mass movement for changing societal attitudes and
community practices with focus on creating positive environment for empowerment of women in our societal system. Various legal and administrative measures are already in place for ending discrimination against women but the need is to enforce them and to generate awareness of highlighting
women’s role as catalysts of social change in our civil society.
In a message on the occasion of International Women’s Day with a global theme “Shaping Progress – through investing in Women & Girls”, General Rodrigues said that our visionary national leaders have already enshrined the principle of gender equality in our Constitution, advocating developing strategies
for bringing about advancement, development and social & economic empowerment of women, keeping in view their multidimensional role in our society. Unfortunately, even after 60 years of Independence, this segment of society is facing a lot of hardships and are subjected to domestic violence, brutality,
dowry deaths, discrimination at work places, economic hardships, female foeticide and lesser opportunities to develop their potential. The global theme is very relevant in view of the prevailing situation and demands a serious introspection and audit of our policies & programmes to take corrective measures. Besides increasing budgetary provisions on women uplift oriented programmes especially in fields of healthcare & education, we have to reactivate our monitoring systems, to ensure that the targets incorporated in our plans are fully met. More opportunities are needed, for facilitating women’s
employment in public and private sectors.
General Rodrigues said that the Chandigarh Administration has initiated a number of programmes for making women from disadvantaged sections, economically independent and self-reliant. These included pension of Rs. 250 per month to eligible widows and destitute women, financial assistance of Rs.20,000/- for marriage of their Daugthers, loans on easy installments to set up their own business establishments under various schemes. A responsive
system has been evolved, for training women and girls from weaker sections in different vocations like computer course, beauty culture, cutting and tailoring and other income generating schemes. We are also shortly launching a vocational training programme for rural women by giving them infrastructural support and marketing facilities for their products. General Rodrigues further said that the Chandigarh Administration has already launched a novel programme for
reduction in Maternal Mortality Rate, with the focus on holistic nutrition for mothers and children. Another programme for checking Child Abuse has also been started under which we are opening crèches for kids, to help working women employees, near their places of duty.
The Governor appealed to all NGOs, social activists, the media and government functionaries, alike, to pool their efforts and to strive for safeguarding the interests of women, the eradication of the unethical practice of female foeticide and check the occurrence of domestic violence. Let us renew our
pledge, on this day, to work collectively, with commitment and dedication, for the upliftment of women and to shape a better future for them.