New Delhi: Gender mainstreaming and development is a priority goal for Government, Women and Child Welfare Minister Krishna Tirath on Tuesday said, while stressing the need to look closely at policy related "systemic flaws" to empower the fairer sex.
Expressing concern at India`s low gender equality index rating in the world, the Minister said: "For making women`s empowerment and equality a reality much more needs to be done at all levels. We need to fortify our efforts in this direction and look closely at both policy related systematic and procedural flaws."
Tirath said "gender mainstreaming" and development was an important factor in the country`s development over the years and mentioned that it will be no different in the 12th Five Year Plan to be released on December 27.
"Gender mainstreaming and development has been priority goal in the country`s development efforts since the start of the first five year plan," she said.
Speaking on `No Policy is Gender Neutral`, an event jointly organised by UN Women and National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW) in association with the Planning Commission of India, Tirath termed women as agents of growth.
Empowerment of women as an agent of socio-economic change and development became one of the nine specific objective of the ninth five year plan. Although many significant steps have been taken in between, it was perhaps the 11th five year plan which brought a new thinking on these issues, she said.
"There was an attempt to move beyond and recognise women as an agent of sustained socio-economic growth and change. The same tenor is now reflected in the 12th five year plan despite the political will and sustained efforts in terms of progressive policy initiatives and dedicated women`s machinery," she said.