Chennai: “More women should have a say in the governance of the country. India lags behind other countries in South Asia including Pakistan when it comes to the percentage of woman representatives in the Parliament,” said India’s first woman Ambassador to Germany, Meera Shankar.
Speaking at the Women Managers Convention 2018 organised by Madras Management Association here on Saturday, she said, “In Indian Parliament, there is only around 11 per cent representation from woman and even less in State Assemblies. When Sonia Gandhi from Congress, Sushma Swaraj from BJP and Brinda Karat from CPM – from three different political parties tried to pass a bill seeking 33 per cent representation for women in the Parliament, it was opposed in the Lok Sabha. Women should have a say in laws enacted for society, as 50 per cent of the population is comprised of women.”
Actress Radhika Sarathkumar spoke about her experiences and the challenges she faced when she wanted to move away from acting and start her own media company – Radan Media Works. She asked women to build on their strengths as natural multi-taskers, embrace change and take up new roles.
She joked, “I wanted to get away from acting at one point as I thought that if I continue as an actress, I might even be asked to act as Rajinikanth’s mother. That is when I started my own company and started creating roles for myself.”
However, the highlight of the convention was the speech from Guinness world record holders and mountaineering twins, Nungshi and Tashi Malik. They are the first siblings to finish the “The Explorers Grand Slam”- an adventurer’s challenge to reach the north and south pole and climb the highest summit in all seven continents.
Narrating their experience of traveling and scaling summits all around the world, they said, “Unlike humans, the mountains do not discriminate if you are a woman or a man. Scaling a mountain offers the same level of challenges regardless of what gender you are. Through mountaineering we want to inspire girls to rise above gender stereotypes.”
The Women Managers Convention 2018 was conducted with a theme – Mindset Matters. Various dignitaries like journalist Faye D’Souza, stand up comic Karthik Kumar and The Red Elephant founder, Kirthi Jayakumar spoke and debated on topics related to women empowerment and gender stereotyping.