In corporate company
Last week, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) wasn’t just deflecting Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit’s verbal volleys at the India Economic Summit, it was also drawing up a gameplan to counter the chief minister’s charge that India Inc. was shirking its responsibilities when it came to the empowerment of women.
Exactly a week later, Thermax boss Anu Aga (picture above) who is also the chairman of the CII’s National Committee on Women Empowerment announced that the CII had instituted an ‘Adarsh Stree’ award to honour women who have done exemplary work in the fields of primary education, health and micro finance. “This is a part of the CII’s efforts to reduce gender disparity both at the community and corporate levels,” Aga said, while releasing a study conducted by the industry body, titled ‘Understanding the levels of Women Empowerment in the Workplace’.
The study, Aga explained, was undertaken to understand HR practices and benefits given to female employees and examine the barriers faced by women at various levels of an organisation.
Now we know what lies beneath Uncle Sam’s bonhomie with South Korea. According to Philippines-based NGO Development Action for Women (Dawn), some 4,000 Filipino entertainers work around the 50 American bases in South Korea which is edging out Japan as the new destination for women trafficking. These women enter South Korea using entertainer or E-6 visas, but are forced into prostitution, said Carmelita Nuqui, executive director of Dawn. But she didn’t spare the Americans. “We urge the US to take a look at the reported involvement of US military personnel in the affair,” she said.
Close on the heels of the ‘women only’ taxi service in New Delhi, the ministry of tourism has launched Project Priyadarshani, a new self-employment scheme for women to get them into the core areas of the tourism industry. In Union tourism minister Renuka Chowdhary’s words, the initiative “is an effort to make women realise that there are careers beyond the kitchen”. Under Project Priyadarshani, the first batch of women will undergo a three-month training. The ministry will also provide them financial aid.
Red Russia is bleeding again ' this time from the wounds inflicted by domestic violence. A report released recently by Amnesty International, titled ‘Russian Federation: Nowhere to turn to’, said that violence against women in Russia is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses. Seventy per cent of married women, according to the report, were victims of some form of violence by their husbands. The victims testified to regular beatings, marital rape, harassment and even attempted murder. But what concerns Amnesty most is the lack of political will to end domestic violence. Support centres and women’s organisations are facing closure because government support has been withdrawn.
Desperate Housewives is as real as it is fictional. The boisterous foursome of Susan, Lynette, Bree and Gabrielle have influenced daily life in such a way that almost every British home has a desperate housewife now. According to a new research by mortgage lender First Active, the financial situation of women in Britain mirrors the situation of the characters in Desperate Housewives. And Bree and Susan are the favourites. While around 22 per cent are like Bree, who has a steely eye over her family’s financial transactions, 36 per cent resemble the clueless Susan who always gets a shock when she looks at her financial statements.
Overheard: Swedish researchers have found exciting but inconclusive evidence that a couple of cups of black tea or green tea might help reduce the risk of ovarian cancer in women because of their high content of polyphenols