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Girl Power! Over 800 Women compete in car Rally ahead of International Women’s Day in Mumbai

A picnic-like atmosphere reigned at Hotel Sahara where the flag-off took place at 8 a.m.

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Women rally in India, Wikimedia

Mumbai, March 5, 2017: Mumbai witnessed girl power at its brightest and strongest as over 800 ladies turned up to compete in an all-womens car rally here on Sunday.

A picnic-like atmosphere reigned at Hotel Sahara where the flag-off took place at 8 a.m. as one after the other over 260 freshly painted and decorated cars set off on their 150-kilometre quest for glory, according to a release.

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In a unique gesture, most of the participants used the occasion to send out their messages to the society, with women’s empowerment as the most common theme. ‘One girl with courage is a revolution’ screamed one message; ‘To hell with sugar n spice’ said another, ‘we are all about talent, commitment, guts, toughness’ it added.

Interestingly, demonetisation was another popular theme with a number of colours painted in the colours of the new 2000-rupee note. Pink and green were the most common colours while a brave young girl turned her car into a chariot, with five stallions painted on her bonnet.

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The rally, organised by Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) for the third year in succession to mark International Women’s Day, is primed to create road safety awareness for ladies and is blessed by the FMSCI, the parent body for motor sports in the country.

The winners will be felicitated at a grand awards function on March 8, International Women’s Day. (IANS)

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Progress for Women is Slow and Unequal: UN

UN: Progress for Women Is Slow, Uneven, at Risk of Reversals

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Women equality
U.N. Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, pictured in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in November 2019, says that “we see still .. the possibility to change and the possibility to move forward" on issues of women's well-being. VOA

By Margaret Besheer

Women are making gains globally in several areas, but 25 years after demanding action at a landmark conference in Beijing, the United Nations says progress has been slow and uneven and could even be reversed.

In a report released ahead of International Women’s Day, which is Sunday, the U.N. says men still overwhelmingly hold elected positions, make more money and have access to better jobs and education.

In addition, women in many parts of the world are still trying to overcome societal obstacles, including child marriage, illiteracy, domestic violence and lack of access to family planning. Rural and indigenous women face even more hurdles, in addition to discrimination and deeper poverty.

Seize the chances

“We see still, even within these conditions, the possibility to change and the possibility to move forward,” U.N. Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said at the launch of the report Thursday. “We want to seize those opportunities.” Some countries already have. The report found that Latin America is one of the few regions where women’s participation in the labor force has increased over the past 20 years.

Women equality
Women celebrate after registering the Feminist Alternative Party (PAF) in the Electoral Service and starting the legal process to become a political party, at the Electoral Service office in Santiago, Chile. VOA

“Countries like Chile and Uruguay have boosted child care coverage because they have recognized that women’s economic empowerment will not become a reality if families are lacking that kind of support,” said Silke Staab, research and data specialist for U.N. Women. “This has allowed them to catch up or even leapfrog some developed countries where child care coverage has stagnated.”

While much of sub-Saharan Africa struggles to provide access to family planning, two countries — Ethiopia and Rwanda — have made it a priority. In the last 20 years, access to contraception has grown by 40%, and the gaps between urban and rural access also have narrowed.

Investment in infrastructure, staff

The U.N. says it is because these governments have invested in health infrastructure, trained staff and improved both the quality of and access to health services.

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While there have been advances in keeping more girls in school, getting laws on the books to help and protect women and nearly halving the rate of maternal mortality, work must be accelerated on closing and narrowing the remaining gender gaps, the U.N. said. “What is needed now is a concerted drive to scale up, expand and deepen policies and programs that can move the needle on women’s rights to the benefit of all,” said U.N. Women’s Staab. (VOA)

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Twitter Unveils Special Emoji on Occasion of International Womens’ Day 2020 With #EveryWoman

Honouring #EveryWoman's voice on the platform, Twitter India is celebrating these five inspiring women on International Women's Day: Chinmayi Sripaada, Dutee Chand, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Shereen Bhan and Late Sushma Swaraj

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Twitter
According to the social media platform Twitter, in the first few months of 2020 there was an 87 per cent growth in conversations in India to do with women's day and women's empowerment when compared to the same months in 2019 (January 1 - February 25). Pixabay

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, micro-blogging site Twitter on Friday launched a special emoji with the hashtag ‘#EveryWoman’.

Globally, there have been 125 million Tweets about feminism and equality over the past three years. Conversations are closely tied to International Women’s Day, which is on March 8, the platform said.

“At Twitter, we see incredibly vibrant and diverse voices on our platform, from those engaging in joyful everyday conversations, to strong women who raise awareness about issues that matter,” said Maya Hari (@maya_hari), Vice President, Asia Pacific at Twitter.

Through #EveryWoman, we want to highlight every shade and every kind of Indian woman, and honour those who are transforming how we are perceived in the workplace and beyond,” Hari added.

According to the social media platform, in the first few months of 2020 there was an 87 per cent growth in conversations in India to do with women’s day and women’s empowerment when compared to the same months in 2019 (January 1 – February 25).

Twitter
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, micro-blogging site Twitter on Friday launched a special emoji with the hashtag ‘#EveryWoman’. Pixabay

Top five hashtags for women-related conversations on Twitter in India from 2017 till now, included — #MeToo/#MeTooIndia, #SareeTwitter, #GirlsWhoDrinkBeer, #LahuKaLagaan and #JhumkaTwitter, the company said.

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Honouring #EveryWoman’s voice on the platform, Twitter India is celebrating these five inspiring women on International Women’s Day: Chinmayi Sripaada, Dutee Chand, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Shereen Bhan and Late Sushma Swaraj. (IANS)

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Usage of Unaccounted Cash Still Prevalent in Market: Report

Large cash transactions still present in resale realty market

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Unaccounted cash
Significant usage of unaccounted cash is still prevalent in the secondarly real estate market. Pixabay

It has been three years since demonetisation which was implemented with the aim to curb and eradicate black money. But according to a report released on Wednesday, significant usage of unaccounted cash is still prevalent in the secondarily real estate market.

The report prepared by Anarock Property Consultants said that up to 30 per cent of the total transaction value in the secondary or resale residential maket in India can still be paid in cash.

However, the primary sales market in tier-I cities offer the least scope for unaccounted wealth in property deals, it said.

“Demonetization in November 2016 sent Indian residential real estate — till then a preferred laundromat for unaccounted wealth — into an almost terminal tailspin. Even three years after DeMo, the battle is only half-won,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman Aof Anarock Property Consultants.

“The secondary or resale residential real estate market still accommodates black money; at least 30 per cent of the total cost of resale property can still be paid in cash. While more and more buyers and sellers prefer official payment routes as a matter of principle, many still use the resale property market to launder untaxed cash,” he added.

Cash in market
Many buyers use the resale property market to launder untaxed cash. Pixabay

As per the report, while the trend in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and the National Capital Region (NCR), which are historically notorious for black money in real estate, has tamed considerably in primary sales, their resale property markets still see cash components.

As much as 20-25 per cent of the total resale property cost can still be “adjusted” with black money, it said, adding that in Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad, the prevalence of transparent payment routes, even on the resale market, is much higher.

“Unlike the primary sales market, the resale market still lacks strict regulations, making it easier for buyers and sellers to use cash components.

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Also, the primary sales market involves developers with a reputation to protect, while a resale property transaction involves two individuals. The pricing of resale properties also lacks transparency,” the report said.

In the case of direct sales by developers, there are readily-available pricing benchmarks, while in the secondary market, a seller can inflate the price of a property based on location, added features and so on without stating on the books. (IANS)