Tag Archive for women

Women in India advocate for their right to work

women india

A recent feature by the New York Times —In India, a Small Band of Women Risk It All for a Chance to Work—, highlights the continued obstacles that women in the country face in obtaining and holding jobs. India may be the world´s largest democracy but a vast swath of the population still lack basic rights and necessities – people such as Geeta and Premwati, women who have braved ostracism and much physical violence to continue working at nearby factories and continue earning their daily salary of 200 rupees, or 3 dollars.

Indeed, that is where the trouble stems from. For decades the main source of income for the women of Peepli Khera (Rajasthan State) , where Geeta and Premwati live, has been begging. In the past year however, many women were able to find employment in newly opened factories and have begun to out-earn men, undermining the old order. As a result, the men, led by village chief Roshan, decreed that women should not work in the factory, supposedly to avoid sexual advances by other men. “Life was much better 20 years back, ” he says. “It was a nice society. Now women are going out and meeting other strange men.”

In an unprecedented move though, the women fought back, taking their case to court even as they risked ostracism from everyone they knew and physical violence to them and their loved ones.
The story faced by women like Geeta and Premwati is not unique – all over the world, millions of women and other historically marginalized groups are subject to continued oppression and injustice. This is a major challenge that must be overcome if a Shared Society is ever to be built.

The Club de Madrid has developed the Shared Societies Project as a way to achieve an integrated society. In this framework it has developed 10 Commitments, including Commitment V:

Take steps to deal with economic disadvantages face by sections of society who are discriminated against, and ensure equal access to opportunities and resources”

While stories articles such as this one may appear discouraging, simply the fact that they are getting attention builds the awareness needed to produce change.


Photo credit: Andrea Bruce, NYT

Fostering Inclusion and Empowerment: The contribution of Women in Nagaland

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Promoting equality and social inclusion in Nagaland, India is the goal of Kheshili Chishi of the Indigenous Women´s Forum for North-East India (IWFNEI) who hosted a workshop on the role of women in peace building between tribal groups and the promotion and protection of indigenous rights for women. Speaking fervently about empowerment and the exercising of rights, Chishi focused on peace building not only in times of conflict but at all times, saying, “Simply talking is not enough unless you put yourself into action. Each one of us has to shoulder the responsibility.

Furthermore, the workshop stressed the need for equal access to healthcare and work, emphasizing the importance of women´s political participation. In doing so, the workshop also related heavily to SSP´s commitments on institutional arrangements, service provisions, and inter-community development, and is a practical example of the ideas emerging from the Women and Shared Societies Working Group on the active role women can play in overcoming intergroup conflict, all focused on creating greater social cohesion.

For more information, the full article from the Morung Express News can be found here.

Social Cohesion, Social Inequality and Social Participation in India

Protap Mukherjee on Social Cohesion, Social Inequality and Social Participation in India, at the Shared Societies International Workshop held in Maastricht(May 2012).

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Protap Mukherjee is Research Associate at National Population Stabilisation Fund

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is International Women’s Day! The Club de Madrid has published a statement signed by our President, Wim Kok, and our Secretary General, Carlos Westendorp. You can find the whole text on the Club de Madrid’s website.


We at the Club de Madrid work under the premise that the security of women is the best indicator of the security of a nation. We firmly believe that people with first-hand knowledge of the causes and extreme effects of the on-ground security development situation should be included in the resolution of local security problems.

Equal participation of women is fundamental for Democratic and peace-making processes; it is both the means and the end goal for peace and stabilization. As my colleague Michelle Bachelet said in her Introductory Statement of the 56th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, “When women have voice and representation, change follows”. Working together we can bring about this change.

For your information, please also find enclosed a video message from the UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile (2006-2010) and Club de Madrid member.

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Also, have you ever paused to contemplate in which countries women tend to thrive and propser the post? Foreign Policy magazine attempt to tackle and broach this issue; the results of which you can find below:

Happy International Women’s Day to all!

Join the debate on Twitter using the hashtags #IWD and #CdM


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