Education is the key ingredient for bringing about gender equality, say women envoys of Botswana, Colombia, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines and Somalia
Education is the key ingredient for bringing about gender equality across the globe. The economic contribution of women is marginal though they comprise almost 50 per cent of the global population. Hence to significantly make an impact on the economy and earn the respect of the male members of the community, women have to empower women and must stand up for themselves.
This was stated here today by eminent Ambassadors and High Commissioners of Botswana, Colombia, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines and Somalia at an interactive session on ‘Sharing Best Practices for Economic Empowerment of Women’ organized by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) in collaboration with Linda Hawke, Publisher-Diplomatist Magazine.
Ms. Lesego Ethel Motsumi, High Commissioner of the Republic of Botswana, said that a woman needs to support a woman and only then women can be empowered in the truest sense. Women need larger representation in Parliament and policy making committees to bring about legislations that would accelerate the pace of their economic and social empowerment.
Ms. Monica Lanzetta Mutis, Ambassador of Colombia, said that to make women economically vibrant, there was a need to prevent discrimination based on gender and reduce employment and wage gap. She added that Colombian government was taking affirmative steps and promoting women entrepreneurs, but the biggest challenge was the implementation of the legislations that were being formulated.
Ms. Florence Imisa Weche, High Commissioner of Kenya, said that women have the power to change the world but it is not happening as women do not get support from men. To achieve significant change in the status of women, it is imperative for political parties to promote and nominate women in Parliament. She added that women should also choose women for a progressive economy.
Ms. Melba Maria Pria Olavarrieta, Ambassador of Mexico, said that in Mexico many initiatives and programmes were being run by the government to give women their due share. Women entrepreneurs were essential for the growth of the Mexican economy therefore programmes like ‘Women SMEs’ by the government offer access to counselling, networking and finance to promote them.
Ms. Maria Teresita C Daza, Ambassador of the Republic of Philippines, said that access to education was the key enabler for empowerment of women. Being a matriarchal society, the Philippines respects its women and understands their role in a country’s economic growth. But women must be able to exercise their power which comes with acquired knowledge and intellect, she added.
Ms. Ebyan Mahamed Salah, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Somalia in India and Dean League of Arab States Mission, New Delhi,said that women have acted as pillars of great strength in rebuilding and reshaping the country which has been ravaged by civil war for the last 20 years. The vital role of women in the economy has been recognized by the men of the country. She added that Somalia was now witnessing more women in politics and this will help in bringing about gender equality.
Ms. Archana Garodia Gupta, President, FLO, said that the conference was an apt platform to understand the global perspectives on economic empowerment of women vis-à-vis the experience of the ambassadors in India. She added that together a roadmap can be created for development which will not only speed up economic growth, and provide employment opportunities for women but will create a cadre of women leaders.
Ms. Shashi Uban Tripathi, IFS, Member, UPSC, moderated the session.