Women & Leadership Links

A Woman Leader for the Isolated Jungle Village of Jharki BisalpurThe New York Times

“When Sheila Devi was growing up in the village of Jharki Bisalpur, wild animals would frequently wander through, searching for water and food. She saw deer and wild boar, foxes, even a python. There were rumored tiger sightings. But in the last few years “even the animals have had the sense to move elsewhere” Mrs. Devi, now a Panchayat leader in her late thirties, says dryly.

Over the past few years, with no government assistance forthcoming, the villagers have become proactive. In 2011, Jharkhand held its first elections for a Panchayat or village government, and 50 percent of the seats were reserved for women. The Jharia Panchayat, of which Jharki Bisalpur is a part, was one such seat, and the villagers urged Mrs. Devi to run on their behalf. She was already a known face, having previously worked with a nonprofit in town. After a vigorous campaign, during which she was “nice to everyone,” she says, Mrs. Devi emerged victorious, winning 230 votes and defeating five other candidates.

“She is her own person,” says Manoranjan Singh, an activist with the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, a non-profit group that works with mining communities in Jharkhand and is familiar with Mrs. Devi’s work. “Unlike many women Panchayat leaders, she’s the boss, not her husband.”

Dubai Women Establishment launches Arab Women Leadership ForumAme Info

Dubai Women Establishment announced dates for the third edition of the Arab Women Leadership Forum. The two-day forum will be taking place on 4th & 5th September, at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai, and will focus on the theme ‘Women in the Boardroom’.

Commenting on this occasion, Her Highness Sheikha Manal said, “Over the years, this annual forum has gained tremendous traction as one of the only platforms for women that tackles the hard issues facing them in the workforce in addition to professional-advancement issues. Women represent an integral part of our overall human capital and human resource and are playing an increasingly important role in the workplace. In light of today’s global environment, it more important than ever to focus on leadership development as – evidenced during previous sessions of this Forum – women are going to be increasingly vital to this effort.”

Sheikha Manal added, “I am optimistic that the third edition of the Arab Women Leadership Forum will once again serve as a leading voice on issues facing Arab women in professional and management positions. Our vision for this annual event is to support women in business from the classroom to the boardroom. Through a spectrum of presentations by expert speakers and ongoing professional guidance, it will provide invaluable mentorship and networking opportunities to help prepare Arab female executives for more senior roles as well as meet their own measures of success.”

Egyptian Women Contemplate Future Under New LeadersVoice of America News

Organizers of the new “An Egyptian Woman” campaign say they are reaching out to women across economic lines as well, especially to the poor, who often felt disenfranchised by the old government.

It is a relatively new concept for many in Egypt.  Previous women’s rights groups, Hassan says, often were seen as exclusive and largely ineffectual. “The Egyptian women were only from the elite class of the society, she said. “They never felt the problems and daily life struggles of the Egyptian woman at large.”

Albright, Verveer, Afghan Women’s Leaders to Speak at Shadow SummitThe Feminist Majority Foundation Blog

Amnesty International is staging a “Shadow Summit” this Sunday, May 20, in Chicago to emphasize to NATO Summit leaders that Afghan women’s and girls’ needs must be front and center in all planning. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky together with Afghan Women’s Leaders will speak at the Shadow Summit to bring women’s issues to the forefront of the NATO Summit.

Republicans push “new perspective” on WomenCBS News

In an apparent effort to woo women voters, House Republicans are launching the “Women’s Policy Committee,” a caucus aimed at showcasing the work of female lawmakers and touting a “new perspective” with regard to the GOP and women.

The group is chaired by Republican Mary Bono Mack, an eight-term representative from California’s 45th district, and most of the 24 House Republican women have pledged to participate.

According to Bono Mack, the caucus was borne out of a shared desire among Republican women to better promote each other and their collective achievements in Congress. Bono Mack told Hotsheet that the idea had been “kicking around” for more than a year but that it “took awhile to coalesce.”

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