Prejudice, bias against women still exists: Diplomats

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New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) Women around the world have achieved success by breaking stereotypes but there is still a need to end “prejudice and gender bias” against them, diplomats said here on Friday.

A day ahead of the International Day for Woman, the Canadian High Commission here organised a discussion here on the challenges women go through the routes to achieve success.

Mexican envoy Melba Pria, Finnish envoy Nina Vaskunlahti and US envoy Richard Verma were among the panelists who discussed the issues women face in leadership.

Among other diplomats were the Deputy High Commissioners of Australia and South Africa, Chris Elstsoft and Ben Joubert.

“For women who ought to achieve in life, the glass ceilings are real and powerful because they are invisible,” Melba Pria told the packed hall of students, mostly girls at a management college here.

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“A woman does not have to be man to be successful. She can do it her way,” she said, adding: “Women and men compliment each other and we should look at it that way.”

She argued, citing studies, that in India only 27 per cent of the total 48 per cent high level educated women are into workforce. “It needs to go up.”

Richard Verma, US envoy here said that the possibilities of being a successful women in the present era were much higher than past, but, “It is still not enough.”

Saying that many women are at senior positions in the White House, Verma insisted upon participation of women in politics.

Nina Vaskunlahti, Finland envoy here also spoke on the same lines and said, “It is very important to have women in parliament”.

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South African diplomat Ben Joubert also highlighted the role of a woman in politics and said: “Woman has a very important role to play in democracy.”

“We need to contribute in giving equal rights to women across the world,” he added.

Melba Pria and Chris Elstoft also raised the issue of child marriage in India and said: “Forcing children as small as 15-year-old is dangerous.”

Verma concluded by saying: “The prejudice and unconscious bias against women needs to end.”



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