RDS_181212 RV Main DS GENDER EQUALITY62
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Women need more leadership roles

Many countries in today’s world must go through a drastic change when it comes to their attitude towards women ("Activists, hardliners set for showdown during Women March", Gulf News, march 8). Women are often side-lined and ignored when it comes to playing bigger roles in society. To spread awareness about this, International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8.

Since time immemorial, man has always discriminated against the female gender. Social evils like female foeticide are still prevalent in many societies in India. In some places, a daughter is seen as a burden rather than as a precious gift. Women are confined to the four walls of the house, deemed fit only for household labour. There is only one solution to stop all of this: to empower women from all sections of the society.

RDS_181212 RV Main DS GENDER EQUALITY62

In its agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations (UN) has set some important targets for empowering women under SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) No.5, Gender Equality. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls, eliminating violence against women, eliminating harmful practices like child marriage and ensuring women’s participation in leadership and decision-making positions, are some of the key targets of this goal.

The UAE has already taken its first strides towards achieving this goal. With 50 per cent representation of women in the Federal National Council, the UAE is one of the first countries to give women such an honour. Following the ideals of the Rulers of the land, women have made great strides in all sections of society, with women having become ambassadors, political leaders, ministers and judges. Shaikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of State for Tolerance is the first tolerance minister ever. Women even have their own Emirati Women’s Day, which is celebrated annually on August 28.

The International Women’s Day is an attempt to promote gender equality and provide more opportunities for women to become self-reliant. It is a call for change and an occasion to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of courageous and determined women who fought to push gender barriers, and inspired millions of girls around the world. It reminds us that it is high time we give women their share of space under the sun.

From Ms Rose Vincent

Dubai

Women are equal to men 

March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day. In India many functions are arranged to felicitate women achievers, awards given, health camps organised, discounts given at stores and restaurants, and more. The country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that on Sunday, select women achievers would handle his social media accounts. We have women in high ranks in the military, women head corporates and a lady officer even led the Republic Day parade this year. Women hold important posts in the academic world too. But can a woman stand up and say proudly that today is her day? We still have a long way to go before women are treated at par with the men. We have to change the mind-set to bring in equality. The term “better half” has to go; in its place wouldn’t “equal half” or “parallel half” sound appropriate. So, all you women, and men, out there, take a pledge today to treat women equally to men. No one is “better” or “worse”; all are the same, and everyone is equal. Do felicitate women achievers – they are taking big steps towards achieving equality.

From Ms Aruna Mathur

India

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