The country announced the new support package to mark the 16 Days of Activism…reports Asian Lite News
The UK is investing in grassroots UK government organisations to tackle gender-based violence.
UK Development Minister Andrew Mitchell on Tuesday announced the new support at an event in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, as per the UK government’s official website.
The country announced the new support package to mark the 16 Days of Activism.
This includes up to Euro 18 million in new support for grassroots women’s rights organisations across 70 countries to tackle gender-based violence in communities, focusing on the most marginalised as part of the UK’s biggest-ever funding boost to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women.
Funding will improve access to services including legal aid, shelters, and health care for survivors, support more effective legislation, and help to shift harmful attitudes and behaviours to prevent violence before it starts, the UK government said.
The first round of successful grantees under the What Works to Prevent Violence: Impact at Scale programme will include eight women’s rights organisations in Malawi, India, Pakistan, Somalia, Eswatini, Uganda and Madagascar to implement innovative, locally-led approaches to drive down rates of violence in homes, schools, universities and workplaces.
The support package also includes a new Euro 15 million UK-funded programme in Somalia to reach more than 117,000 people with help to advance the rights of women and girls in humanitarian crises through mental health support, training for health workers to recognise signs of violence and the establishment of centres to bring together medical, legal and psychosocial services, the UK government said. (ANI)
Bartoletti, founder of the ‘Women Leading in AI Network,’ highlighted that India has established a distinct and robust digital data protection bill, differing from the European Union’s GDPR…reports Nishant Arora
As the global debate over artificial intelligence (AI) and user harm gains momentum – amid the week-long Open AI saga – India is going to play a crucial role in shaping responsible AI with the first-of-its-kind data privacy legislation and draft regulation over deepfakes, says Ivana Bartoletti, Global Privacy Officer, Wipro Limited.
In an interaction with IANS, Bartoletti who is also the founder of the ‘Women Leading in AI Network’, said that India has carved out a safe and robust digital data protection bill which is different from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
“Deepfakes are not a new phenomenon. These existed before but the generative AI dimension has brought new factors to it because it now takes two seconds to create a fake image. However, we now have a global alignment to tackle these AI threats,” she told IANS.
“The UK AI Summit at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, earlier this month was a turning point where leaders, including Indian Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, vouched for robustness, safety and global governance around AI,” she said.
India, along with 27 other countries, including the US and the UK and the European Union, signed a declaration pledging to work on the assessment of risks linked with AI at the summit, hosted by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
After the successful AI Safety Summit in the UK, the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) in New Delhi next month will further deliberate upon the risks associated with artificial intelligence (AI) — in the presence of world leaders — before a global framework is reached in Korea next year, according to Chandrasekhar.
“We have been talking about openness, safety and trust and accountability. We have always argued that innovation must not get ahead of regulation. We have spoken about the need to have safe and trusted platforms,” he said.
The minister said that the future of tech ought to be architected by countries coming and working together on mitigating the potential risks associated with technologies like AI.
At the UK summit, “we have proposed, and this will certainly be a theme at the GPAI and the India AI summit, that technology should not be demonised to a point that we regulate it out of existence and innovation,” the minister noted.
According to Bartoletti, there is an alignment to an extent globally that we’ve got to use AI in a responsible manner.
“We’re trying to achieve a global agreement around what we’re going to use AI for, but in particular, what we are not going to use AI for. We’re not governing AI or regulating it. We are governing the behaviour of people around AI. So the way that humans develop and deploy AI is really important,” Bartoletti told IANS.
According to her, responsible AI is to understand the risks, train people so that they know how to code and develop and use AI and then being able to govern the AI via a more process-based approach and embed new controls into the existing governance construct of it.
Looking forward, Libas is gearing up for the June Oceanic Championship, aiming for new milestones in her remarkable journey….reports Asian Lite News
Libas P Bava, a homemaker from Kochi, has once again demonstrated her international prowess by clinching a gold medal at the Mediterranean International Open Masters Weightlifting for Women (35 – 39) in the 87kg category held in Marco Polo, Greece.
The victory marks her fifth international medal, underscoring her remarkable journey in the world of weightlifting.
Mentored by Ernakulam NIS Coach Gopala Krishnan, Libas has a noteworthy history in global competitions, having excelled in events like the Masters Commonwealth, Masters World Cup, Asian Championship, and Asia Pacific, consistently earning accolades and medals.
Originally a powerlifter during her college days at Newman College, Thodupuzha, Libas transitioned to weightlifting, progressing from the district to the state and national levels. However, her promising career took an 11-year hiatus after marriage.
Making a triumphant return to the sport last year, Libas overcame challenges with the encouragement and support of her husband, Saadhique Ali, a businessman and film producer.
Reflecting on her recent achievement, she stated, “This competition was very tough, considering the circumstances. My husband was battling pneumonia, and my father was hospitalized with liver cirrhosis and kidney failure. Despite the challenging circumstances and the lack of proper practice, I proceeded to participate, and I want to dedicate my win to them.”
Looking ahead, Libas is preparing for the Oceanic Championship in Australia scheduled for June, setting her sights on new milestones in her inspiring journey.
The legacy of inequality has persisted, but Dr Saluja has valiantly stood against this tide, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing battle for gender equality in the corporate landscape…reports Asian Lite News
Amidst a backdrop where the Indian government fervently advocates for women’s empowerment, exemplified through initiatives such as the women’s reservation Bill aimed at bolstering women’s participation, the corporate sphere grapples with enduring gender biases.
Despite these legislative efforts, discrimination against women in leadership positions persists. The recent confrontation of Dr Rashmi Saluja, Executive Chairperson, Religare Enterprises Limited, with discrimination becomes emblematic of the broader struggle faced by women in the corporate sphere.
The legacy of inequality has persisted, but Dr Saluja has valiantly stood against this tide, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing battle for gender equality in the corporate landscape.
Despite the challenges faced by Dr. Saluja, the Religare board staunchly defends her share sales and contributions to the company’s phenomenal growth. The accusations not only target Dr. Saluja, but also undermine the entire management and board, who have tirelessly worked towards making Religare a debt-free organisation over the past five years.
Dr. Saluja’s story resonates with the broader narrative of discrimination faced by women leaders in India. Prominent figures like Ghazal Alagh of Mamaearth and Vineeta Singh of Sugar Cosmetics have faced similar challenges despite their significant contributions. According to gender-based research by Anupriya Singh of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management, women’s representation at the board level stands at a mere two per cent.
Dr. Saluja’s journey itself is a testament to hard work and commitment; qualities that have afforded her the leadership she has endeared within the organisation. However, it’s the society’s patriarchal fabric that has cast an unjust shadow over her accomplishments and her person.
In response to the accusations, Dr Saluja, through a spokesperson, stated, “The recent allegations are not just an attack on me but an attack on the entire leadership and board. We remain steadfast in our commitment to transparency and fairness. The share sales were conducted following due processes, and we are confident that truth will prevail.”
She added, “I believe in the power of resilience. Our fight is not just mine but for every woman who aspires to lead. We must break free from the chains of discrimination and forge a path of equality for the generations to come.”
The REL board ardently negates the allegations faced by Dr. Saluja.
“The accusations fail to diminish Rashmi Saluja’s contribution but rather reflect a society’s failure in treading past its gender biases.”
Previous instances of other leading Indian women have shown similar patterns of fall from grace due to conspiracies sprouted from a deep-rooted societal patriarchal nature.
“Our board stands firmly behind Dr. Saluja as she has shown remarkable resilience in the face of these allegations, refusing to bow down to unfair practices spurred by gender-based discrimination,” the board stated.
The company’s trajectory under her guidance proves her acumen, dedication, and commitment to the success of the company. The consistent rise of REL’s market cap from a critical low to an impressive billion dollars stands as scalable proof of her leadership.
The board has further justified Dr. Saluja’s actions, from share sales to ESOPs, as being routinely compliant, echoing the board’s enduring support for her entire tenure.
As an epitome of resolute triumph against historically-established gender discrimination within the corporate world, Dr. Saluja stands as a beacon for numerous women who aspire to climb the corporate ladder.
It was quite unlikely for women in Kashmir a few years ago to stand up to patriarchy and start their own businesses. Social media and different government schemes played a crucial role in the transformation …writes Dr Sakariya Kareem
Women in Kashmir appear to have made significant progress in achieving social and financial empowerment as they are overcoming barriers and creating employment opportunities. Now they are involved in activities ranging from manufacturing to selling local products to working in factories to becoming entrepreneur. Revocation of the Article 370 of the Indian constitution four years ago seems to have had a positive impact of the people of Kashmir. It even led to a decline in Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir. Now there is peace and Kashmiris are living normal life. They are getting well-aligned with the national life and governance, allowing them to reap benefits of the impressive economic growth India is recording.
Women in Baramulla district which once was infested with Pakistan-backed militant activities now have started jam-making business. Humaira Mohideen represents the story of the resilience and determination of Kashmiri women, who have turned a traditional jam-making process into a brand. “This initiative has given us a chance to support our families and contribute to the local economy. It feels amazing to have a source of income that we can proudly call our own,” she said.It was quite unlikely for women in Kashmir a few years ago to stand up to patriarchy and start their own businesses. Social media and different government schemes played a crucial role in the transformation.
Ruhi Jan is among 30 women who travel by bus to work in the Pashmina shawl manufacturing factory. “For ages, women spinners in Kashmir have been used to working from home. It impacted their efficiency, output and earnings. (Factory) is now providing them with safe working environment and better wages,” she said.Srinagar resident Nava Shah took inspiration from social media to start her pickle business, which gets 70 percent of orders through Instagram. Now she has expansion plans. “We will go into retail business. This will also help us to provide an employment opportunity to Kashmiris who are well qualified but jobless,” she said.
Kashmir’s Handicrafts and Handloom Department has established a training centre to learn copperware. These women are even provided with a monthly stipend of INR 1,000. Tahmeena Manzoor, a trainee, said “For many of us, this amount means a lot. It is something we don’t have to ask for. It ensures our self-reliance and we see this as our first step towards financial independence and empowerment.”
Now there are women entrepreneurs in Kashmir, who are trying their hands at retail shopping, handicrafts, agriculture, and hospitality, among others. Farzana Gulzar, an associate professor at the University of Kashmir’s Management Studies, said Kashmiri women seek to become financially independent and thus come up with innovative ideas in order to become entrepreneurs. “The women in business trend is on the incline in Kashmir. For centuries, women have battled a stereotype that involves staying home to cook, clean and care for the family. However, a new generation of young female entrepreneurs are overcoming all the challenges,” Gulzar said.
The government of India is building a women entrepreneur ecosystem to connect, collaborate, and invent for scaling up businesses and building a strong women workforce. Dilshada Bano from North Kashmir received financial assistance under a government scheme named Jammu & Kashmir State Rural Livelihood Mission (JKSRLM). This helped her set up a milk processing unit. Mahmoona Akthar started a mushroom farm with the help JKSRLM after her husband died in an accident. “I decided to stand on my own feet and do something for my family,” she said. Two Kashmir women raised funding of INR 5 million and INR 2.5 million at an event that was held in collaboration with the New Delhi government. Rahul Narvekar, CEO of start-up platform The India Network, said Kashmiri entrepreneurships’ passion to achieve their goals was inspiring. ”I am truly impressed by the remarkable energy and unwavering determination exhibited by these women entrepreneurs,” he said.During its recent presidency of G20, the government attempted to open up opportunities for employment and livelihood generation by showcasing millet delicacies and products like handicrafts and pottery to foreign guests. According to the government, the aim was to give exposure to international standards to the Self-Help Group (SHG) women and reinforce the spirit of strength & resilience.
Despite the history of terrorism-led violence and limited access to basic facilities, Kashmiri women have shown remarkable resilience and courage in overcoming the obstacles to their empowerment, said local political activist Safina Baig.
The students watched a quick video of the training to go to space, after which they heard from Williams about her pioneering experience of running the Boston marathon in space…reports Asian Lite News
“Whatever you want to do in life, first get to the starting line, remember what you learnt in kindergarten, and stop to take a look at the foliage,” said celebrated Indian-origin astronaut Sunita Williams to the UAE’s schoolchildren about the lessons she learnt from her journey to space at the 42nd Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).
“I didn’t realise that being a diver and helicopter pilot would put me in line for going to space”, the inspirational American astronaut told the packed room.
An athlete and swimmer from a young age, the astronaut confessed that although she did not know what to do after high school, she joined the Naval Academy on her brother’s advice where she learnt to be a diver and pilot.
The students watched a quick video of the training to go to space, after which they heard from Williams about her pioneering experience of running the Boston marathon in space.
She spoke of the planned mission to the moon and building a space station on the moon. Williams, who has been working on the Starliner spacecraft for the past eight years, revealed the mission is expected to take off next year. The astronaut patiently answered the brilliant questions that schoolchildren from various schools – many of whom expressed a desire to pursue a career in space – directed at her.
She commended the UAE’s “robust space programme” and how she had an opportunity to work with the two Emirati astronauts who have already completed their space missions as well as the two astronauts who are preparing for their journey.
“Recently, (Hazza ِِAl Mansouri, the first Emirati astronaut in space) and I did some preparation studies on how to transfer cargo on the moon, and also did some underwater diving in California to imitate what we are going to do on the moon. I have had some great interactions with all four of them and look forward to Nora Al Matroushi and Mohammed Al Mulla flying.”
The Indian-American said she was both scientifically and religiously driven:. “When I saw the planet Earth from the window of the space station, I felt the hand of God telling me that our planet is an amazing place and that I could feel my perspective change.”
She praised the UAE’s efforts in organising COP28 and throwing light on climate change and the earth’s fragility. “Our spaceship Earth is the only spaceship we have, and we should make sure we are treating each other well on this planet,” she reminded the audience.
Williams, who disclosed that the book she found truly inspirational was The Martian, had special advice for girls: “Don’t be afraid to do anything, just get out and do it.”
Al Ruwaini dedicated the award and honor to Palestinian women, emphasizing their resilience and determination in the face of daily challenges…reports Asian Lite News
Dr. Nashwa Al Ruwaini, the CEO of Pyramedia Consulting and Media Production Group, was honored on the sidelines of the second Annual Middle East Women Leaders’ Summit & Awards 2023. This recognition comes in appreciation and gratitude for the efforts exerted by female leaders in the community and their prominent role in sustainable development.
Nashwa Al Ruwaini, a business pioneer, boasts an impressive record of successes in on-the-ground work to support, empower, and integrate women into society. She was the first Emirati to receive the “Mother Teresa” award in acknowledgment of her charitable work and efforts to improve the living conditions of women and children.
On the occasion of her honoring, Dr. Nashwa Al Ruwaini stated, “There are no limits to what a woman in the UAE can achieve. In our country, all necessary means and capabilities are available to support women in the nation’s rise and to shape the future.” During her speech, she emphasized, “This recognition is not just an appreciation for me personally, but is considered an appreciation for every Arab woman who succeeded in realizing her dreams and contributing to the progress and prosperity of the region. The Arab woman is strong and inspiring, capable of making change and influencing her surroundings.”
Al Ruwaini dedicated the award and honor to Palestinian women, emphasizing their resilience and determination in the face of daily challenges. “The Palestinian woman, despite the complex circumstances, continues to work daily to build a better future for her children and her family. Her strength and determination serve as an inspiration to us all, reminding us of the importance of perseverance and progress even under the toughest conditions,” she said. Al Ruwaini continued, “History bears witness that the Palestinian woman has always been a bridge of life and hope in facing the tough challenges. She educates generations, preserves her heritage and culture, and contributes to preserving her people’s identity. If we ever seek a paragon of resilience and challenge, undoubtedly, it is the Palestinian woman who represents the struggle of every woman on this earth. Today, I hope this award symbolizes solidarity and support for Palestinian women.”
Al Ruwaini concluded her speech by saying, “The success stories of Arab women are marked by depth and challenge. Each of them has a unique story where they overcame difficulties. Throughout history, Arab women have demonstrated their strength and independence in the face of various challenges, whether they be social, economic, or even political. These stories not only inspire women in the region but also inspire women worldwide. The successes achieved by Arab women showcase how determination can break barriers, surpass boundaries, and serve as an inspiration for future generations to follow in her footsteps and build on her legacy.”
The second Annual Middle East Women Leaders’ Summit & Awards stands as a prominent platform highlighting the achievements of female leaders both within and outside the region. This summit aims to bring together distinguished leaders, enhancing knowledge and deepening constructive relationships, in an ambitious step towards achieving gender balance and promoting diversity in leadership positions.
Participating in the summit is HH Sheikha Jawaher bint Khalifa Al Khalifa, founder and chairman of “Green Aventurine Holding” company.
During the celebration, prominent female leaders who changed the rules and set new standards for leadership were honored, highlighting the achievements of women who worked diligently and innovatively to pen exceptional success stories.
This summit and its associated awards were established to enhance deep dialogues and expand communication opportunities, enabling pioneering women leaders and key decision-makers to exchange expertise and knowledge in the Middle East region.
The family is however making personal efforts by helping the Motorsport Federation in involving more women participants…writes Sukant Deepak
This 16-year-old girl, who participated in the FIA conducted three rounds of ‘Girls on Track in India’ in the first year of her competitive racing and emerged as the winner in all three rounds in karting slalom, besides achieving podium placements in sim racing, remembers that ever since the age of six, she has been fascinated by powerful cars.
NCR-based Muskaan Jubbal, a Grade 11 student at the Shiv Nadar School, Faridabad, who clinched the ‘Best Woman Driver’ title in the fiercely competitive MRF MMSC Indian National Car Racing Championship held in Chennai recently, and started karting at the age of nine along with her elder brother, tells, “These achievements in the first year greatly boosted our confidence in the sport, and there has been no looking back since then. For me, it is not just a sport, but a passion.”
Wanting to make racing her full-time profession, Jubbal, who trained under Rohit Khanna laments that motorsports continue to get stepmotherly treatment in India despite being recognised as a sport, not to mention no support from Khelo India.
“Things would get better for young drivers if more support was forthcoming,” she says.
The family is however making personal efforts by helping the Motorsport Federation in involving more women participants.
“Recently, my mother and I travelled to Kashmir to train more than 30 women in autocross. We are doing our best to contribute to the motorsport ecosystem in the country,” she says.
Despite an impressive CV for her age, even Jubbal faces several problems when it comes to getting sponsorships. She is however thankful for the role her parents have played in supporting her passion.
“They have always encouraged my brother and I, who is also my mentor. My father has been instrumental in making me understand the mechanics of cars, and my mother has always stood by me.”
From training on the track to strengthen her driving skills to exercising to increase her endurance levels, she admits that sometimes she has to compromise on her academics owing to her travelling for different motorsport events.
“Thankfully, my teachers are quite supportive and encouraging,” she smiles.
For someone who likes baking and playing golf when she is not on the circuit, the ultimate aim is to race on Circuit de Monaco (Monaco), Baku City Circuit (Azerbaijan) and Yas Marina (Abu Dhabi).
“Of course, these are tall dreams, but I am willing to train hard and stay focussed in order to achieve them,” she concludes.
Al Qasimi described the awards as an extension of this support system, designed to honor, elevate, and encourage women who have forged their unique paths….reports Asian Lite News
Bodour Al Qasimi, the founder of PublisHer and Kalimat Group, has unveiled the PublisHer Excellence Awards, a prestigious recognition program aimed at honoring exceptional female professionals who have left a significant mark on the publishing industry.
The announcement was made during the Sharjah Publishers Conference, leading up to the Sharjah International Book Fair, reinforcing the commitment to celebrating and empowering female leaders in the field.
In her address at the conference, Bodour Al Qasimi stressed the importance of the PublisHer Excellence Awards in advancing the mission of PublisHer to recognize and support women in the publishing industry.
She emphasized the power of women forming support networks and uplifting each other, countering stereotypes to create a thriving community.
Al Qasimi described the awards as an extension of this support system, designed to honor, elevate, and encourage women who have forged their unique paths and illuminated the way forward through their resilience, ingenuity, and vision.
The PublisHer Excellence Awards are underpinned by a three-fold mission: to celebrate women’s professional accomplishments, champion diversity, equity, and inclusion, and promote their ongoing professional development. The awards are divided into three categories:
1. Lifetime Achievement Award: This accolade is reserved for a pioneering publishing doyenne with a career spanning at least 20 years, who has made a significant and lasting impact on the industry.
2. Emerging Leader Award: Recognizing a rising star in the publishing world, aged 35 or younger, who has displayed exceptional leadership skills, big-picture thinking, and the ability to drive positive change.
3. Innovation Award: Celebrating any woman who has made an innovative contribution to the publishing industry. This could encompass areas such as storytelling and content curation, editorial leadership, management strategies, company culture, and marketing campaigns, among others.
The call for nominations is open to all and can be submitted through the PublisHer’s social media channels on X, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook pages. Nominations will be accepted until January 15, 2024. Following the closure of the nomination period, a panel of distinguished judges will curate a shortlist of candidates and select the award winners.
The PublisHer Excellence Awards represent a significant step toward recognizing and celebrating the remarkable contributions of women in the publishing industry, promoting diversity and equity, and fostering professional growth.
This initiative, led by Bodour Al Qasimi, aligns with the broader goals of PublisHer to amplify the voices and accomplishments of women in the world of publishing.
Dr. Tahlak’s election as president of International Hospital Federation (IHF) is a major milestone for the UAE on the global healthcare front.
The International Hospital Federation (IHF), a global organisation dedicated to advancing and promoting excellence in healthcare delivery and management worldwide, announced that it has elected Emirati Dr. Muna Tahlak, Chief Medical Officer of Dubai Academic Health Corporation (DAHC), Vice Provost Clinical Practice of Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU), and CEO of Latifa Hospital for Women and Children, as President of the Federation during the World Hospital Congress in Lisbon.
Dr. Tahlak’s election is a major milestone for the UAE on the global healthcare front. As the first Arab woman and Emirati to hold this esteemed position, it underscores the country’s commitment to advancing women’s roles across diverse fields and promoting excellence in the healthcare sector. This achievement also marks a remarkable moment in the IHF’s history, with Dr. Tahlak assuming the highest international position ever held within the organisation.
The IHF Governing Council voted to elect Dr. Tahlak as the new IHF President. In doing so, Dr. Tahlak ends her term as President Designate and begins her two-year term as President of the IHF, succeeding Deborah J. Bowen, FACHE, CAE, President, and CEO of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Dr. Tahlak expressed her gratitude and honour on being appointed, stating, “I extend my heartfelt appreciation to our visionary leadership for their unwavering commitment to empowering women. Emirati women have consistently excelled in diverse high-ranking roles across various domains. Our nation has also consistently offered abundant opportunities to foster the progress and specialisation of Emirati women, particularly within the medical field.
“This win highlights not only Emirati women’s progress but also reflects the leading position of UAE’s health sector. I am honoured to represent the UAE and fellow Emirati women on such an important global platform,” she added.
Dr. Tahlak also noted that her work with the IHF over the past seven years has provided her with a platform to showcase the exemplary work of the UAE’s hospitals and the invaluable contributions of Emirati women on a global scale.
Dr. Amer Sharif, CEO of Dubai Academic Health Corporation, congratulated Dr. Tahlak on her appointment, emphasising her exceptional leadership, expertise, and remarkable contributions to the healthcare system in Dubai and beyond. He also expressed his pride in Dr. Tahlak’s accomplishments and the recognition she brings to the exceptional talent of Emirati women on the global stage.
“This is an incredibly proud moment for the entire healthcare sector in the UAE. Emirati women have consistently excelled across various domains, particularly in the medical field, making substantial contributions to the nation’s growth and development. Dr. Tahlak’s leadership and dedication play a crucial role in fulfilling DAHC’s mission to impact lives and shape the future of health through the integration of care, learning, discovery, and giving,” he said.