At a time when most people speak with pessimism about the condition of women in South Asia, the Indian Ambassador to Germany, Sujatha Singh is proud of women in her country. Ronaq Zahoor talked to her on the sidelines of the Days of India conference at the University of Hamburg.
Q. What are your views on the condition of women in India?
A. Women in India, like women all over the world, are very hard working, very devoted to their families, very interested to make sure that their children get the best deal that they can. This is something I think we all can be proud of. We are trying to empower women in India so that they can make an even greater contribution to society. As you know, if you educate a man you only educate a man, but if you educate a woman you educate her whole family. This is where our emphasis has been.
Q. You must be aware of the recent comments by some Panchayat leaders in Haryana about the lowering of marriageable age of boys and girls. Would you like to comment?
A. It is up to an individual to decide that when they want to get married and I think people need to make their own decision about it.
Q. Talking about thisproposal by one of the ministers that husbands should pay 20 percent of their salary their wives, do you think this should be implemented?
A. I am sure the minister didnt mean it because if she did, I am sure she would have lost the votes of all the women in her constituency.
Q. What, according to you, should be done to improve the overall condition of women in South Asia?
A. I think they should have access to equal opportunities, should have access to education, good health and sanitation.
Interview: Ronaq Zahoor
Editor: Manasi Gopalakrishnan
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