Education is one of the main pillars of bilateral relations between the United States and India, American Ambassador Nancy J. Powell said.
"It is to our mutual benefit that our countries work together and one of the areas of great importance is education. Education is the great equaliser and the key to helping our young women achieve their goals," Powell told students at the Modern High School for Girls.
She said that for these and many other reasons, education has become one of the main pillars in the bilateral partnership between India and the United States. At present there are around 100,000 Indian students studying in the US where Indians represent one of the top two nationalities among its international students.
"However, only 30 per cent of the Indian students going to the US to study are women. It is of paramount importance to me that we increase this number and see more women taking advantage of the opportunity to receive an international education," Powell said.
Stating that they are stepping up efforts to increase the number of young women studying in the US, the Ambassador urged the girl students to consider studying in America as it will be an experience that will benefit them, the US-India relationship and the future.
"The United States believes gender equality is critical to our shared goals of prosperity, stability, peace, and that investing in women and girls worldwide is critical to advancing our shared interests and the US bilateral relationship," she said.
Powell said education is close to her heart because of her background as a teacher and because of its tremendous role in elevating people out of poverty and providing women and girls a chance to succeed.
"The issue of gender equality is important to all of us because reports show direct linkages between women's engagement in the economy, politics, and society of a country and that country's status across a range of social indicators," she said.