New York: India ripped apart Pakistan for “weaponising” women’s rights issues for its own political gains in Jammu and Kashmir.
First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Paulomi Tripathi during the UN General Assembly Third Committee session on ‘Advancement of Women’ on Monday posited that from the first woman President of the General Assembly Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit to women scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation, Indian women have long served as inspiration for many.
“As we renew our collective resolve to continue to work towards the realisation of women’s empowerment and gender equality, there is no space for weaponising women’s rights issues through empty rhetoric for self-serving political gains. Today, one delegation has callously chosen to politicise this agenda by making unwarranted references to internal matters of my country,” she said at the Committee.
Although Tripathi did not mention Pakistan’s name, she was responding to Islamabad’s outgoing envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi wherein the latter had alluded to a picture of a Kashmiri mother that appeared on the front page of The New York Times along with an article about how the mother lost her son, who was bitten by a snake, as she could not get medical help on time.
And to this statement of Lodhi, Tripathi responded saying, “It is ironical that a country, where violations of women’s right to live in the name of so-called ‘honour’ go unpunished, is making baseless statements about women’s rights in my country.”
Tripathi highlighted upon the women empowerment in India giving many instances.
She said that gender equality and empowerment of women were an integral part of India’s inclusive development strategy and New Delhi attaches utmost importance to the representation of women in decision making positions.
More than 1.3 million elected women representatives lead in the formulation and implementation of public policies at the grassroots level in India and measures such as financial inclusion, income guarantee programs, cash benefit transfers, improved access to healthcare and education for women and girls have improved lives of millions, she said.
More than 197 million women, who previously did not qualify to open bank accounts, now have bank accounts through government’s financial inclusion initiative, she added.