Educate men on women’s rights: CJI

Talks and discussions on gender justice and equality took centre stage at the 18th Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture held here on Wednesday. Speaking at the function, the Chief Justice of India, Altamas Kabir said that any country that does not take care of its women is not on the path to success and development.

"There is a need to educate men on how women are not just playthings...she has rights," the CJI said. He noted that while women in cities are getting empowered, in the villages, girls are still groomed only to be wives and conditioned to accept their fate with their 'pati parmeshwar'.

Stressing the fact that knowledge is empowerment, Kabir said that education must be made accessible to all girls. Appreciating laws like the Right to Education Act, the CJI asked what will happen after a child has attained 14 years of age.

Delivering the memorial lecture, 'Educating Women-the quest for equality', Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor said 'Educate Girls' is the two-word mantra to improve the world. "There is no action proven to do more for the human race than the education of the female child...increased schooling of mothers has a measurable impact on the health of their kids, on the future schooling of the child and on the child's adult productivity," he said.

He said that even today nearly one out of every three women in the country is illiterate. Pointing to HRD data, he said sustaining the learning of the girl child through the higher education system remains a challenge.

He said that the skewed enrollment ratio is as much a "national shame" as the appalling sex ratio and underlined the need to "invest in women and girls (education)" to counter the challenges the country faces.

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