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When one thinks about this ________________what it really is intended to, and I believe has, focused attention on the challenges facing women from equal rights and education, to leadership, literacy, the power of the media and technology to affect change in women’s futures and so much else. I thank the organizers of this forum__________________for allowing me to speak on this occation. I have decided on this occation to come together with all of you and take stock for where we stand and what more needs to be done in advancing the great unfinished business of the 21st century— empowerment of women and girls. Now this is unfinished around the world, where too many women are still treated at best as secondclass citizens, at worst as some kind of subhuman species even though a large number of women have achieved great success in a male dominated society like ours. Now, I have always believed that women are not victims, they are agents of change, they are drivers of progress, they are makers of peace—all we need is an opportunity, a fighting chance. In a male dominated society like ours, a large number of women have achieved astounding success. Women like Vidya Balan, Chanda Kochchar (Ceo, ICICI Bank), Shikha Sharma (CEO, Axis Bank), Nirupama Rao (Indian Ambassador to US), Ektha Kapoor (CEO, Balaji telefilms-hindi) are just a few examples in the modern times that created waves in the media. Beyond the media, when we observe our environment we can see that common Kerala women displays all – round leadership, be it in a porffession, politics, social work or house hold. I know that a few of those women are sitting right in front of me, which is the main motivation for me to speak on this wonderfull occation. Now as we bask in the glory of the strides women have made in terms of having personal choices and opportunities in personal and professional life, I would like to ask you one very important question. What is the real meaning of empowerment?. When are you really empowered?. Is it just about having personal choice and respect in personal and professional life? Or is it something more?. To answer this question, we have to understand the qualities women have that help her become a successful leader. Psychologically speaking women have certain qualities which men have in lesser quantities which makes women better suited for leadership in certain situations. In 2005, a year-long study conducted by Caliper , a Princeton, New Jersey-based management consulting firm, and Aurora, a London- based organization that advances women, identified a number of characteristics that distinguish women leaders from men when it comes to qualities of leadership: Women have been found to have better empathy, sensitivity, caring and the ability to understand other people and their emotions when compared to men. The emotional brain of women are found to be stronger in most cases when compared to men. Women have been found to have extremely good communication skills, interpersonal skills and flexibility when compared to men. Women are better at sorting out problems through teamwork.
in fact I strongly believe that entry of more women in politics and business can root out corruption to a certain extend because men tend to be more selfish most of the times when compared to women. It is no coincidence that so many of the countries that threaten regional and global peace are the very places where women and girls are deprived of dignity and opportunity. Or of the refugees of the conflicts from eastern Congo to Syria who endure rape and deprivation as a weapon of war. Whether it nurturing the great leaders of tommarrow in your sons and daughters of tommarrow or in professional environment. the Middle East. Think of the young women from northern Mali to Afghanistan whose schools have been destroyed. politics etc. This will be good for them and good for us—it will create vast new markets and trading partners. In this article she points out a few cases of women criminals like the one who cheats a young girl into prostitution and a woman who killed her father in law for financial benefits. can sustain their growth and emerge as true global economic powers. . We also saw the much hyped cases of Saritha S Nair. we need to find a solution fast. they demonstrate that the society can move forward and grow only when women are empowered and display positive qualities of leadership. Like in Egypt. In the years ahead. Because I believe real empowerment happens only when the positive qualities of leadership is utilized for the benefits of not only the self but also for the family and society. It is no coincidence that so many of the countries making the leap from poverty to prosperity are places now grappling with how to empower women. lift many millions out of poverty and into the middle class. It is no coincidence that so many of the countries where the rule of law and democracy are struggling to take root are the same places where women and girls cannot participate as full and equal citizens.These factors make women better candidates in the fields of law. I recently read an article by Sreelekha IPS titled “Karuthammamar kudunno?”. Now what is true in politics is also true economics. where women stood on the front lines of the revolution but are now being denied their seats at the table and face a rising tide of sexual violence. human resource management. and South Asia who have been condemned to child marriage. What could be the reason behind the erotion of values and positive qualities of women in atleast some cases? Is it lack of proper parenting or is it the frustration of disempowerment? Whatever the reason is for this erotion. the society has a chance for economic and social development. It is this light that I ask you this question. I think it is one of the unanswered questions of the rest of this century to whether countries. Or of the girls across Africa. Much of that depends on what happens to women and girls. None of these are coincidences. Instead. These points have become a point of introspection for me when I look at some of the recent events in Kerala. Shalu Menon. like China and India. History teaches us that only when women are positively empowered. a number of rapidly developing nations are poised to reshape the global economy. Leena Mary Paul etc. Women were once considered the epitome of love and caring and instances like the ones I mentioned are fast eroding that status.
her death and her murder. brutally beaten and raped on a Delhi bus last December she was from a poor farming family. but like so many women and men she wanted to climb that economic ladder. In 2012. She had aspirations for her life. So millions of Indians took to the streets in 2011. President Mukherjee described her as a “symbol of all that New India strives to be. Women are driven emotionally while men are driven locally Men are more achievement oriented and also more selfish when compared to women Men like to work on their own and prove their abilities by solving problems quickly and singlehandedly. she sleep two hours a night. inadequate education. Author John Gray mentions in his book “men are from mars. .But no country can achieve its full economic potential when women are left out or left behind… a fact underscored day after day and most recently to me a tragedy in India. The culture of rape is tied up with a broader set of problems: official corruption. India will rise or fall with its women. Its had a tradition of strong women leaders. laws and traditions. came the Delhi gang rape. No speech on women empowerment is complete without mentioning her relationship with her male partner because no society can grow without strong families. Concerning the young 23-year-old woman. but those women leaders like women leaders around the world like those who become presidents or prime ministers or foreign ministers or heads of corporations cannot be seen as tokens that give everyone else in society the chance to say we’ve taken care of our women. and other abuses that dehumanize women and corrode society. Demands for stronger measures against rape were joined by calls for better policing and more responsive governance. and the two causes merged.” Because. Men love to have their abilities recognized and appreciated. illiteracy. that prevent women from being seen as equal human beings. So any country that wants to rise economically and improve productivity needs to open the doors to women. women like to co-operate. India and China being the leaders. in skewed gender balance with many more men than women. Some have called that the “Indian Spring. then went to work at call centers in the evening. for an India that could protect all its citizens and deliver the opportunities they deserve. culture. She studied all day to become a physical therapist. and hate to have them scorned or ignored. women love to have their feelings recognized and appreciated (being cherished). and hate to have them scorned or ignored. wemen are from venus” that one solution for this problem is to understand masculine behavior and famine behavior separately and behave accordingly. in many places. they protested corruption. and exercise their feelings through interactive communication with one another. child marriage.” But if her life embodied the aspirations of a rising nation. The number of divorces are increasing day by day which is endangering the growth of our future leaders. And in addition. So let us look at some of the difference between men and women. which contributes to human trafficking. customs. pointed to the many challenges still holding it back. as the protesters understood.
along with having choices.Differences like these make make men and women react to different situations and events differently which their partner fails to understand causing problems in the relationship. We need to respect and appreciate both gender based and unique qualities of individuals to make a longterm relationship work. I conclude by coming back to my original point that real empowerment happens only when women. This understanding will help you have an empowered relationship with men. . opportunities and respect as an induvidual. use their talents and positive qualities of leadership for not only the growth of the self but also the society.