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Social empowerment more important than women’s Bill: Agatha
Published on 8 Aug. 2009 11:28 PM IST
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Social and economic empowerment of women is “much more important” than the women’s reservation Bill, which will only give political empowerment, Union Minister of State for Rural Development Agatha Sangama said on Saturday. She, however, did not disfavour the Bill and said it is “just a catalyst” which will allow “certain women” to pave way for the “general women”, enabling them to have a good life. “I have always thought about empowerment (of women) in different ways. One always thinks about (women’s) reservation Bill but that one is to get political empowerment. I think there are other forms of empowerment such as social and economic empowerment which are equally or much more crucial,” Sangama, said. She was addressing a programme organised here by the All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) to inaugurate “community college” project. AIWC is starting the community college project under the national scheme of community colleges of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to provide education and training to persons who are unable to utilise the conventional avenues of education like schools and colleges. Addressing the gathering, Sangma said that she has got “some sense” of political empowerment and feels that being a minister “she should create a situation where women actually become economically and more socially empowered”, reported ZeeNews on its website, Saturday. Appreciating the community college programme being started by the AIWC in coordination with IGNOU, she said “It’s as a wonderful idea.... Women will get opportunity to learn things, get empowered, and become independent, in order to live a very good life”. Sangma said the community college programme seemed to be actually paving the way towards development for those women who actually needed to be economically and socially empowered.

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