Atrocities on women painful in society celebrating them: Mukherjee

Chennai, March 3 (IANS) It is painful to note atrocities against women in a country like India that equates women with God, President Pranab Mukherjee said here on Friday.

Speaking at the centenary celebrations of Women’s Indian Association (WIA) at Theosophical Society here, Mukherjee said the atrocities against women in a modern society that celebrates them, was unacceptable.

Though the Indian Constitution states that women should be given equal status and opportunity, in real life such a situation is absent, he said.

The WIA was founded on May 7, 1917, by Annie Besant, Margaret Cousins, Sarojini Naidu, Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy and Sister Subbalakshmi.

Mukherjee said the founders of the organisation fought for the voting rights of women and were instrumental in implementing law against child marriages.

According to Mukherjee, the women strength in the Lok Sabha is only 11.3 per cent whereas the global average of women parliamentarians stands at 22.8 per cent.

In his address, Tamil Nadu Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao, the Chancellor of Universities in the state, said majorty of toppers in almost all streams were girl students.

“There are more women at the post-graduate level and Ph.D.s. But very few make it to become professors or researchers. We need to change this picture and encourage more women to pursue their career,” Rao said.

Rao said a survey conducted by an American think tank covering 22,000 publicly-traded companies in over 91 countries, showed that companies employing 30 per cent and more female executives earn more profits.

“So it makes a sound economic sense to employ more women as professors, as board members and in all other professions,” he added.