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What Did You Learn This Women’s Day?

As we transition from a week hyper focused on women to a weekend filled with festivity and colour, here’s a final look at Women’s Day messages for 2017.

Photo Credit : Debjani:; Maneka:; Dia:,

Dia Mirza, celebrated actress and social activist

Women must empower women

“As someone who was brought up in a home where I didn’t know the difference between being a male child and a female child, I was encouraged to seek my dreams and find independence at a young age. I find there is nothing more gratifying or empowering than women at home who empower women. So to all the women out there, I would like to say that you play a pivotal role as a woman of the home – in influencing the men, the house, and the women. So know your rights, treat each other, man or woman equally, and give the respect you expect in return.”

Women must seek financial independence

“And also find financial independence. I think financial independence makes a huge difference. Let me give you a small example. A group of women were rescued from prostitution and were rehabilitated. The hope was that their families would take them back, but these families didn’t want these women back because of social stigmas associated with prostitution. So what a group of lawyers decided to do was to give these women financial independence. Each of them was given a steady job with a steady income. The moment that happened the families accepted the women back. That right there is a huge, huge insight into how much of a difference an earning woman can make and how much it can empower her individuality and her sense of life.”

Debjani Ghosh, a top 25 powerful woman in India; South Asia MD of Intel, soon to play bigger role in Digital India initiative

Don’t leave all the work to the men; women must step up too

“This is a very exciting time for all of us living in India. We are actually living the change. I think this is a time where women have to step up and take centre stage because we have to ensure that this change happens right. And as we leap frog several instances we must ensure that the new India that is built is an India of equal opportunity, diversity and fairness.

I think it’s extremely important for women to take centre stage, to be bold, to be confident, to be resilient, to step up and be heard. I think women entrepreneurs have a tremendous role to play because the change that is needed in India is going to be brought about with solutions that has to be created or developed in-house. It can’t be just the men who are driving that. We need women, because we have a different take, we get the nuances of the problem a little bit differently. So we absolutely need the women to step up, in technology - in fact in all areas and play an equal role if not a higher role.”

Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister, Ministry of Women and Child Development

Women must become as important as men in policymaking

“We have FICCI, we have CII, we have the ASSOCHAM, we have bodies like that the government and finance ministry calls when they are crafting policies. But they never, ever call women. FLO (FICCI Ladies Organization) are the wives of those in FICCI. Somebody is wife of someone. In Rotary Clubs you have Annies. I’m just saying… a lot of women join in but basically it was intended to be the female leftover or something to keep women busy while men got on with the real job of making policy, meeting politicians whatever.

The point is you can be as important as men in government policy. Therefore we are starting – it will be going to cabinet now, the bill for approving a Women’s Entrepreneurship Council, where women will have a vote, will be able to elect the leaders they desire for their governing bodies.”

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maneka gandhi Dia Mirza debjani ghosh FICCI FLO

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