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8 things India needs to learn from Cuba on women empowerment

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6.6.10CubanParadeUCByLuigiNovi5

By Meghna

Most of us, by now, will be familiar with the contents of the open letter which Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal wrote to India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

In the letter, which has also been broadcasted on AIR, Kejriwal is pointing out how women are feeling increasingly insecure in Delhi and how the Police has not exactly been efficient in ensuring their safety.

The law and order situation and the resultant lapse in the safety of the denizens are indeed things to be concerned about.

When it comes to ensuring the safety of women and providing them with equal rights, maybe no other country stands at par with Cuba. Cuba is perhaps the only country in Latin America where women are completely equal in terms of work, wages, education and healthcare.

India is a force to be reckoned with and there is hardly any doubt. But when it comes to ensuring equal rights and opportunities to women, we should look westwards, or at least towards Cuba.

NewsGram brings you the eight achievements of Cuban society post the Revolution of 1950s that the Indian society and system should seriously look at and absolutely consider adapting.

  1. According to a United Nations Survey on Women in Politics, Cuba occupies the third position in the world in terms of percentage of women in unicameral parliaments. 45.2% of seats in Cuban parliament are occupied by women.

  2. Cuba is the only nation of Latin America to be ranked among top 20 countries in the World Economic Forum Global Gender-gap Report of 2011.

  3. 50% of Cuban workforce is women.

  4. Literacy rate of Cuba is 100% and the percentage of literate women is 99%.

  5. Cuba has an advanced healthcare system and has significantly low Maternal Mortality Rates and life expectancy of women is approximately 80 years.

  6. Women and Men are mandated by law that they have equal responsibilities towards their households.

  7. Cuban women get a total of 18 weeks paid maternity leave with an extra 2 weeks if the birth is delayed and they also have the option of an extended leave with 60% pay until the child is one year old.

  8. Cuba has very high percentage of women enrolled in primary, secondary and tertiary education.

 

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  • Just wow!!! Cuba also has a very good healthcare system and its sustainable agriculture is inspirational even to developed countries. All success is due to their collective thirst for freedom and their revolution.

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Star ICC Asks Anonymous Accuser Of Sexual Assault Charges To Step Forward

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were "clear instructions" given to make the sales team fulfil the targets.

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Star ICC
#MeToo: Star India internal panel writes to anonymous accuser to come forward

The Internal Complaints Committee of Star India on Sexual Harassment (Star ICC) has written to the anonymous accuser — who had alleged “sexual exploitation” of women employees — asking her to reach out to the committee or its external member on allegations made by her in tweets.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Star ICC, formed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 said it had reached out to the accuser through two emails on the ID provided by her through her tweets. The committee’s external member is Veena Gowda, a Mumbai-based woman rights lawyer.

The accuser, who tweeted through handle @ApurvaS17 — saying she would remain anonymous — had made sexual harassment allegations against the company’s officials in an open letter.

Star ICC
Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt.

Asked to comment on the allegations, a Star India spokesperson said in a statement that despite no response by the anonymous accuser to the messages sent, the Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy” in respect of the allegations.

“We strongly urge any genuine complainant to approach the Star ICC. At Star, we stand with women in drawing the line on any behaviour that violates human dignity or the ability for women to pursue their dreams with respect and freedom. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment,” read the statement in response to an email query by IANS.

It also said that the anonymous tweet shared on October 13 raised an allegation that “runs completely counter to everything we believe in and the norms and values that we deeply embrace.”

The statement further said: “Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt to malign and defame the reputation of the company and the CEO.” It said that Star reserves its right to initiate appropriate legal proceedings in this regard.

Star ICC
The Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy.

The accuser in her tweets had said that the #MeToo movement had encouraged her to come forward and that she had quit her job at Star India in the Airtime Sales section after 26 months and nine days and was now a homemaker, “taking care of my baby and hubby in a beautiful country, far away from Mumbai.”

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were “clear instructions” given to make the sales team fulfil the targets in case they want to continue with their employment contract, “for which even if you have to take the clients to a hotel room and sleep with them for days.”

She said there were many instances when she and three of her female colleagues (interns) had clear instructions to reach a hotel after office hours for a private party hosted for influential friends.

Also Read: India’s Junior Foreign Minister M.J. Akbar Quits Following #MeToo Harassment Allegation By Women

She says the influential friends were “mostly bureaucrats and sometimes politicians and foreign nationals” who were “all ready to violate you, force you to dance against your wishes, drink with them, make drink(s) for them, exchange your numbers and even quietly accompany them to their respective rooms if they want you to”.

Veteran writer-director Vinta Nanda, who earlier this month accused actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her 19 years ago, wrote on Twitter: “I’m neither shocked nor surprised. I salute your courage to have come out and spoken out. The rot runs deep.” (IANS)