MD Speaks
Dear IPEans,

We all make choices and then, the choices make us.

It is while making the choice that we have to be careful - for results are only their consequences.

In a tea garden, the exercise of plucking tea leaves is a very critical one - It needs trained eyes and nimble fingers to pluck the 'two leaves and a bud' needed to make the magical cuppa.

So too in life - despite there being a million options, we need to choose the right ones and then work hard to ultimately achieve success and happiness in life.

Often we are faced with a dilemma - of choices and actions that may hurt others. Or those which damage the world; or some which require us to sacrifice our values and ethics.

It is for times like this that Richard Carlson says - 'Choose being kind over being right and you'll be right every time'. The best choice still remains to be caring, sensitive and helpful to others.

As we move into the new financial year with targets and plans, let us also ask - what else shall we achieve? What non-financial targets shall we have? What changes can we make in this world? How many smiles can we bring through our work?

All these are choices - and once you make them, and put energy and action behind them, success will be yours!

Best wishes
- Ashwajit Singh

Dear *|FNAME|*

This year United Nations had picked the theme of “Empowering Women - Empowering Humanity: Picture It!” It envisions a world where every woman and girl can exercise her choice, participate in politics, get an education which she feels is important for her career growth and live in a society free from violence and discrimination.

Deliberating on the same in the Indian context, the News of the Month explores the gaps India needs to bridge to achieve a good position on the women empowerment indicators. It highlights the roadblocks and also explores the way forward.

You can also read about the development news round up for in the current edition.

Happy reading and be inspired!

- Rebika Laishram , Kriti Pandey

News Of The Month
India to foster women empowerment by breaking through stereotypes

Women empowerment is not a new phase in gender literature vocabulary. With time it has moved past its initial interpretation of empowering women to be self-depended in an age where they were denied all freedom and opportunities by virtue (read curse) of being a ‘Woman’. Today is refers more to women breaking the glass ceiling and strengthening their position in our society. It calls for their movement from periphery to the centre stage.

In 2015 the theme for International Women’s rights day on March 8 was a clarion call, “Empowering women, empowering humanity: picture it”. This was to highlight the achievements of the historic roadmap on women rights, “Beijing Declaration and Platform

for Action”. It was signed by 189 governments and spoke of the urgent need to address the gaps in realizing the goals in the past 20 years.

In the Indian context, although there are policies and implementation of -women laws and programmes to address gender empowerment and equality, there are still many gaps. In a patriarchal society like India, women still continue to grapple with issues like violence and economic empowerment. It is imperative that we work towards sensitizing women on their rights and also on improving their access to education, healthcare facilities and to create an environment where they can make independent decisions. Another factor which hinders women’s empowerment is the class divide in India. The women belonging to the lower caste especially tribal communities are very vulnerable; They have neither access to basic education nor any healthcare facilities. These factors have significant impact on the empowerment indicators.

Empowering women also becomes challenging in India where the social and religious constructs imposes them to live a certain restricted lifestyle. This is deep seeded in the mindset. “ There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women”- Kofi Annan.

The 12 areas which have been addressed in “Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action” namely Women and Poverty, Education and training of Women, Women and Health, Violence against Women, Women and Armed Conflict, Women and the Economy, Women in Power and Decision-making, Institutional Mechanism for the Advancement of Women, Human Rights of Women, Women and the Media, Women and the Environment and The Girl-child –require an additional thrust from Indian systems.

India needs a robust approach for women’s empowerment which can address diversity of social structures, inherent discriminatory practices, implementation of strong laws and sentencing those found guilty which is currently a long and arduous process.

India needs more than just the woman prime minister, women ambassadors, women legislators, women governors, women scientists, engineers-doctors-space researchers-giant IT specialists, women Generals, and women public officers. What India rather needs is strong legislative measures that can help raise the status of women. These are some important questions to be investigated with regard to women’s empowerment. Despite several draw backs with increased women’s literacy , today they are now coming in the forefront within family, workplace and public discourse. if we commit to achieve internationally agreed goals, then the quality of women’s lives could be considerably improved. What is missing is the will to bring to the discussion table the hard facts that India still has a long way ahead to truly empower women “

Development News Round Up

The Indian government drafts a new education policy for 2015

The government of India is all set to change the education pattern in India with their new education policy...... Click here

Maternal health needs greater attention according to a recent study

Maternal health is much worse than what the NFHS data shows, according to a recent study...... Click here

World Bank approves Rs 1,540 cr loan for Punjab

The World Bank has approved a Rs 1,540 crore loan for 'Punjab Rural Water and Sanitation Sector Improvement Project'.......Click here

The EU-India project is a technical assistance project for vocational training

Skill development is key when it comes to enhancing a country’s overall growth. This is where the EU-India skill development project will play an important role...... Click here

Government seeks funds from ADB for skill development courses

With skill development being the core agenda, the government has been in the process of seeking skill development funds from ADB...... Click here

Structural reforms are key for proper development in India

According to the IMF, the Indian economy is reviving with the help of positive policy actions and implementations......Click here

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