Toronto: Indian women are playing active part in strengthening the country's democratic institutions, Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar has said.
In the present Lok Sabha, the number of women MPs is just above 10 per cent; 58 MPs out of the 543 are women.
Kumar, the first woman Speaker of the lower house, said women empowerment was India's greatest achievement although the road to ensuring equitable representation of women in our legislative bodies still to be a long way off.
Speaking at a dinner hosted by the Consulate General of India in honour of the delegation, she said women were increasingly active in the quest for their own suffrage.
Kumar, who led the delegation to the Assembly of Inter- Parliamentary Union that was held in Canada's Quebec City this week, said women's full and equal participation in the political and economic arena was fundamental to democracy and justice.
Commending contributions made by Indo-Canadians, Kumar said that the vibrant Indian diaspora was the most valuable assets in the bilateral relations.
Kumar stressed the importance of the foundations laid by the Inter-parliamentary Union ( IPU) as a cornerstone to achieve peace and security, improve peoples' standard of living, reduce social discrepancies and promote human rights.
Among the members of the Indian delegation who attended the function were M Jagannath, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Jose K Mani, and Dr Mehboob Beg, all members of Parliament, T K Viswanathan, Secretary-General, Lok Sabha and Shumsher K Sheriff, Secretary-General, Rajya Sabha.
Referring to Indo-Canada relations, Kumar said that both countries were committed to strengthen bilateral economic and cultural ties. Indian companies have already invested over $10 billion in Canada and there were flow of investments in both the direction.
Preeti Saran, Consul General of India, said that the delegation was transiting through Toronto, after a very successful participation at the Inter Parliamentary Union Conference in Quebec City.
Naval Bajaj, President of Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, and Jagatjit Tripathy, Chair of Panorama India, hailed Prime Minister Stephen Harper's upcoming visit to India.