New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has said increasing women's participation in local, state and national levels of governance was the need of the hour as equal participation of women in decision-making was an important aspect of their empowerment.
Inaugurating the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CPA) India Region Seminar here, she said women empowerment is not only about their political, social and cultural development but bodily, spiritual and ethical freedom too.
"Empowerment of women opens up avenues of social development. Increasing women's participation in local, state and national levels of governance was the need of the hour," she said at the programme attended by Union Ministers Maneka Gandhi and Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the CPA India Region Meenakshi Lekhi, two representatives from each of the state legislatures and other delegates participated in the seminar.
The theme of the seminar was 'Women are Central to India's Development'.
The Speaker said, "When we talk of empowerment of women, it implies giving them their due place in the decision-making process and giving them the right to lead a dignified and meaningful life".
She said the government was making serious efforts to universalise education and taking steps to curb incidents of violence against women through GPS technology-enabled transport. Interlinking police stations through ICT and centralisation of criminal records were indeed important, she added.