By Aiman KhanNew Delhi [India], January 24 (ANI): India has finally graduated from women development to women-led development and it is a huge paradigm shift in conversation, said Nishtha Satyam, Deputy Representative in India for UN Women, on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion of National Girl Child Day, Satyam said that issues of gender equality and women's empowerment have now been on the table, while calling it great progress from years of 'patriarchal past'.
"India, in issue of gender, is highly paradoxical, but we have made great strides in gender equality. India is one of the most affirmative legislated countries in the world. We have great stories of strength, the value of courage that come from women and girls on the ground. We are the largest number of women in politics anywhere in the world. As a country that is celebrating finally having the first female vice president, we have to be reminded that we had this moment many years back," she said.
She further expressed appreciation for Indian government's schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP), adding that years of patriarchal upbringing can only be changed by 'challenging stereotypes' and giving the space to 'men to stand up as advocates'.
"UN Women had done evaluation with the governments of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan on BBBP and we have seen distinct results. It has challenged stereotypes and given space to men to stand up as advocates. It has been a guideline to bring the country together. If you keep seeing a message behind an auto, truck and on highways, you see it on posters, you see it on campaigns, everything starts building into your mindset. The change is slow and personal but it starts happening over a period of time," she stated.
Talking about violence against women in the country, Satyam said the country has to come together to establish a zero-tolerance environment against discrimination and all kinds of violence against females.
"Violence with women is neither a city issue nor a village issue. It is an issue of every street and home. There is no one kind of violence. Violence happens across all the spaces, it happens in private spaces and public spaces. But as a country we have to come together to establish a zero-tolerance environment towards discrimination towards women and girls," she said.
In a message to women on National Girl Child Day, Satyam asked them to stand for themselves before expecting anybody else to do so.
"Dream bolder dream bigger, dream fearlessly," she added. (ANI)