Financially empowered women are a bulwark against societal evils, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said while interacting with more than one crore women associated with various self-help groups across the country. For women empowerment financial independence is necessary. Women are enterprising, they dont need to be taught, only need to be given opportunities to perform, he said during the interaction through the Underlining the importance of women empowerment especially in rural areas for overall development of the society, Modi said women in the country have huge potential in them and need to realise their capabilities. Financial independence makes a woman assertive and empowered. Financially empowered women are a bulwark against societal evils, he said. The prime minister appreciated the role of women self-help groups in the development of rural areas. Since 2014 the government has created 20 lakh self-help groups on priority, and over 2.25 crore families have been brought into their fold, he said. So far 45 lakh women self-help groups have been created with 5 crore active women participants. in fact these groups have added one more earning member in these five crore families in rural areas, he said. Modi also noted that agriculture and animal husbandry sectors, which are vital for the rural economy cannot run without the participation of women. During the interaction, women also shared their inspiring and touching stories and how the self-help groups have helped them improve their lives. Modi said women self-help groups are laying the foundation of financial prosperity in rural areas and added that women in the country have the potential to transform the society.