"Look at Mamata Banerjee, she fought so many odds continuously and ultimately claimed glory. She is a perfect role model. Her indomitable spirit should encourage and inspire us all," said Consul General in Kolkata Beth Payne at an interactive session on women empowerment.
Emphasising the need for women empowerment, Payne said: "Countries will never realise their full potential until half the population that is the women, are given the opportunity for education, health care, access to employment and credit - the full range of rights that are available to men."
Payne also said education, economic freedom and political voice are the three requisites for women empowerment.
Reiterating the need to break "parochial stereotypes", she said: "Why there is an assumption that a female journalist cannot go and work in the Junglemahal, or a woman cannot work till late night?"
"Women need to come forward and dismiss these ill assumptions. There are women who are working in mines, driving locomotives, taking part in combat and doing all works which are said to be belonging to the male domain," added Payne.
Asked why the US never had a woman president, Payne said that was one area in which the country needs to learn from India.
"Hopefully we will have one sooner than later."
--IANS (Posted on 15-06-2011)