Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu emphasised on the need to empower women on economic and political fronts to realise the goal of social development.
“Today, we have forgotten what social development is. If we cannot develop the society, we cannot expect the country to develop. We have to keep our focus on bringing in reforms for society. When we concentrate on uplifting women, society will automatically develop. Only giving political power to women will not suffice. We have already done that. Women continue to have reservation in Parliament. Giving economic power to women is the need of the hour,” he said.
The minister was addressing a gathering of students here on the 64th Annual Convocation of SNDT college.
Prabhu noted that for overall development of women, they need to be given economic as well as political empowerment.
“No husband in the country will dare raise his hands on a woman who has money in her hands. Therefore, it is necessary that women get basic and higher education, which will enable them to earn and become independent,” he said.
The Railway Minister said that only education can make us realize how ignorant we are of our surroundings.
“The more you learn, the more you realize how ignorant you were. There is no stipulated time for learning new things. Our endeavor should be to keep learning as long as we live,” he said.
“People think a magic wand will solve all their problems. But this is not true, there is no magic. It is only education that is the solution to problems,” he said.
“South East Asia is ranked almost at the bottom of Human Development Index of United Nations. But see the irony, the United States of America, which is among the top nations of the world is yet to see a woman President. While countries like India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have all had women ruling their respective countries. This shows women can go out and make a difference if they wish to,” he added.
Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidaysagar Rao and State Education minister Vinod Tawde were also present at the event.