New Delhi, Mar 7 (ANI): Ahead of the International Women's Day to be celebrated tomorrow, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Monday said that real development cannot take root if it bypasses women, who represent the very pivot around which social change takes shape.
Speaking at the launch of the Department of Telecommunications' pilot project scheme for Women's Self Help Groups, President Patil said: " As we make progress on gender mainstreaming, more and more women will become full partners in the many activities of the nation and society. We should bear in mind that this is also likely to generate another set of challenges, which would need our attention."
President Patil said women in India have reached high positions, and many others are doing well in different spheres, even in professions once unthinkable for them.
President Patil said women's interface with the knowledge world itself and their joining Information and Communications Technology (ICT) generated livelihood can have some gender specific aspects, which may need to be looked into.
"Women's groups can also look at linking with each other through ICT," she added, and urged the women to use science and technology, innovations and inventions, mobiles and the Internet for improving their lives.
Emphasising that women empowerment is an important national objective in India, President Patil said: "Women constitute about half of our population, and until they are empowered, we will have an unfinished task on hand.
"For achieving our objective of growth with equity, their mainstreaming into the national development process is essential," she added.
"Tomorrow, I look forward to being with the 88 Mahila Battalion of the CRPF, the first full woman Battalion in the country. But yet, opportunity prospects remain beyond the reach of a vast majority of them," she said.
"When we speak of the empowerment of women, it should be remembered that giving them economic opportunities is central for their advancement," she added. (ANI)