Ambassador Steiner calls for empowerment of women
On Monday, 28th October, the Embassy of France in India, the Embassy of Germany in India and Zubaan Books held a day-long international seminar, titled, ‘Winning Women : A dialogue between India, France and Germany’.
The seminar, organised in partnership with the India International Centre, brought together panelists from India, France and Germany to dialogue on the situation of women in society and to explore the multiple facets of women’s empowerment across the globe. It unfolded in three sessions: ‘Culture & Identity’, ‘Violence & Inequality’, and ‘Women & Power’.
Enlarge image Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen and French Cabinet Minister for Women's Rights and Government Spokesperson, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem at the seminar (© All rights reserved) Addressing the inaugural session, German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner said that Germany had come a long way. “Although women conquered the right to vote and stand for elections in Germany in 1918, up to 1958 it was impossible for a woman to administer her own money or take up a job without the consent of her husband. Today, Angela Merkel signs euro rescue funds over billions of Euros. But we are not yet top of the class. France is more advanced in offering equal opportunities for men and women."
In his speech, Ambassador Steiner also supported the empowerment of women on a large scale. He said: “To empower women means to empower the next generation. To empower women means to retrieve talents – in arts, in politics, in business; And to empower women means economic growth. If you really want inclusive growth you have to also empower women.”
Further, the seminar examined the panorama of women’s conditions in India, France and Germany and analysed women's progress in different spheres of life, including the history of feminism in each of these three countries. The aim of this event was to bring together activists, scholars, essayists and philosophers who shared their views on various themes such as identity issues, gender equality, violence against women, gender discrimination in the workplace, women’s movements, etc.
Ambassador of France to India François Richier also presented his views at the inaugural session. The concluding remarks at the seminar were made by the Guest Speaker of the event, French Cabinet Minister for Women's Rights and Government Spokesperson, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. Other prominent speakers included Prof. Ute Klammer, Brigitte Triems, Andrea Lindlohr, Geneviève Fraisse, Caroline Fourest, Martha Crawford-Heitzmann, Shoma Chaudhury, Kalyani Menon-Sen, Vrinda Grover, Pamela Philipose, Mrinal Pande and Urvashi Butalia.