International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March every year, when women of all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences come together to celebrate the event. They can look back, with justifiable pride, to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. It is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; rooted in the centuries-old struggle to participate in society on an equal footing with men. Many women face discrimination at various stages of their lives. Their survival, access to nutrition and good health, access to good education and livelihood are sometimes hampered by obstacles. Moreover, safety of women continues to be a matter of concern with increasing number of violence cases against them. In a country like ours the International Women’s Day, therefore, holds special significance.
I am happy to note that the women of these Islands are far ahead in every field as compared to their counterparts. They are duly respected, recognized and play a major role in the decision making processes at all levels. Much more still needs to be addressed to make women equal citizens both in the public and private domains. The International Women’s Day thus serves as a reminder of how much we have achieved and how much more still needs to be done.
I am happy that Directorate of Social Welfare has taken a series of innovative like ‘Shakti Samanveh Shivir’ for providing women empowerment under ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padvao’ and the newly announced ‘Mahila Shakti’ Scheme.
I also appreciate that various Government Departments, NGOs and other Agencies are organizing the International Women’s Day. I wish their endeavours all success.
(Admiral D K Joshi)
PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.)
Andaman and Nicobar Islands