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Indian rural entrepreneur praised in UN as symbol of women's empowerment

IANS  |  United Nations 

has held up Sunita Kashyap, the of Umang, as an example of women empowering themselves and coming up with solutions to their problems.

While women face challenges, "rural women act as a major source of innovation, and ideas," he told the inaugural session of the (CSW) meeting here on Monday.

"Take, for example, a woman named Her organisation supports 3,000 women farmers in to grow and sell their own crops.

"These kinds of women do not need our help, in finding solutions" he added. "What they need is our support, in turning their ideas into reality."

This year's meeting of the CSW focuses on achieving gender equality and empowerment of rural women and girls.

"The empowerment of rural women will result in opportunities," Lajcak said. "Not just for them - but "

He said that "until every woman, sitting in this room today, has the same rights, and the same opportunities, as the man sitting beside her," the calls for their empowerment should be kept up.

Kashyap founded Mahila Producers Co., an organisation in Uttarkhand run by women farmers and producers. Besides marketing their products, it runs a micro-credit programme.

Lajcak also cited the work of Mariama Mamane, a Kenyan who developed an to improve the availability of irrigation and drinking water, while also producing

UN said: "We often talk about empowering women. When women are already taking action, we need to listen to them and to support them."

"They may be experts on climate resilience and on sustainable development," he said.

"Centuries of patriarchy and discrimination have left a damaging legacy," he said. "We live in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture. And that is why the empowerment of women and girls is our common central objective."

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First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 18:44 IST