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International Women’s Day: Eight actionable areas for women’s empowerment

Courtesy: Asian Media USA

By Arpit Gupta

Today i.e. March 8, marks the 108th observance of International Women’s Day that celebrates the social, economic, and political achievements of all women across the globe.

The roots of this celebration of feminity can be traced back to 1909 when women across America, marched for their better social status and equality on February 28. The event was known as National Women’s Day. International Women’s Day was initiated two years later in 1911 after Luis Zietz, a German socialist, stressed on the need for a global celebration of the event at a socialist International meeting in Copenhagen in 1910.

Even though many measures have been implemented for the empowerment of women in the last 100 years, still there are many issues facing women, which are yet to be tackled. Here are the eight important things that need to be done for women’s empowerment:

1. No violence against women: Violence against women is an affront to the foundation of fundamental rights, women’s dignity, and their decency. Even today rape and sexual violence are very frequent and their perpetrators are getting indirect support of their communities. Men and boys have a critical role to play in reversing the pandemic of violence against women.

2. Justice and security for women: Laws are there for women, but they need to be enforced within legal frameworks. Women need to know their rights and be able to access legal systems. Customs, traditions, or religious beliefs should never serve as an excuse or as justification for any abusive act against women.

3. Expansion of women’s participation and leadership: Women need skills and motivation to lead their lives on their own terms and contribute to all sectors of society. Women are often denied access to business transaction, land ownership, etc. This could be rectified by allowing women equal opportunities in all spheres of life and imparting them skills to take up leadership roles.

4. Involvement of women in all peace processes: Women must be involved in all stages of peace talks as negotiators. Peace agreement offers opportunities for inclusiveness, democratic reform, and gender equality. Gender provisions must be included in peace agreements and given priority.

5. Promotion of gender equality in disaster risk reduction: Women need to be incorporated in the analysis of disaster risk and in designing risk reduction process.

6. Promotion of women as leaders: Women should be given equal opportunities for livelihood, including access to land and credit. Rebuilding in key sectors such as transportation, shelter and health must benefit women. They should be groomed to take up leadership in various initiatives, as well as to innovate and become entrepreneurs.

7. Transformation of government to deliver for women: There is a need to engage women in the decision making process on government policies and resource mobilization.

8. Working together to transform society: Women organizations and networks need to be united in their work towards empowering women.

We must all be dedicated to give women, their rights and make them walk along with men not behind them

The author is an undergraduate student pursuing Mechanical Engineering at IIT-Roorkee. His twitter handle is: @Arpit2476667

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Accenture, Grameen Foundation’s apps to boost women’s financial inclusion

Accenture Labs in collaboration with the non-profit Grameen Foundation has developed two artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR)-based applications that can boost rural women's access to financial services

Accenture releases app to empower women. IANS

Accenture Labs in collaboration with the non-profit Grameen Foundation has developed two artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR)-based applications that can boost rural women’s access to financial services.

The apps — Emotional Analytics for Social Enterprises (EASE) and Grameen Guru — will be rolled out by Grameen Foundation India across 300 villages in the states of Maharashtra and Odisha, Accenture Labs said in a statement on Wednesday.

Leveraging AI and AR-based technologies, the applications will help users better understand financial products and services, enabling them to make informed choices that positively impact their financial and social well-being.

mobile apps that all women should have
This app will empower rural women. Wikimedia Commons

“This is a tremendous example of how technology can help bridge the vast cultural and educational divide in places like India, having a real impact on the way people work and live,” said Sanjay Podder, Managing Director, Accenture Labs India.

EASE is an AI-based web and mobile app that helps microfinance advisors gain real-time insights into the emotional and cognitive status of their clients, based on video and audio inputs.

Helping to improve cross-cultural communication, the tool provides deeper insights on precisely what topics or keywords attract attention, or cause clients to disengage. On the other hand, Grameen Guru is a smartphone-based multilingual chatbot that leverages AR technology to help clients who cannot read and understand written material.

Also Read: Twitter allows third-party apps for account verification

Using the app, a user can hold their phone over a brochure that details available financing options, for example, and the Guru virtual assistant will pop up and prompt a conversation in the local language to explain the material.

“Barriers — ranging from illiteracy to a lack of bank branches in rural areas, coupled with a lack of confidence and access to information — hinder adoption for millions of low-income women in India,” said Prabhat Labh, CEO, Grameen Foundation India. The use of these new technologies will enable effective economic empowerment of women, he noted. IANS