New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee appealed for creation of adequate social awareness on women's rights and "barbaric" acts of violence against them. Mukherjee said that women have played and aspire to play a pivotal role in shaping the socio-political and economic development of our country.

"Only when our ancient civilization values of treating women with respect and dignity are formally embraced by us, can we consider ourselves a civilized society" he said while laying the foundation stone of the new building of National Commission for Women (NCW) named Nirbhyaya Bhawan.

Mukherjee stated that a greater sensitization of society was needed to accord due respect to women. He said that his appeal was to ensure that adequate social awareness is created on women's rights and against the evil of barbaric acts of violence and atrocities against women and children, such as those witnessed in the recent past.

The president said the NCW has distinguished itself through its sincere initiatives for the rights, dignity and development of women in our country. "It is therefore only appropriate that the commission, after 20 years of service dedicated to the cause of Indian women, should finally have its own permanent headquarters," he said.

He added that once installed in its own premises, the commission would be able to create a better infrastructure for its work, augment its capacity for outreach and also significantly enhance its functional efficiencies. The president also said the government of India is committed to equality and justice for all citizens - especially the marginalized - as envisaged in the constitution. The new building of the NCW has been named after the Dec 16, 2012, Delhi gang-rape victim who was identified as Nirbhaya by a section of the media.

(Agencies)

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