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Former Top Indian cop Dr. Kiran Bedi stresses the importance of raising self-dependent girls for a stronger society

INDIA’S first high-ranking female police officer, Dr. Kiran Bedi, renowned for her fearless and unwavering stance on crimes against women and corruption, was definite when she spoke on subjects close to her heart – women empowerment, education, and patriotism. The former lieutenant governor of Puducherry India was speaking to us in an exclusive interview at the Indian Embassy premises in Seef. She pointed out that historically, girls have been raised to be dependent on others, while boys are taught to be self-reliant. 

“I think we’re very far and we’re also close in some ways (from women empowerment) – far in the sense, the way girls have been brought up,” said Dr Bedi.

“Parents should bring up daughters to be self-dependent and like their brothers to be self-reliant. Girls should be taught to be providers for themselves, their families, and society as a whole through entrepreneurship, service, and financial independence from a young age. Unfortunately, many girls are still raised with the notion that they can continue to depend on others. The word “dependence” must be removed from their vocabulary to instill a sense of independence. By doing so, we can create a more equal and empowered society for all.” 

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Dr Bedi was visiting Bahrain as part of an educational conference organized by the Global Higher Education Exhibition. As the keynote speaker, she addressed the topic of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. During her visit, she also interacted with women in an event organized by the Indian Ladies Association at the Indian Embassy.  

“Women empowerment will happen when homes bring up girls independent and self-reliant. This means they are given the freedom to choose what they want to go into in life – be it public service, business or entrepreneurship, or into a life of giving or being a homemaker – it’s perfectly fine – you are happy with your choices. So women must be given their choices to choose from.”

Speaking on education trends amongst the new generation, Dr. Bedi cited that entrepreneurship was the spirit. 

“Entrepreneurship is not about side-lining education. It’s about identifying where a young person’s passions and skills lie and helping them become employable in their chosen profession or service.”

Education plays an important role in this process, she added, emphasizing the importance of continuous education or being a “life-long learner” in remaining successful in the chosen field.

Dr. Bedi also expressed pride and happiness at the Indian diaspora in Bahrain and its positive contributions to the cultural, social, and economic fabric of the kingdom. 

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