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Top Hollywood women unveiled a sexual harassment initiative

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Top Hollywood women unveiled a sexual harassment initiative
A combination photo shows some of the actresses who have made allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein. Listed in alphabetical order, top row from left, Asia Argento, Rosanna Arquette, Jessica Barth, Cara Delevingne, Romola Garai, Judith Godreche, Heather Graham, Angelina Jolie. VOA
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USA, Jan 1, 2018: More than 300 top women in Hollywood — from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence to Emma Thompson and Cate Blanchett — unveiled an initiative Monday to tackle pervasive sexual harassment in workplaces, calling special attention to their “sisters” in less than glamorous blue-collar jobs.

The initiative, dubbed Time’s Up, caps a year in which the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal touched off a deluge of allegations that brought down powerful men in entertainment, politics and the media, prompting companies, government agencies and even the U.S. federal court system to re-examine harassment policies.

But in an open letter printed in The New York Times, the new initiative lends the star power of its A-list members to the cause of women in less prominent fields, urging support and respect for farm workers and others whose humble positions leave them vulnerable and voiceless.

“We fervently urge the media covering the disclosures by people in Hollywood to spend equal time on the myriad experiences of individuals working in less glamorized and valorized trades,” the group says in its full-page ad.

“To every woman employed in agriculture who has had to fend off unwanted sexual advances from her boss, every housekeeper who has tried to escape an assaultive guest, every janitor trapped nightly in a building with a predatory supervisor, every waitress grabbed by a customer and expected to take it with a smile … we stand with you. We support you.”

$15 million goal

Last month, the head of Ford Motor Company apologized to employees at two factories in Chicago and promised changes, after a scathing expose by the Timesdetailed pervasive harassment and mistreatment of women at the plants dating back to the 1990s. It was one of the first major media investigations into sexual harassment in blue-collar workplaces.

Among the specific steps it announced, Time’s Up has established a legal defense fund that, in just 12 days, has raised $13.4 million toward a $15 million goal aimed at providing legal aid for women and men who were sexually harassed, assaulted or abused in the workplace.

It has vowed to push for legislation to strengthen laws on workplace harassment and discrimination.

The group insists that more women must be brought into positions of power and leadership, while every woman should have equal benefits, opportunities, pay and representation.

As for Hollywood, it wants “swift and effective change to make the entertainment industry a safe and equitable place for everyone.”

And it called on women to wear black at Sunday’s Golden Globes as a statement against gender and racial inequality, and to raise awareness about the group’s efforts.

‘Dear Sisters’ 

The open letter in the Times, which also appears in the Spanish-language La Opinion, opens with the words “Dear Sisters” in large, bold type, and closes with the words “in solidarity,” followed by the names of the 300 women.

Several of Weinstein’s accusers signed the open letter. They include Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale, as well as Salma Hayek, whose lengthy account of mistreatment by Weinstein — “my monster,” she called him — was widely circulated on social media after appearing last month in The New York Times.

Weinstein has denied some of the allegations, including Hayek’s assertion that he pressured her to do a nude sex scene in one movie.

Other prominent women lending their names to the Time’s Up cause are actresses Natalie Portman, America Ferrera, Amy Schumer, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Keira Knightley, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Susan Sarandon, Uma Thurman and Viola Davis; producer Shonda Rhimes; Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley; feminist activist Gloria Steinem; lawyer and ex-Michelle Obama chief of staff Tina Tchen and Nike Foundation co-chair Maria Eitel. (VOA)

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7 new-age social issues in India that needs a check

Since decades, we people are countering issues like poverty, illiteracy, child marriage, caste system, gender inequality and endless to count further.

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India has become a hub of ever growing social issues
India has become a hub of ever growing social issues

NEW DELHI: Indian being a land of diverse culture and heritage does have a very complex society. People from all around the globe visited India and shared their traditional values. Thus, India did inherit a lot of ethnic varieties in the span of its thousands of years.

These all things make India a strong hold for people of diverse belief, languages, and colour. And at the same time also makes India a happening and vibrant place to live. But at the same time, it also makes us vulnerable to many kinds of social issues and problems. Due to the blind and adamant beliefs of people on their religion and caste, contradictory ideas are meant to creep into the society.

Since decades, we people are countering issues like poverty, illiteracy, child marriage, caste system, gender inequality and endless to count further. But with the changing scenario and thought process of our society, many more new problems have made their way into our lives. Such things are the real evil for our advancement and growth.
Let’s take a view on some of such issues, that we need to take up seriously before it becomes too late to act upon.

Triple Talaq
The whole Muslim community has been following the very notion of Triple Talaq since long and the Muslim women were the one to face the heat of such a ritual.

The three different types of Talaq in the Muslim society are Talaq –e-Ahsan , Talaq-e- Hasan and Talaq –e- Biddat. From all of these three talaqs, the Talaq –e- Biddat was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme court on 22nd August 2017. In Talaq –e- Biddat, if the husband says Talaq three types in one go, then the Talaq becomes irrevocable.

After this verdict, for the very first time, Muslim women came in full force to stand against this discrimination against them. Even Triple Talaq has banned n 22 Muslim countries all over the world.

Indian sex ratio is drastically declined due to girl infanticide. Wikimedia Commons
Indian sex ratio is drastically declined due to girl infanticide. Wikimedia Commons

Girl Infanticide
The urge of having a boy in India has taken a very spine-chilling consequence on the female population of our country. Haryana tops the chart of such a shameful practice, which is being exercised over the decades in our so-called democratic nation. Due to it, other social issues like sex determination have made their way into our society.

To counter such an adversary, the government launched a scheme called, ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ and made stringent laws to tackle crimes like these. The result of girl infanticide can be well gauged by taking a note of the figures of sex ratio of India.

 

Infant mortality rate
India’s run just behind China in terms of the population also makes us more open to the risks of childbirth. Most of such death takes place due to negligence or insufficient mean to cater the needs of a newborn. Also, the lack of proper vaccination goes equally into the list of things directly responsible for high infant mortality rate in India.

To quote the very recent example of Max Hospital in Delhi, where a newborn child was declared dead without proper checks by the hospital authorities. But later the child was found to be alive, only to last another week due to infection and lack of timely attention.

Such cases bring our attention to the laid-back approach of few people of our society and thus calls for strict action against social issues like this.

Juvenile Crimes
Another gruesome social issue to be nipped in its bud is Juvenile Crime. In the last half decade, this issue has wreaked havoc in the Indian society. The crimes committed by minors have increased many folds due to many reasons like illiteracy, poverty and their peer’s ignorant attitude. Another crucial reason that can be taken into account is the migration of people from urban areas to rural places. Due to this, it has become really hard for even state administration to keep a check on each and every one.

The biggest example of Juvenile crimes in recent times can be related to Nirbhaya incident, where among all the culprits, one was a Juvenile. It was after this incident only; laws were amended to punish such convicts.

Violence against women
India is a male dominant society has always shunned women of their rights and privileges. Women were barred from all the opportunities and were confined to the four walls of the house. Even today, the birth of a girl is not celebrated in many places of India. They have become a regular subject of physical and mental torture.

Their personal freedom is into shamble till date. They are thoroughly scrutinized about their movement and clothes. Some of the social issues that are been constantly inflicted upon them are dowry harassment, domestic violence, female infanticide, sexual harassment etc.

Dowry system
The term dowry goes back to the times when it was known by the name of ‘Kanyadan’. Kanyadan was a practice followed by the bride’s family, where there used to be a gift, ornaments, money, and property was given to the groom’s family. It was done in order to please the groom so that he could take proper care of her better half.

But with the traction of time, Kanyadan has remodeled into dowry. The modern-day dowry is seen as a sin our society due to the brutal consequences of it in our society. Nowadays, it has been become a practice to extort money by hiding behind the curtains of social stigma. In India, almost 10 thousand women lose their life due to this unfortunate repercussion of dowry system.

Social issues like reservation has handicapped the flow of development in India
Social issues like reservation has handicapped the flow of development in India

Reservation
A democratic country which boasts about equal rights privileges doesn’t qualify for it. The concept of reservation is a bane rather than a boon for a society like India. Reservation is a kind of roadblock for equal opportunities which are mentioned in the constitution of India.

This system was brought into place in order to uproot the menace of the caste system in India. As some sections of the society were being ill-treated by others. So, to balance the things out, the concept of the reservation was introduced. But today, it has become a hindrance to achieving a uniform growth in all spheres of work.