The status of women in society is a major cause of concern that influences
biases against women. The state has accorded high priority in ensuring gender
equity in education, political participation as well as in economic and
employment opportunities. Several definitive measures have been taken by the
State Government in order to improve the status of women in society.
Initiatives like 50 percent reservation to women in Panchayati Raj institutions
and urban local bodies, 33 percent reservation in Government jobs, and special
incentives to girls for taking up education are some of our progressive steps
for furthering the status of women. The female literacy has increased by 26
percent between 2001 and 2011 which in itself is remarkable. The number of
out-of-school girls which was 2.61 lakh in 2006-07, has reduced to 35 thousand
in 2010-11. For the past nine years, on an average, more than one thousand
schools were added per year at both primary and upper primary levels. The
Mission Shakti programme has been a major success in rural Odisha in the
socio-economic empowerment of women. But now, there is an urgent need to work
towards ensuring inclusive and equitable development.
would like to congratulate the Odisha State Legal Services Authority, the Health
and Family Welfare Department of the State Government and the United Nations
Population Fund for jointly organizing a sensitization program for the District
Collectors who are the Appropriate Authorities under the PCPNDT Act.
We have a strong PCPNDT Act and I expect
the District Magistrates to accord high priority for implementing this
Act with a strict vigil on the misuse of technology. It is also
necessary to gear up our efforts against the cultural, economic and
religious roots of this social malady through women empowerment and
intensive Information, Education and Communication Campaigns. The
medical colleges and professional bodies have a vital role in
sensitizing medical students who are the doctors of tomorrow.
A convergent action plan needs to be in
place wherein the departments of Health, Women and Child Development,
Panchayati Raj and others engage PRIs, Self Help Groups, ASHAs,
Anganwadi Workers and youth to jointly work in the pursuit of promoting
the value of the girl child. The long-term solution to this problem lies
in creating the right environment where sons and daughters are equally
I hope this sensitization programme will
bring in a marked change in the way we face this challenge and the
implementing agencies will address the issue on a more serious note."
Other guests in the Colloquium:
Other than the Chief Minister, District Collectors and invitees, the
colloquium was also attended by Chief Justice of Odisha High Court
Justice V. Gopala Gowda, Judge of Odisha High Court and Executive
Chairman of OSLSA Justice B P Das, and UNFPA India Representative Ms.