Encourage women in leadership role for India`s progress: Sonia
Rae Bareli: Voicing concern over adverse
conditions faced by women in the country, UPA Chairperson
Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said girls should be empowered and
encouraged to take up leadership role - starting with their
"Half of the country`s population comprises women and
without their development, progress of society and country is
unimaginable," she said while addressing a `Sabla` programme
under Rajiv Gandhi girls’ empowerment scheme in her
"Girls should come forward and develop leadership
qualities to fight for their rights and ensure development of
the country," the Congress chief said, adding the low sex
ratio reflected the poor condition of women in the society.
She said that discrimination between men and women
should be removed and it was need of the hour is that the fair
sex work shoulder to shoulder with men.
"I am fully aware that the life of a women is full of
struggle due to lack of education and social awareness. We
have to end this and utilise the full strength and creativity
of women," she said.
"Once women start taking part in decision-making in
their family by becoming self-reliant, the situation would
change," Gandhi said, adding that UPA government has taken a
number of measures including framing laws and launching
schemes for uplift of women.
"The base and existence of society is because of women
and they should be given opportunities so that their hidden
talents come out.
"They should learn to stand up in adverse conditions
to make their presence felt," Gandhi said.
Lauding the role of Anganvadi workers in improving the
condition of women in rural areas, Gandhi said that their
honorarium was doubled in recognition of their contribution.
About the `Sabla` scheme, Gandhi said though it was
launched in 200 district of the country, it would soon cover
the entire country due to the encouraging response.
Priya and Rizwana-- two young girls who joined the
`Sabla` scheme, hogged the limelight today as they appeared on
the dais with Gandhi.
Priya was greeted by Gandhi as she rose to narrate
her experience to the gathering.
"After joining the scheme, my self confidence has
received a boost and now I can go anywhere," she said, urging
women and girls to come out of their homes and become aware of
Rizwana fought with her family to pursue education and
joined the Sabla group.
Sonia in her address referred to both the girls and
talked about their courage before giving them mementos.
Gandhi earlier arrived at Amausi airport in Lucknow
this morning on a two-day visit to her Lok Sabha constituency
during which she would be meeting workers.
She is likely to visit the rail coach factory in
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