Thiruvananthapuram: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said women in Kerala continued to have a low profile in public life despite high literacy rate and progressive political environment in the state.
Inaugurating the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Loyola College of Social Sciences here, Mukherjee wanted women in the state to take more active role in various leadership levels and said a good step in this direction was the reservation of 50 per cent of seats in local bodies and panchayats for women.
"A percepitable marginalization of women in the economic process and their low level of control over resources have been major impediments in improving their status in the state," he said.
Asking the students to pause and consider the challenges that still needed to be addressed, Mukherjee said that "despite the state`s high literacy rate of 86 per cent, Kerala has a relatively low profile of women in public life."
Statistics show a concentration of women in the unorganized sectors, including agriculture labour, cottage and traditional industries and selected service sectors where equal pay for equal work was unfortunately not well established, he said.
"There needs to be more active involvement of women in various leadership levels in the state," he said.
Quoting Swami Vivekananda, he said that "from time immemorial, India has been a mine of precious ideas to human society, giving birth to high ideas herself, she has freely distributed them and broadcast over the whole world."
"In pursuing your mission with dedication and commitment, students of Loyola College are making a significant difference in realizing Swami Vivekananda`s vision for our people," he said.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, State Governor HR Bhardwaj, Union Minister of State for HRD Sashi Tharoor, Archbishop of Thiruvananthapuram M Soosa Pakiam were among those who offered felicitations.