New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Girls should be given opportunities equal to boys and they must have access to health and education for their empowerment, says noted actor and social activist Shabana Azmi.
'Amartya Sen has said that a country's progress cannot be measured by its GDP alone, but also by its Human Development Index, in which the empowerment of women and the girl child is a very important indicator,' Shabana said here Wednesday.
The 60-year-old actress was here for an event by Plan India - an organisation that works for child rights.
Though she was proud that women have occupied many influential positions in the country, Shabana asserted girls must be given their basic rights in the rural regions too.
'Our president is a woman, the Lok Sabha speaker is a woman, the Leader of Opposition (in the Lok Sabha) is a woman - it's extraordinary! Yes, there is political empowerment, but it is a sad fact that female infanticide is still being prevalent.
'Girls are being denied equal opportunities when it comes to access to education, health and anything that works towards empowerment. Girls are shoulder-to-shoulder with boys, but what is required is equal opportunities and this can come with education,' she added.
Shabana, who in the past has stood up for issues such as communalism and AIDS, also released Plan India's annual 'Because I am a girl' 2010 report.