'Gender equality still a dream'

 
“Our task is not complete, and gender equality is work in progress. Women continue to face constraints and difficulties at various stages of life and in various situations,” Patil said. She was addressing a national conference on the Implementation of the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act, 2005, here.

“The falling sex ratio in some regions of the country and the higher dropout rates of girls in primary and secondary education and the growing number of crimes against women are all a reminder of this,” she said. The violence that women had to face within the confines of their homes should be particularly condemned.

The enactment of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act in 2005 was an important step towards ensuring the safety of women and that of the whole family, she said. Patil also emphasised that the effective implementation of the Act was the need of the hour and added that proper evaluation of its effectiveness was also required. “In this context, the monitoring and evaluation of the Domestic Violence Act in its early years is crucial to set the systems in place for the smooth functioning of the law,” she said.

Citing a WHO report, the president also stressed the need for imparting education as a means of empowering women along with enacting laws.

Stating that education for women has a protective effect, Patil said research had shown that education resulted in less violence.

“To bring about gender equality, we need to focus on educating and empowering women,” she added.

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