Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Thursday highlighted the need to promote gender balance in climate change policies.She was addressing the World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development on the theme "Women Political Leaders: Climate Change, Women Land Rights and Sustainable Development" in Nusa Dua (Bali, Indonesia) on Thursday.Mahajan underlined that climate change, women land rights and sustainable development were all inter-related and there was a need to address the issues and challenges associated with them. She noted that women faced disproportionate risks and greater burdens from the impact of poverty, climate change and other social, political and economic crises. As such, women's land rights were critical to secure them access to land and other natural resources for sustainable livelihoods and for assuring food security.Mahajan called upon stakeholders to evolve a broader conceptualization of land rights and access to productive resources which is pro-poor, gender inclusive and responsive to human rights. In India inheritance laws have been amended to entitle a daughter to inherit family property including land on par with the son, she added.
Highlighting that the 2030 Agenda and its actionable core of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) resemble India's vision of development, Mahajan noted that the Government of India's initiatives such as Smart Cities, Make in India, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save girl child, educate girl child), Swachh Bharat (Clean India), Jan Dhan Yojana (National Mission for Financial Inclusion), Digital India, Skill India, Startup India etc., closely relate to several targets under the SDGs. Mahajan said that the Indian parliament has been making consistent efforts to mainstream the role of women legislators in policy formation and programme implementation, particularly in the development sphere. Both the government and Parliament have taken a keen interest in the proper implementation of the SDGs and have committed to set aside one day during each seminar for a thorough discussion on the progress on SDGs, focusing on one particular goal at a time.