A person’s privilege is only counted when s/he empowers the marginalized. Lakshmi Puri is a great example of a woman who has been working in the economic development and empowerment of humanity through policy-making decisions at the government level for over 37 years now. Her work is evidence enough for the exceptional change that she is trying to bring in achieving gender equality at all levels. Today at the UN Women Step It Up Youth conference, Puri spoke about how the dialogue should change from promoting gender equality to achieving it.
Here are seven powerful thoughts by Puri from her talk:
- Young people must gather tools of knowledge &evidence and advocate why gender equality is so empowering and significant.
- In India only 13% girls go for higher education compared to 39% of boys who attend college. Yes the numbers are concerning but the gap is what needs to be addressed and filled.
- Though the change has started to come but there are still place where no positive change has taken place. Girls still lead a life of disempowerment, discrimination, violence and lack of economic opportunities.
- The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) five needs to be carried out at the central level and ground level simultaneously to achieve equality for all humanity.
- UN Women has come up with a LEAPS strategy towards gender equality which stands for-
- Leadership of young women in all spheres strengthened.
- Economic empowerment and skill development of young women.
- Action on ending violence against young women and girls.
- Partnerships with young men in bringing gender equality
- “Reaching the farthest first.” Working at the ground-level is most important and needs to be covered with more energy and power.
- Young women’s organisations- unless you organize, you cannot be taken seriously.