New Delhi, Mar 7 ANI | 10 months ago

President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday extended his greetings and felicitations to women across India ahead of International Women's Day, which is observed every year on March 8.

"On the occasion of the International Women's Day, I extend warm greetings and good wishes to women in all parts of our country. I thank them for their invaluable contribution in the making of our great nation," he said in a statement.

"Women in India have attained greatness through the ages aEuro" in political, academic and spiritual spheres. They enjoyed freedom and equal participation in public life in ancient India. In the Rig Veda, women are placed at the highest pedestal aEuro" 'Yatr nariyastu poojayante ramante tatr devah' or where women are worshipped, Gods preside there. The Taittriya Upanishad teaches us 'Matridevo bhava' or 'Let your mother be God to you'," he said.

"Swami Vivekananda rightly said, "All nations have attained greatness by paying proper respect to women. That country and that nation which does not respect women has never become great," he added.

Asserting that the principle of gender equality is also enshrined in the Indian Constitution, Mukherjee said: "Not only does the Constitution grant equality to women, but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women. Empowerment of women must be regarded as not only an element of our efforts towards gender equality but also a critical step for stimulating their full participation in nation building."

"We as a society must work towards changing negative perceptions about women. Women should be provided a safe, secure and congenial environment in which their talents can flower and they can contribute their full share in the building of our nation," he added.

He further said: "On this International Women's Day, let us resolve to redouble our efforts for the protection and welfare of women. May the celebrations inculcate in every member of our society the highest respect for women."

(Posted on 07-03-2014)

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