Unicef Global Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra on Saturday said she is a just an “instrument of change” and the real job of empowering women is supposed to be done by the government and society.
At a Unicef event, the Bollywood and Hollywood star said though there is nothing wrong with becoming a homemaker, young girls must be given their rights and be allowed to choose their career path.
“I am just an instrument of change. I am neither government nor am I Unicef. But I have a voice, I have a platform which you people have given me… Some change will be done I am sure when so many of you who are here will write about it,” Priyanka said.
The international star said she was privileged in her upbringing, with her parents being educated enough to allow her to carry on with her desires, but not everyone shares a similar destiny, and society must give the young girls their say and allow them an education.
“Some people say ‘what change I can make alone’, some say ‘we ourselves don’t have enough to eat, how can we contribute to this cause’… To them I would say, if you can’t donate money, then donate your compassion,” she said.
Emphasising on the role of girls in a household, Priyanka remarked on the “increasing number of old age homes”, which, she said, “might not happen if there are more daughters in the society”.
“The sex ratio in some states, I got to know about, is so low, which is so dangerous.”
The actor also praised government initiatives like ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ — the Central government’s flagship scheme — and said if everyone lends his and her support such a movement can become very big.
“It’s our house and it is our responsibility to clean it. We have nothing to learn from anyone. We are such a logical people. We run the tech for the entire world. We can change our society on our own,” the “Quantico” star said when asked by a reporter if she has any changes to suggest for India, something she noticed abroad.
“Adolescents today face a unique set of challenges. Giving them the tools to improve their lives will help create generations of economically-independent citizens who will actively contribute to their communities. Investment in adolescents can lift millions out of poverty by creating a constructive and skilled workforce,” she said.
India is home to more than 243 million adolescents, who account for a quarter of the country’s population. Ending child marriage, enabling access to secondary education and transition to work can be a game changer for India’s future growth and development, Unicef said in a statement.