In a virtual address to the first-ever US-India Alliance for Women's Economic Empowerment Shatter Summit here, Irani, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, said
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made women-led development one of the main agendas of his government, Union Minister Smriti Irani told a group of eminent women leaders from India and the US. In a virtual address to the first-ever US-India Alliance for Women's Economic Empowerment Shatter Summit here, Irani, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, said.
'There's a cause for all of us to celebrate, as India leads the G20 presidency. I am proud that Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi has made women-led development one of the main agendas and not limited to a side-line,' Irani said. In her keynote address to the half-day-summit being held at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, Irani highlighted some of the key steps being taken by the Modi government towards empowering women in the country.
'As an Indian woman, I can proudly say that Prime Minister Modi has been central to his governance plan the issues of women,' Irani said at summit, which is an initiative of the US-India Alliance for Women's Economic Empowerment, a public-private partnership between US Department of State, USAI, USISPF, and George Washington University that aims to catalyse private sector, civil society, and government commitments in the US and India to advance women's economic empowerment in India.
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India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu said, the emergence of women achievers in India is not happening in isolation. Rather it is taking place in the backdrop of a series of government initiatives, and targeted efforts to facilitate 'Nari Shakti' (women power). 'We still have miles to go. Our journey is not finished, till every single woman is able to make her own choices in every way, and achieve them. Gender discrimination, and gender stereotyping need to end. As long as there are still glass ceilings left to be broken, our efforts must continue,' he said.
'In the words of PM Modi, 'we cannot achieve success if 50 per cent of our population, being women, is locked at home'. Women-led development is a central dimension of India's progress,' he said. 'As the largest and oldest democracies, India and the US have a strong commitment to advance women empowerment,' Sandhu said as he complimented the US-India Alliance and the Shatter Foundation, for organising the event.
As G20 Chair, India has identified women-led development as one of the high-priority subjects. 'Women20' is focused on gender equity, he said. 'The group aims to ensure that gender considerations are mainstreamed into G20 discussions and translated into the G20 Leaders' Declaration. We look forward to working with like-minded partners like the United States in this endeavour,' Sandhu said.
Participating in the panel discussion, Nivruti Rai, CEO, Intel India suggested creating a 'digital corridor' between India and the United States. Shamina Singh, founder and president Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth told the audience that they should never underestimate the power of an Indian woman.
Observing that the mental health of both men and women is a serious challenge these days, Art of Living founder and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar emphasised mental hygiene. Few breathing exercises and yoga postures, along with meditation will go a long way in restoring physical and mental health, he asserted.
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