Thursday October 19, 2017
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Smriti Irani ji, you got it all wrong!

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Nirbhaya rape case

By- Tarun Pratap

Smriti Irani drew a sharp reaction from the audience when she, in an interview with a US journalist Tina Brown, said that Indian women were not dictated by anyone regarding what to wear and how to live their life in general.

Later, she remarked that she was not dictated growing up and does not come from a celebrated family. Irani, replying to a Catch News tweet that she was booed on stage, tweeted, “that awkward moment when those who claim free speech not possible openly boo n get a calm response (sic).”

While, the credit has to be given that her response was calm and people booing a minister is a good sign for the democracy, but it can’t be ignored that Irani’s comment proves that either she is glorifying the condition of women in India or she is just not aware of it.

Irani’s comment is not the reflection of the society. She might have been fortunate that her parents provided her freedom to live her life in her own ways but in a country like India women, usually, do not get to enjoy this. This is not just about rural India but even in the urban or the most developed part of the region, women are still seen only as the second foil.

A country where women and young girls get raped and half of the political leaders blame it on their clothes or mobile phone and what not, it is an absurd comment from the minister that women in India do not get dictated.

We haven’t been able to solve the female foeticide (and infanticide) problem completely. When a girl is not even safe in her mother’s womb in many parts of India, how can it be said that women are not dictated and that they are free to live their life in their own ways?

Even in the most developed nations, women are fighting for freedom and equality. In their comparison, the feminist moment in our country is still a nascent idea.

There are nations where women are treated as second-class citizens. They are fighting a long battle for equal rights, not only on paper but in practice. In India, as Ram Manohar Lohia’s intersection method proves that caste, religions etc have multiple impacts on the same person. It means, a woman in our society is repressed, but a woman from Dalit section will be repressed even more.

With so many issues concerning the nation, women are still waiting for their chance to be heard.  India hasn’t been able to give equality to all of its men, and women definitely come second in the policymakers’ thoughts, no matter how big their claims are.

Maybe, Smriti Irani needs a reality check that saying ‘oh, you were told? My apologies, ladies’, won’t help women. She doesn’t have to go far to know about the women’s condition. She can just look at the concentration of women in parliament or ministries, and she will realise that women are merely a fraction.

Comments like this, and then going hard at your critics, is what brings so much of flak to Smriti Irani. Nobody is questioning that if she deserves being a minister or not, but people do not deserve to hear such comments, even at a UN forum, which clearly are not the reflection of the society.

Maybe, Smriti Irani gave this comment because she was trying to create a good image of India in front of Tina Brown, but then she should know that a rape case takes down every claim, right or wrong, made by the government and the people.

It would be rather a better idea to work for women and make their lives easier than to just talk about it. There should not even be scope for such articles in media. Our HRD Minister hopefully will try to provide the same life for women that she had. The life of equality, of freedom, to be whoever you want to be.

Excerpts from her speech:

(Image credit: http://media.npr.org/)

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Assam Government signs a MoU with Google India to expand Internet Connectivity

It will provide Internet connections to 26,000 villages and 1,500 tea garden areas in Assam

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Assam Government has signed MoU with Google India to expand Internet Connectivity
Assam Government has signed MoU with Google India to expand Internet Connectivity. Pixabay

Guwahati, Assam, September 8, 2017: The Assam government on Thursday signed a MoU with Google India to take Internet connectivity to the remotest part of the north-eastern state.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the government would work to provide Internet connections to 26,000 villages and 1,500 tea garden areas in Assam under the MoU and thus increase digital literacy.

Information Technology Secretary Nitin Khare and Google India Country Head (Policy) Chetan Krishnaswami signed the Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of Sonowal.

“Technology rules the roost in the 21st century and the state government has upped the ante to use technology to carry forward the fruits of development to the remotest parts of Assam,” the Chief Minister said.

He said the ties with Google was a way forward to strongly pitch Guwahati as a natural gateway to the South-East Asian countries.

Sonowal said his government in sync with the Centre was working for the success of Startup initiative but the success of such programmes sans technology would be a distant dream.

“The MoU will be used as a launchpad to achieve the state government’s vision of women empowerment, skill development, and universal education,” he said.

The Chief Minister asked the Information Technology Department to take steps to make technology acceptable and favourable among the rural populace so as to catalyse rural development. (IANS)

 

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A welcome step for women empowerment laws, soon to be introduced law will help to prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages: Rakesh Srivastava

Rakesh Srivastava talked about increasing women employment, equal work participation, and gender equality

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A soon to be introduced law will help in women empowerment as it will prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages
A soon to be introduced law will help in women empowerment as it will prevent women’s abuse in NRI marriages. Pixabay
  • Efforts are required for training and skill up-gradation of women in traditional, new and emerging areas to promote women’s employment
  • In November the government will honor 100 women achievers
  • Gender Equality is still not reflected in ‘participation in economic activities’ which is not a good thing for women empowerment

New Delhi (India), September 7, 2017: Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development said that very soon a law will be finalized which will protect Indian women who are abandoned by their NRI husbands or foreign partners. He said this on 6th September 2107. It will be a praiseworthy step for women empowerment.

Srivastava was present for the inauguration ceremony of 2nd Conference on Women at the workplace- “Role of Leadership”, New Delhi. The Conference was organized by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

Women Empowerment by increasing job opportunities for women

According to ANI report, Rakesh Srivastava said “India has taken a lead role in gender budgeting in the world. Efforts are also required for training and skill up-gradation of women in traditional, new and emerging areas to promote women’s employment in both organized/unorganized sectors, including entrepreneurial development.”

Women Achievers will be honored

Srivastava also informed that in November the government will honor 100 women achievers. The event will be held in Hyderabad and will possibly be attended by The US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump. The government decided to honor women achievers will inspire other women to reach great heights of success, this step will foster women empowerment.

Equal Opportunities for Women

He further added that if suitable strategies and also laws which help in women empowerment are implemented- it will ensure equal opportunities for women to enter as well as enjoy decent work in a healthy work environment. This will also include fair and equal wages, health measures, social security measures and occupational safety.

Also Read: Misery of the outcast wives in India by their NRI husbands

Knowledge about Gender Equality will increase Women Empowerment

He cited that gender equality is critical for the development of any country. Srivastava said that by removing barriers which prevent women from having the same access to economic opportunities, education, and productive inputs as men will lead to productivity gains. It is a crucial step to be taken in today’s globalized and competitive world.

Srivastava said, “India has been ranked 87 out of 144 countries on the latest World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report 2016, but in the economic sphere, much work remains to be done as India ranks 136 in this pillar out of 144 countries.” He added that gender equality is still not reflected in ‘participation in economic activities’ which is not a good thing for women empowerment.

Workforce Participation Rate in Men v/s Women

“In 2011, the workforce participation rate at all India level is 25.51% for women as compared to 53.26% for men. While there is no urban-rural gap for males (53%), there is a considerable rural-urban gap for females, when workforce participation rate for rural women is 30% it is only 15.4% for urban women,” Srivastava said, mentions ANI report.

Also Read: In Netherlands, PM Narendra Modi pitches for Women Empowerment in India

Women Empowerment by building women’s Hostels for widows and women in distress

Rakesh Srivastava, the secretary of Ministry of Women and Child Development also shared that the government is working on women’s hostels that can also be utilized by the widows and women in distress in India.

Srivastava said “Women form an integral part of the Indian workforce. They need to be equal partners in the society for them to be equal participants in work. Women have to contend with discriminatory laws, institutions and attitudes that restrict their leadership and full participation in public life.” He added that what prevents women from becoming effective leaders is unequal access to resources.

October 15 will be observed as ‘Women Farmer’s Day’ all thanks to Krishna Raj, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. This move by a minister, noticing rural women’s contribution in farming paves way for women empowerment of rural women.

Krishna Raj said, “Women can make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home.”


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Miss Transqueen India 2017 : Delhi Says Be-YOU-tiful, Gears Up to Host Transgender Beauty Pageant on August 27

Recently, Kerala hosted the first ever Indian transgender beauty pageant. Now its time for Delhi to bring together trans-women for a national competition.

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Organizers believe the pageant will be a 'symbol of change' for the Indian trans community. Wikimedia
  • Delhi-NCR to hold a one-of-its-kind national beauty pageant for Indian trans-women
  • The competition aims to augment acceptability of the minority community and help them find stable jobs

New Delhi, August 23, 2017 : The struggle for acceptance, visibility and protection by transgender individuals has a long history. Of late, the issue has come under radar as steps are now being taken to bring the community at par with the mainstream society. To further these efforts, the capital city is now gearing up to host a one-of its-kind beauty pageant for Indian trans-women on August 27.

In this unique competition which will be hosted in Gurugram (Delhi-NCR region) sixteen trans-women from all over the country will compete for the coveted title of ‘Miss Transqueen India 2017‘.

The winner of the crown will also get an opportunity to represent India at the ‘Miss International Transqueen’ which has been scheduled to take place in Thailand next year.

The Miss Transqueen 2017 competition aims celebrate trans beauty and to inculcate confidence among Indian trans-women who are often self-stigmatized due to the society’s alien behavior.

More recently, Kerala hosted the first ever Indian transgender beauty pageant on June 15 which was attended by people in large numbers.

The Miss Transqueen Indian 2017 event is being organized and managed by the event-management firm Suhani Dreamcatchers. According to a report by PTI, Reena Rai, the founder of the firm highlighted that transgender people are often made to feel ‘different’ in the Indian society, who think they are only good enough for begging or unskilled work. “We want to change this. Our beauty pageant and its grooming sessions offer hope and is a symbol for change,” she said.

ALSO READ India’s First ever Transgender Athletics meet in Kerala

The competition bears its roots in India’s various campaigns for gender equality and empowerment, and aims to augment acceptance of trans-women in the Indian society and help them find respectable work in different mainstream industries like fashion, television, films and the likes.

The 16 shortlisted participants, who are now preparing for the Delhi competition, were chosen after several rounds of nationwide auditions that saw as many as 1,500 entries. The participants have also undergone rigorous training under close supervision of several well-known grooming experts from the industry.

Educator and grooming expert Avleen Khokhar, who is also associated with the event, believes in the importance of such platforms to empower the third gender.

According to her, “The transgender community is India is being denied education and jobs due to persistent discrimination.” She strongly propagates that competitions and platforms like these are not only necessary to further inclusion of this minority community into the mainstream Indian society but also provide the third gender with “an opportunity to embrace and empower themselves.”

ALSO READ: India becoming more Transgender- Friendly: Read this report

The event, which is slated for August 27, is expected to host big names from the country. The winner of the pageant will be crowned by Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 Laetica Phylliscia Raveena.


 

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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