Women leaders take stock of gender status

The three-day international women’s conference on ‘Women and Technology  was inaugurated at the Art of Living campus on Friday.

Women leaders and entrepreneurs from 55 countries are participating in the conference.

Lulama Xingwana, minister for women, children and people with disabilities, South Africa shared that her country, a young democracy, has progressed in women development with nearly 43 per cent women as MPs and  43 per cent women as ministers. “Our target is to reach 50 per cent,” she added.

Shiren Ibrahim Fattah, representative, Kurdish Government, Iraq, said after Iraq got independence, women’s rights is gathering momentum. As much as 25 per cent of members in the parliament are women. “Many laws have been reformed in their favour including the family laws”, she added.

Orna Sagiv, Consul General of Israel, Israel Consulate, Mumbai, said that girls choosing science and technology as career is still low in Israel.

“Even in advanced countries, managerial posts in technology are held by men.  A woman can bring the right ratio of fashion, passion and compassion to technology, which is why we need to shed fear of technology and make more women comfortable with it,” she said.

“In India, we see islands of development in a sea of under development,” observed Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Purandeswari.

Men are migrating from rural India to urban areas, while 80 per cent of agrarian activity is done by women, she said.

Art of Living founder Ravi Shankar spoke about the women’s reservation bill and why every party should support it and ensure that it gets passed. “Vested interests should not spoil executing such bills which would bring about gender equality,” he added.

Source: Deccan Herald

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