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Camp: Buenos Aires (Argentina) 3 November 2018: Lok Sabha Speaker Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, who led an Indian delegation at the Speakers’ Summit of G-20 Countries in Buenos Aires, said that development must be gender inclusive and mainstreaming gender equity is vital for sustainable development. She was happy to note that a growing global consensus has emerged around the importance of gender equality in political representation and other relevant areas. Smt. Mahajan mentioned that several important initiatives have been taken in India during the last few years towards strengthening gender equality. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act 2013, help to create a conducive environment at the workplace for women. As per the 73rd and the 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts, all the local elected bodies have to reserve one-third of their seats for women. Smt. Mahajan also referred to other schemes and programmes – like Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY), Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK), ‘Sathiya’, BetiBachaoBetiPadhao Scheme (value the girl child, enable her education), Nirbhaya “NaiRoshni” – which have been launched to provide an ambience of dignity and honour to women in India. Smt. Mahajan further mentioned that under the aegis of the Indian Parliamentary Group, Parliament of India had organized a National Women Legislators Conference on 5 and 6 March 2016 in New Delhi. The theme of the Conference was 'Women Legislators: Building Resurgent India' which deliberated on the ways in which empowered women legislators could play a more meaningful and effective role in empowering the nation. She also referred to her initiative SRI i.e. Speaker's Research Initiative which promotes interaction among legislators and the domain experts to address the emerging challenges in the various spheres including the areas and issues pertaining to women and girl child in the country. Later, speaking on the theme ‘The Role of Parliament in the G-20 Architecture’, Smt. Mahajan appreciated the initiative by the incumbent Argentinean G-20 Chair to invite Speakers and Parliamentarians to be a part of the G-20 discussions. She said that involving Parliaments in the deliberative process is meaningful and logical, as it is the Parliament, which approves and sanctifies all Government commitments at the international level. She felt that the participation of Speakers and the Presiding Officers, who represent the respective Parliaments, lends a people’s perspective to the ongoing G-20 discussions.



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