Commitment to gender equality to be taken at gram sabha meetings in TN

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For the first time, thousands of people attending gram sabha meetings across Tamil Nadu on Saturday will pledge to treat everyone with respect, regardless of gender, caste and religion, to respect women and to avoid the dowry.

The Commitment to Gender Equality was on the agenda of the Gram Sabha meetings scheduled for October 2 for Gandhi Jayanthi.

In a letter to collectors in 29 districts, except nine districts where local elections are scheduled, the director of the rural development department said commitments on zero tolerance, gender equality and resolutions on removal of palisades, eradication of poverty and prevention of child marriage should be included. on the agenda of meetings.

Gram Sabha meetings will be held in Tamil Nadu after two years, with 2020 sessions being canceled due to Covid-19 restrictions. Chief Minister MP Stalin, who has organized gram sabha meetings as part of his campaign ahead of the 2019 and 2021 elections, will himself attend a meeting in Paapapatti in the Madurai district.

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Tamil Nadu will be the first state in the country to include a commitment to gender equality in gram sabha meetings. The pledge will also be made by government officials and school students.

“I solemnly affirm that I will respect women, that I will treat them equally, that I will not engage in sexual harassment or violence against them (women), that I will support survivors of the violence by bringing a complaint against the perpetrators, will speak out against female infanticide and feticide and ensure that society is free from dowry, ”said the pledge.

“I will strive to build a strong Tamil Nadu by treating everyone equally, regardless of their gender, caste and religion,” the pledge added.

Tara Krishnaswamy, founder of Political Shakti, which advocates for greater representation of women in state legislatures and parliaments, said she spoke about the idea of ​​people standing up for gender equality and ensuring gender equality. security during a recent meeting with Tamil Nadu’s Minister of Social Affairs, Geetha Jeevan.

“Although our Constitution guarantees equality, the reality is different. Women and transgender people are seen as inferior in the eyes of society, which is the gap between legislation and its implementation. We wanted people to embrace gender equality and that’s how this commitment was designed, ”she told DH.

The engagement was first offered in Tamil Nadu where the “social justice movement” brought huge changes in society. “Although social justice is part of the gene for people in Tamil Nadu, there is a gap between what is said and what is done. We hope that this commitment will usher in a new era of equality, ”she added.

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