Time for action: 'Keep women at focus of future policy and plans'

Navaratri festival celebrations

Navartri celebrations in Ilford a few years ago - Credit: Archant

Last week saw millions of Hindus around the world celebrate Navratri, a nine-day festival dedicated to the prayer and reflection to the feminine nature of the divine. 

Over the nine-day period, Hindus dedicate three days each to praying to Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and  Saraswati. Those who are aspiring towards strength, wealth or knowledge would dedicate each of their prayers to Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati respectively.

Pray and worship took place in the form of song, dance and reflection.

The festival demonstrates the central role of women in the Hindu faith. However, beyond the realms of spirituality and worship, I believe the festival reinforces and reminds us of the critical and pivotal role of women in societies, communities and religions across the world.

Pranav Bhanot wants all faith communities to put a greater focus on mental health issues.

Pranav Bhanot says that there needs to be an unwavering focus on women across all communities - Credit: Archant

Just as a cornerstone of the festival is the focus on female divinity, empowerment and strength, I believe there needs to be an unwavering focus on the same on a day-to-day practical level.

Whether it is the gender pay gap in the City, shattering the glass ceiling in Canary Wharf or the safety of women in Clapham, leaders and decision-makers need to ensure women are at the forefront of future policy and plans.

Recent events and protests across the country have highlighted the need for this. I believe it is time talk is translated into more action. 

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