Women & Leadership Links

Building Blocks to increase Women’s Economic & Political Progress- The Huffington Post

In terms of women’s political participation, both at the grassroots and national decision-making levels, we must value women as voters, as candidates, and as elected or appointed officials. Societies must recognize the importance of women, who comprise over half of the world’s population, participating fully in policy decisions that are made at the local, national, and international levels. In an era where we are all looking to be as efficient and effective as possible, a country cannot develop a policy on anything without understanding the very different needs of men and women, whether that is in terms of access to credit or access to health care. For example, women have different health care needs because they give birth — and men do not — and because they are often the primary care givers for children. If a government policy does not take these differences into account, it will be flawed. At the same time, if women do not see their perspectives considered and taken into account in the policymaking process, they are less likely to be part of the debate and to make voting a priority.

In addition, women are more engaged in the economy and the workplace than ever before. However, in many countries, women have fewer educational and employment opportunities than men, are more often denied credit, and face social restrictions that limit their chances for advancement. It is important that countries work toward creating a business environment in which women and women-owned businesses can thrive. Every country is different, but there are some key cross-cutting policy issues that can have a positive impact on women’s ability to create and grow their businesses, such as equal access to capital and credit; equal protection of property rights; expanding the capacity of women-owned businesses to become eligible for supplier diversity programs at multinational companies; and increasing their ability to compete for government contracts.

Women not playing diverse roles on TV– Hindustan Times

“What I see is that women are not portraying too many characters or shades on screen. They are playing sweet, simple and nice roles. That is the only thing they do until they play a negative role,” Shweta told IANS.

“I think there was an overdose of reality shows, but now it is less. Now there are just a few selected ones left which have established themselves; and if people need fiction then they also need reality. I guess there is Big Boss, Dance India Dance and shows like Indian Idol. The rest of them have fizzled out. Earlier, there used to be so many, like Kitchen King and Chote Miya.”

“What I feel is that people have become more cool now. In our times, we were told to learn and mug up. We were told to become doctors and engineers. However, that is not the case now. People want to go for international learning. They know that their children have to do something. People don’t look at marks but at how much children know,” said Shweta, who has a daughter, Palak.

The hidden Costs of Early Marriage- IRIN Asia

Thousands of Nepali girls leave school every year to get married, missing out on their education, the government says. Parents are often unaware of the impact that trying to save the money spent on education can have on the future of their daughter.

“Early marriage should be stopped because it not only affects their [daughter’s] education but also their health,” said Sumon Tuladhar, an education specialist at the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF). “In addition, that also has an impact on their self-confidence and empowerment. Many children are victims of early marriage – after marriage they hardly come to school, and even if they do, their performance is very poor.”

“Child marriage changes the children’s life options, especially their educational investment by parents,” said Sherpa. “As soon as she becomes someone else’s “property”, the parents show little willingness to invest in their education as they grow. This is total abuse of their rights.”

Housewives help fight TB- IRIN Asia

Activists trained by Aisyiah, the women’s wing of Muhammadiyah, a Muslim organization, work with religious as well as neighbourhood leaders to educate people about TB, and recruit family members to monitor patients’ adherence to their medication. People with TB often experience social stigma and many Indonesians see TB as a disease of the poor.

“One of our problems is that people here are ashamed to admit that they have TB,” said Nunung Resmawati, one of the “community cadres” in Cicendo District. “So we talk to them and try to convince them TB is not a curse, and not something to be ashamed of. It’s a serious disease but one that can be cured.”

But it’s not just women that Aisyiah is involving in their efforts. Men are also getting involved.

Close to 5,000 women are getting the word outIndonesia reduced new TB cases from 343 per 100,000 people in 1990 to 235 in 2009, according to the Health Ministry. However, under its national TB strategy 2010-2014, the goal is to lower the number of new cases to 224 by 2014.

Women’s Rights Activist becomes Malawi Leader- MSNBC.com

A champion of women’s rights, Joyce Banda has become the first female head of state in southern Africa after taking over as Malawi’s president following the death of Bingu wa Mutharika.

A winner of national and international awards for her work as a supporter of women’s rights, Banda was last year named by Forbes Magazine as Africa’s third most powerful female politician after Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Nigerian Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

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