Girls need secure environment to progress: Shabana Azmi

New Delhi: Veteran actress and human rights activist Shabana Azmi today said that apart from education, women need a secure atmosphere to grow and prosper.

"It is sad to hear about the female foeticide still going on. There is still a disparity between the genders and only way we can empower the girls is by way of education," said Azmi while releasing a report, `The State of the girl child in India 2010` here today.

"I have gone through the text books across India, and it is amazing to see everytime when a question like, `where is mother` is asked the reply is mother is in kitchen while when it is asked that `where is father` the reply is father is in office.

The event, organised by Plan India, also saw the release of `Voices of change: extraordinary stories of girls`, a collection of the true life stories of eighteen girls.

Filmmaker Govind Nihalani, the chairperson of Plan India, said, "Television and cinema play a great role in bringing the issue to the forefront and provides a platform for discussion."