United Nations: India on Tuesday said it is committed to working with the United Nations' body on women empowerment in its efforts to achieve gender equality and asked nations to extend their financial support to the one-year-old entity.
   
Addressing a session of UN Women here, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said India is "steadfast" in its commitment to the global, regional and national efforts to achieve gender equality, empowerment of women and gender mainstreaming.

"India will not be found wanting in our support and cooperation to realize the shared vision envisaged in the creation of UN Women," he said.

The UN body which became operational in January 2011 scaled down its resource mobilisation targets to 700 million dollars for 2012-2013 in view of the constrained global financial environment.
   
"Nevertheless,we urge donors to not let contributions flag, particularly in today's difficult development landscape where women as a vulnerable section are more adversely impacted than otherwise, and need all the support they can get," Puri said.
   
The Indian government has pledged five million dollars to UN Women as part of its commitment to provide funding and the first million dollars was handed over in April this year.
   
India will contribute another one million dollars to UN Women in the coming days.
 
Puri noted that India, which is home to more than 500 million women, firmly believes that ensuring the rightful place of women in society is not only a moral imperative but an essential pre-requisite for achieving peace, prosperity and sustainable development.

He said India has implemented a slew of measures over the years that focus on the socio-economic upliftment of women with special emphasis on education, health, employment, micro-finance, access to agricultural land, social security.

 Meanwhile, UN Women applauded the determined efforts of Afghan women activists who worked relentlessly to ensure gender equality issues remain on the agenda of Afghanistan’s peace and transition process.

In the backdrop of a key conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, UN women, headed by Executive Director and Under Secretary-General, Michelle Bachelet, urged full participation of Afghan women in the country's development process, besides calling for more robust measures by national and local governments towards gender equality.

(Agencies)