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BW Businessworld

We Own Half The Sky

This issue of BW Businessworld, however, is not really on famers’ distress, we also look at another disadvantaged group — the women — and identify the changemakers

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The past week the financial capital of the country witnessed the quiet but powerful  farmers’ march, led by the CPM’s peasants’ front. The fact that it was led by the CPM is not the issue; the fact that commentators raised questions about the presence of Maoists in the congregation is also not the issue. The issue is that the country’s farmers are in deep distress. This has led to kneejerk responses — like various states announcing loan waivers. This, however, is not a solution, asserts M.S. Swaminathan. The real remedy would be to make farming viable.

This issue of BW Businessworld, however, is not really on famers’ distress.  In this issue we look at another disadvantaged group — the women — and identify the changemakers (whom we call “Power Women”).

Talking about women’s empowerment — the debate usually ends with the periodic (like this year, too, on Women’s Day) — various groups demanded that women’s reservation be introduced in Parliament and Assemblies.

Now, reservations in Panchayati Raj institutions have done a world of good. Even if the bahu-beti brigade cornered all the first generation benefits, the quota ensured that a broad base of women leadership was created. The experiment could well be — and ideally should be — replicated in legislatures.

Equally, if not more important, is the presence of women leaders in boardrooms. Sebi mandates at least one woman director in Boards. This has improved the situation, but we have a long way to go.

As the BW survey on women leaders reveals, women leaders still feel they can’t make intelligent career moves. Work environment is often not conducive to growth. And, if they want to plunge into entrepreneurship, it is not easy at all — various efforts and initiatives of the present government notwithstanding.

It is here that the role of “Power Women” becomes crucial. They are the ones who impact businesses. They also inspire a generation of aspirants. This is one intangible that will go a long way in creating a society — and economy — full of women leaders.

We showcase such Power Women and also chronicle their journeys. Some of the journeys are fascinating — like that of Nirmala Sitharaman, the first woman Defence Minister, since Indira Gandhi.

Apart from the profiles of such women achievers, and a survey, the issue also comes with a personal finance package for women.

We have a second theme that makes it to the cover this issue, where we look at the fascinating journey of healthcare entrepreneur B.R. Shetty who is spreading his wings, far and wide, beyond the UAE, and making enormous investments  in India. In the coming years, Shetty wants to be known as the pre-eminent healthcare entrepreneur of the country.

This issue has an insightful piece by BJP leader Sheshadri Chari on the party’s stunning rise in the North-East, and how it will pan out for the party and the region in the long term.

This issue also has a special interview with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

All in all, a highly readable issue, which I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy.

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Magazine 17 March 2018 editors letter