SheThePeople.TV kickstarted the celebrations for the International Women’s Day 2019, with a #SheLeadsIndia Twitter broadcast. Our Founder Shaili Chopra moderated a panel discussion with some inspiring women from different walks of life. With their extraordinary vision, these women are leading the way for many others to follow. Participating in this session were Upasana Taku, Founder at Zaakpay and Co-founder at Mobikwik, Kishwar Desai, author, columnist and the Chair of The Arts And Cultural Heritage Trust, Kavita Devi, Digital Head at Khabar Lahariya and Nishtha Satyam, Deputy Country Representative of India at UN Women. The panelists talked about how media and tech innovations can help amplify women’s voices, and what can we do to increase exposure of women to be able to express and be a part of decision and policy making.

SOME TAKEAWAYS: 

  • Accessibility and affordability are two strong pillars for digital empowerment. – Nishtha Satyam
  • Objectification of women in media exists.- Kishwar Desai
  • Mobile phones should not be seen as instruments that will spoil the girls.- Kavita Devi
  • Financial independence is extremely important for every woman.-  Upasana Taku

Involvement of women across various fields needs to rise.

Upasana Taku spoke on how the involvement of women in fields like engineering or finance is in deficit, as compared to that in the marketing or business sector. In fact, the existing numbers seem to be dropping, she opines. Changing that number is the need of the hour. She said, “We need a lot of representation. We need a lot of women to come out and do new things.”

How technology breaks various barriers

Kishwar Desai recalled her time working in the television industry. She moved from working with an English Channel to the Hindi and ultimately to Punjabi ones, because she wanted to reach out to more people, as technology was not a handy tool back then. “People may not have met in real lives, but the power of social media plays a humongous part and it needs to be appreciated by the women. Women need to use technology to their benefit and make their presence felt,” she said.

“Male heads of the families think it is a crime to give girls access to smartphones and technology.” – Kavita Devi

Kavita Devi on the other hand, shared her experience of using the technology for the first time and how she gave training to other women in Bundelkhand to make the most out of it. “Women with smartphones and technology at their disposal commute to different places, to shoot what is happening around them. After proper scripting and editing the news is brought into the notice of people through the platform of Khabar Lahariya,” she said. The one drawback that she finds in the backward areas is that young girls do not have their own smartphones. “Male heads of the families think it is a crime to give girls an access to smartphones and technology. Mobile phones should not be seen as instruments that will spoil them.”

#SheLeadsIndia
#SheLeadsIndia panel at Twitter live

Technology also helps in bringing forth women’s voices

“Through technology, it is easier to bring out the voices of women to us.” – Nishtha Satyam

On being asked how women are giving their viewpoints, and more importantly, how organisations like the UN are acknowledging them, Nishtha Satyam said, “Women’s issues are now centrally placed vote bank issues. When political parties discuss their manifestos, they bring forward the wants of women in the current scenario. Through technology, it is easier to bring out the voices of women to us. Technology has not played an important role in bringing our voices, but not analysing them.”

On women who inspire them

On being asked about women who inspire her, Upasana Taku said, “I am inspired by women who take up the challenges instead of not giving up.” Kishwar Desai, on the other hand, said, “I take a lot of inspiration from a lot of women who have come different walks of life but are still grounded. They’re deprived of many facilities, but they still achieve great things.”

Sonakshi Goel is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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