Commissioner for NRI Affairs Eduardo Faleiro said that development does not consist merely in gross domestic product (GDP) growth but in improvement in the quality of life of all citizens irrespective of their race, religion, caste or gender so that all live in dignity and in freedom from want and from fear, while speaking at the seminar on ‘Celebrating Women: Empowering Society’ on Tuesday at International Centre, Dona Paula.
The seminar was organized by the International Centre, Goa; in association with the American Centre, Mumbai; to celebrate 100 years of women’s achievements on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Mr. Faleiro said India has made tremendous progress in social, economic, political and women development, since Independence. However, the benefits of the constitutional and legislative provisions for women empowerment have not yet reached the women who are poor or belong to the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes.” They suffer double disability of both caste and gender”, he said.
He further said that in the political field, the 73rd and 74th constitution amendments provide 33 per cent reservation for women in Panchayat and other local bodies. However recent elections have shown that women are elected not just in the reserved seats but also in many general category seats. The Government of India has now decided to increase reserved seats for women in panchayats to 50 percent and this provision should come into effect before the next panchayat elections in Goa. “The Union Cabinet has also cleared reservation of 33 percent for women in Parliament and State Legislatures but the required support for this decision is not yet available in the Rajya Sabha”, he said.
The seminar was held in two sessions. The first session focused on empowered Women and their contribution to the society which was chaired by S.S. Dempo College of Commerce and Economics Principal Dr. Radhika Nayak. Co-Chairperson-GCCI’s Women Wing Amol Morajkar, Co-founder of Peaceful Society Bharti Bandodkar , Sahitya Akademi Awardee Author Hema Naik, Career Guidance Counselor Ranjana Kakodkar and eminent Lawyer Sudha Laad were the resource persons for the same. The second session was on men celebrating women was chaired Prakash Kamat, Special Correspondent (Goa) , the Hindu and President Goa Union of Journalists.