Message from SWAN Founder Trustee, Prof Veena Sikri
I am shocked beyond words at the sudden passing away of Usha ji. Her vivaciousness, her joie de vivre, her immense success and glory and unforgettable contribution to Indian theatre over the last 44 years can never be forgotten. Her creativity transcended all boundaries.
Her powerful theatre collaborations with Madeeha are legendary. She was the life and soul of our SWAN Annual Conferences. At SWAN’s Tenth Annual Conference, she vowed to create a special play dedicated to the women of Afghanistan. She was very keen to hold the second SWAN THEATRE Festival ( LEELA). Her friendship with all of us will live on forever. I pray for the peace of her departed soul, and for her family’s strength to bear this irreparable loss.
On the eve of Women’s Day WCD Minister releases report on status of women in media in South Asia
Investing in women is investing in the economy-Smriti Zubin Irani
Posted On: 07 MAR 2020 4:44PM by PIB Delhi
Investing in women is not just a social expenditure but it is an investment in the economy said Union Minister of Women and Child Development (WCD) and Textiles, SmritiZubinIrani, in New Delhi today. She was speaking at an event organised by the Press Information Bureau and the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) on the eve of Women’s Day celebrated the world over on March 8.
At the event WCD Minister released a report prepared by IIMC on the Status of Women in Media in South Asia. She congratulated IIMC for bringing out this report and urged that it must be shared with the heads and owners of media houses in order to bring to their notice the gender gap and inequity that exists in newsrooms.
SmritiZubinIrani said that the Ministry of WCD will be happy to collaborate with the IIMC to conduct a study on the impact of evolving technology on women in media. She also said that research needs to be done on women in regional media and the support ecosystem required by them during their job in the field.
Prof.VeenaSikri, Founding Trustee and Convenor of South Asia Women’s Network, highlighted the findings of the report. The report sponsored by the UNESCOhas been researched jointly by the South Asia Women’s Network (SWAN) and the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development. The working conditions of women in media was studied in the nine countries of South Asia and has been brought out in two volumes.
The full report is available on: http://www.swaninterface.net/report-on-the-status-of-women-in-media-in-south-asia-march-2020/
The event was attended by Principal Director General of the Press Information Bureau, New Delhi, Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia, Principal Director General of News Services Division, All India Radio, Ms. Ira Joshi, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Atul Kumar Tiwari, senior officials of different media units of the Ministry of I&B, retired media heads of the I&B Ministry and journalists.
With the support and participation of Tata Trusts, the South Asia Women’s Network (SWAN) convened its landmark tenth annual conference in New Delhi from August 31 to September 2, 2019, on the theme ‘Gender Empowerment for Sustainable Development: Issues and Challenges Facing the Women of South Asia’.
Shireen Vakil, Head, Policy and Advocacy, Tata Trusts, speaking at the inaugural session on August 31, 2019, highlighted the shared issues confronting the women of South Asia, especially the gender gap in terms of equal pay for equal work, ownership of land, and access to technology and resources, as well as the decreasing female labour force participation rate. Tata Trusts is partnering the Government of India in the Poshan Abhiyan (National Nutrition Mission), and in this context, Shireen Vakil particularly welcomed the proposed discussions on South Asia’s malnutrition challenge, seeking a women-led strategy for fast-tracking improvement.
SWAN brings together women leaders — parliamentarians, media representatives, domain experts, NGO leaders, creative individuals and grass-roots workers — from nine South Asian countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
SWAN’s key focus is overcoming the serious challenges facing the women of South Asia, irrespective of their religious beliefs and ethnicities. SWAN emphasises that gender equality and gender empowerment are vital to overcome these challenges, and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. SWAN’s vision is to achieve sustainable development for South Asia through an integrated approach, incorporating the centrality of women’s agency, voice, participation and leadership. Sustainability becomes achievable when women are placed at the centre of every solution, as stakeholders, leaders and dynamic participants, not merely as ‘objects’ of the developmental process.
SWAN’s tenth annual conference brought together on one platform over 60 leading women and men from South Asia, and another twenty from India. This included two Cabinet Ministers, respectively from Bhutan and the Maldives; six Members of Parliament, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and India; a member of the Human Rights Commission, the Information Commissioner and the former Election Commissioner, all from Nepal; and distinguished academicians and NGO heads from Myanmar and Sri Lanka.