New York [US], January 19 (ANI): India stressed on women's participation in public life and elimination of violence against them as a pre-requisite for promoting lasting peace around the world at United Nations Security Council open debate on "Women, Peace and Security."Addressing violence targeting women in peace and security processes, India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador TS Tirumurti on Tuesday (local time) highlighted its firm supports for women's full, equal and meaningful participation in political processes and decision-making to promote an inclusive society.
"India has today moved from a paradigm of women's development to women-led development," said Tirumurti.
"In 2007, India created history by deploying the first-ever all-female Formed Police Unit (FPU) for UN Peacekeeping in Liberia. This unit served in Liberia for a decade and through their work served as an example of how the deployment of more women uniformed personnel could help the UN in its efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse," added India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
India has more than 1.3 million elected women representatives at the grassroots level who have taken up leadership roles in their local communities. It even has all-women Panchayats, the village-level elected local bodies, at the grassroots level. Twenty Indian states have made provisions for 50 per cent reservation of total seats in legislative bodies at the local level for women.
Giving an example of women's participation in India's freedom struggle, the Indian ambassador said that women were at the forefront in practically every aspect of the effort and paraphrased an eminent Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda and reiterated that just as a bird cannot fly with one wing, durable peace and development cannot be achieved without the other half being equally invested.
In order to strengthen women's participation in peace and political process, and to eliminate discrimination and violence against women, Tirumurti highlighted the following points - Member States should identify and address barriers to women's meaningful participation in the prevention and resolution of conflict, and in post-conflict peace-building efforts and programs.
"This requires devising a legislative and judicial framework, providing economic opportunities, undertaking institution and capacity building, ensuring accountability and checking impunity of those perpetrating violence against women," said Tirumurti.
He also urged Member States to provide conducive environment for the participation and inclusion of women in political processes and decision-making.
"In this context, we underline once again the importance of inclusive and representative governance in Afghanistan, with the meaningful participation of women in accordance with UNSC Resolution 2593 adopted on 30 August 2021, said Tirumurti.
Along with political participation, the Indian ambassador stressed on socio-economic empowerment of women, including their access to credit, finance and technology.
For example, a growing digital divide could have the potential to alienate women from the mainstream agenda.
"Keeping this in mind, India has not only undertaken numerous citizen-centric digital initiatives but has also focused these services towards women to minimize the gender divide. We have opened online bank accounts for over 440 million people of which more than 55 per cent of account holders are women. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this initiative helped in direct benefit transfer to nearly 200 million women," added the Indian representative at UNSC.
Emphasizing on terrorism and violent extremism that invariably targets women, he urged Member States to condemn violence against women and girls perpetrated by terrorists and said that Council should focus on the consequences of terrorism on the rights of women.
Tirumurti further spotlighted the importance of women police officers and peacekeepers, who play an indispensable role in furthering Women Peace and Security agenda as they are better able to gain the trust of a large but marginalized section of society.
"We, therefore, need more women in peacekeeping. India welcomes the Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy to increase the number of women peacekeepers. We also support increasing the deployment of Women Protection Advisors for effective monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence in the fiel," said Tirumurti.
He also highlighted that UN should provide support to Member States for institution and capacity building in post-conflict situations to address meaningfully and institutionally the inequalities and violence faced by women and to ensure their full participation in decision-making.
Further, he urged media for a sincere, committed, non-discriminatory and collective effort to prevent women from online criminal acts.
"News media, especially social media, has emerged as a platform increasingly being used by various actors, including terrorists, for amplifying discriminatory ideas and promoting violent radicalization. Women are often the victims of these online criminal acts. To counter it, we require a sincere, committed, non-discriminatory and collective effort through a whole of society approach," said Tirumurti. (ANI)