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Women’s contribution crucial to building strong, vibrant nation: Hamid Ansari

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New Delhi : Asserting that women’s contribution is crucial to building a strong and vibrant nation, Vice President Hamid Ansari on Saturday said that women’s leadership and conflict resolution styles embody democratic ideals and they tend to work in a less hierarchical, more participatory and more collaborative manner than male colleagues.

Addressing the first conference of the women legislators in India on the theme ‘role of women legislators in nation building’, the Vice President said that women’s political participation results in tangible gains for democratic governance, including greater responsiveness to citizens’ needs.

The Vice President said that the increase in women representation at local bodies has not led to commensurate increase of women members in legislatures both at the Centre and State.

He further said that our Parliament’s gender profile is woefully unbalanced with women constituting only 12 per cent of the total membership.

To shore up women’s political representation, all political parties need to extend their support to ensure that the Constitutional Amendment Bill to provide for 33 percent reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies is not delayed further, he added.

Calling on the leaders and whips of parties in the House to overcome their own gender bias in engaging the women members in different parliamentary roles, he added that the women members themselves need to show their interest and contribute meaningfully to the debates.

“The fact that women members, within the limited opportunity available to them, have demonstrated their concern over other issues of national interest must tilt the balance in their favour. Women are also often the strongest voices for peace and nonviolence. Women’s leadership and conflict resolution styles embody democratic ideals and they tend to work in a less hierarchical, more participatory and more collaborative manner than male colleagues. Thus, women’s contribution is crucial to building a strong and vibrant nation. We can ignore it at our own peril,” Ansari said.

The conference was attended by President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Speaker of Lok SabhaSumitra Mahajan, Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and other dignitaries. (ANI)

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