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3. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates IWPC 20th Anniversary Celebrations; calls on the media to play a pro-active role in India's development agenda - empathises with the challenges faced by women journalists at the work-place
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Indian Women's Press Corps on October 19 where he released a special Souvenir on the occasion. The Souvenir, with the theme "Women and the National Agenda" was released at a function jointly organised by the IWPC and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. The release of the Souvenir was accompanied by cultural performances by PanditVishwa Mohan Bhatt and PanditsRajan-Sajan Mishra.
In his speech, he pointed out to the dual responsibilities faced by women, at home and the work-place. He said that he had realised that the perspective of women journalists of looking at the world was slightly different as compared to their male counterparts. They had to face a great amount of uncertainty and challenge at their workplaces. He quoted a May 2014 "Pew Report" where it was stated the women journalists were paid 17 per cent less than their male colleagues. The situation was no different in India. He also mentioned challenges of harassment at the work place. At the same time, he lauded the fact that women were making great strides in every other field in the country and were consistent performers as well.
The media had a role to play in the development agenda of the nation, he said, underscoring the importance of greater sensitivity towards human development issues and indicators. He said that more than GDP and industrial development, real development could be measured in the quality of human development indicators. He expressed concern over the trend of growing sensationalism in the media.
He expressed concern over the low representation of women in many fields including the police where it was less than ten per cent. He recalled that one of the first things he did after becoming Home Minister was to issue an advisory to Delhi police including other states to fill 33 per cent posts with women.
In order to make women feel more secure in public spaces, he said police forces needed to be more "women friendly."
He also expressed concern over the "trolling" of women in the online media where as compared to men, character assassination of women was much more virulent. The Home Minister also expressed concern over the growing atmosphere of insecurity for women in the country.
He said that all departments in the central government were conscious that it was necessary to create an environment that was progressive and safe for women.
He said that it was common to people make a lot of noise about women's empowerment but real empowerment could be achieved only by a prolonged struggle.
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