The Civil 20 (C20) Gender Equality and Disability Working Group Summit under the G20 framework kicked off at KIIT-DU on Saturday, with the Founder of KIIT and KISS Dr Achyuta Samanta underpinning the importance of women empowerment for the success of the country and the society.
Dr Samanta said that the Odisha Government under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is giving utmost focus on gender equality through programmes such as Mission Shakti which has empowered 70 lakh women members in self-help groups. Speaking about KIIT and KISS, he said, 50 per cent of the students and as many numbers of employees are women “We all are giving top priority to women’s empowerment. Until and unless women are empowered, there will be no success in India or the state or KIIT and KISS,” he asserted.
KIIT is playing host to the two-day event that is being held under the presidency of Mata Amritanandamayi, who is the Chair of C20.
In her virtual address to the delegates, Mata Amritanandamayi made a fervent appeal to all to create circumstances for women to succeed in all walks of life. She regretted that despite the progress made in science and technology, there still is a great reluctance and mental block in acknowledging women as equal. One out of four girls in the age group of 15-19 is denied education and employment. “We should not let hidden abilities go to waste. When women are suppressed, the world loses the productive contribution of 50 per cent of its population”, she said. The spiritual leader said that as women rise and move ahead, the men should make way — even prepare the way – for them.
Vice-Chairman, Mata Amritanandamayi Math & President of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham DU and Representative of the C20 Chair Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri said that men must be compassionate towards women and treat them as equals. He called for a society that promotes financial and economic balance between men and women as he voiced his displeasure against discrimination towards women in matters of remuneration in the labour market and other places.
Well-known diplomat Vijay K. Nambiar, who is the Principal Coordinator (Sherpa), C20, said that when the nation invests in women-led development, it invests in a stronger economy, and develops your country’s health and education sector. He said the target for all is to move ahead with courage, creating awareness and tenacity for equality and inclusivity.
While the G20 summits have been promoting the cause of women’s empowerment, he said the world is “severely off track” in achieving the gender equality targets. However, if G20 and India, in particular, can significantly accelerate the implementation and achievement of the role of women-led development, that itself will continue an unprecedented historic achievement”.
In her virtual address, Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, Mauritius, Kalpana Devi Koonjoo Shah said that the global order must take stock of the aspiration of differently abled women who want to live like others and create opportunities for them. She said her Government is working on a draft disability bill as well as a gender equality bill for empowering and mainstreaming women.
First Chief, UN Academic Impact, International Advisory Committee, C20 Ramu Damodaran, Global Advisor Cure Violence Global and Chairperson Women 4 Empowerment, US Naila Chowdhury, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender Equality & Family, Govt of Mauritius Phoolranee Rampadarath and others attended the inaugural session.