Ahmedabad: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has a diplomatic piece of advice for women needing to convince their families to take up jobs: use persuasion, just like India did with China in the Dokalam stand-off.
Speaking at a 'Mahila Town Hall', an interaction program organized by the ruling BJP in the poll-bound Gujarat, Swaraj was asked what should a woman do if the family did not allow her to work.
She said one should explain the benefits a working woman brings for the family.
"If they (family members) are still not convinced, then persuade them the way India persuaded China on Dokalam issue," the union minister said in a lighter vein, referring to the prolonged stand-off with China which was eventually resolved amicably.
"Women's issues can be broadly divided into three categories -- issues related to security, those related to independence and to empowerment," she said.
"The first issue that concerns the security of girl child is, if society will allow her to be born. I do not understand that in this country, where we worship woman as god, where two 'Navratria' are celebrated, people (still) kill girl child in the womb," Swaraj said.
"There are many laws, but the prime minister is of the view that a social campaign has to be launched (to effect change) as the laws alone will not be able to fight this evil. We have launched 'Beti Bacho, Beti Padhao' program in the country on a large-scale," she said.
The governments at the Center and in states have taken many steps for the security of women, she said.
The NDA government has also taken many steps to ensure financial independence for women, such as giving them loans without security under the Mudra scheme, the union minister added.
On her job as the external affairs minister, she said she was satisfied as she had been able to rescue and bring back 88,302 Indians stranded in various countries.
When a woman asked about Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's recent statement about lack of representation for women in the RSS, Swaraj said the comments didn't merit a response.
"How many women are there in the RSS, have you ever seen any woman in (RSS) shakhas wearing shorts?" Gandhi had asked.
Swaraj termed his comments "derogatory".
"I feel the same way as you. The remarks are so derogatory that I would not like to give a reply," she said.
The program was aired live in 32 locations across the state.