"It's The Best Time To Be A Woman In India," Says Country's Envoy To UN



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It is the best time to be a woman in India today, the country's UN envoy Ruchira Kamboj has said, emphasising that the government was fully empowering women at all levels.

The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, in partnership with UN Women India, organised a high-level panel discussion this week on 'Leveraging Public-Private Commitment for Women's Greater Access to Technology and Education" at the United Nations Headquarters on the margins of the ongoing 67th session of the Commission on Status of Women.

"In India, there has been enormous, enormous growth in the past eight-nine years particularly and today, I think it is perhaps the best time to be a woman in India. I mean that very sincerely," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Kamboj said.

In her remarks, Ms Kamboj stressed that in India "we recognise the transformational capacity of technology to provide impetus to women's empowerment and sustainable development."

"This is a fantastic time to be a woman and the government is fully empowering you at all levels. The Prime Minister has emphasised upon a model of women-led growth and development and it is very much a reality," Ms Kamboj said.

She highlighted that the Government of India has taken numerous citizen-centric digital initiatives with a greater focus to enable access for women to finance, credit, technology, and employment.

These initiatives have focused on providing immediate assistance to women in distress, preventing violence against women, and promoting women's full and equal participation in every sphere of society, she said.

Ms Kamboj spoke on two major initiatives -- the Digital India programme and the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) trinity -- that have shown the capacity of technology to provide impetus to women's empowerment and sustainable development.

She said that during the pandemic, these initiatives had facilitated direct benefit transfer to nearly 200 million women.

Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Anita Bhatia said that since 2017, successive Commissions on the Status of Women have recognized the important and fundamental role that digitalization plays in closing the gender digital divide.

Highlighting that women have less access than men and boys to technology, Ms Bhatia said "the non-negotiables have to be a recognition that digital rights are also human rights and that women have as much right to digital access as do men and boys."

She pointed to data, which she termed as "pretty shocking" and according to which, globally men are 20 per cent more likely to be online than women, with this percentage as high as 52 in low-income countries as a group.

"There also has to be a recognition of this from the point of view of opportunity, because not investing sufficiently in digitalization means that governments are actually leaving money on the table," she said.

Ms Bhatia added that in a post-pandemic world, where the fiscal space is constrained, "this is actually a fabulous opportunity to say how can we leapfrog our economies, how can we grow our economies quickly and how can we do so by leveraging both the power, creativity and innovation of women, but also the power of creativity and innovation that is inherent in digitalisation."

Ms Bhatia also noted that the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field is "uber-masculine" and "we need to make it look less masculine and have more girls and boys involved in this."

Apollo Hospitals Joint Managing Director Dr Sangita Reddy told the discussion that "in a single word, what we are all seeking today - we were striving for equity. We're looking forward now to 'Techquity'."

Ms Reddy said it is techquity "which will help us take the position that we're looking forward to in the years to come."

With technology driving every aspect and field of life now, Ms Reddy said from computing and automation to artificial intelligence.

"The world is transforming. As we seek equity in this world, it is important for every woman to be digitally connected, digitally savvy," Ms Reddy said.

The panel discussion was organised as a part of the 'India Roundtables' at the United Nations.

The roundtables, being organised to commemorate India@75, will showcase India's achievements in various areas of development, including women empowerment, financial inclusion, social development, climate action, and many more.

The panel, moderated by Country Representative, UN Women India Susan Ferguson, included Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, LinkedIn Melissa Selcher, and Senior Vice President & Human Resources Development Head - India & Americas, Nina Nair.

Source: NDTV

   

Italy is interested in selling arms to Bangladesh



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Italy is interested in selling various types of weapons and military equipment including fighter jets, satellites, patrol ships to Bangladesh. The European country wants to sign a defense agreement with Bangladesh to facilitate the sale of arms.

The matter may gain importance in the foreign secretary level talks of the two countries to be held in Dhaka on Monday (June 24).

Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the second political consultation meeting of the two countries will be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday afternoon. The meeting will be led by Foreign Secretary Masood Bin Momen on behalf of Bangladesh and Riccardo Guariglia, Secretary General of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on behalf of Italy.

Last month, Italian Ambassador Antonio Alessandro paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban. At that time, he told the Prime Minister that his country is interested in the transfer of technology including the sale of arms for the modernization of the armed forces of Bangladesh. Italy is also preparing to give a second satellite to Bangladesh.

According to diplomatic sources, the agenda of the meeting of the foreign secretaries of the two countries to be held in Dhaka on Monday includes issues such as political cooperation, trade, investment, defense, immigration, satellite technology, information and communication technology, cyber security.

When asked about defense cooperation, a related senior official said that Italy has offered to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the defense sector several years ago. The country is quite interested in this matter. In recent years, Italy has been giving special importance to the issue of defense in cooperation with Bangladesh.

According to various sources, Italy is interested in selling various types of equipment to the Bangladesh Air Force and Navy. Thales Alenia, a joint venture of France's Thales and Italy's Leonardo, has shown interest in selling the second satellite to Bangladesh. In addition to aircraft, security and aerospace maker Leonardo is talking about aircraft maintenance and technology transfer. And Italian shipbuilders have offered to sell coastal patrol vessels as well as transfer technology.

However, several officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that no new project is being taken up due to financial reasons including the crisis of reserves. In such a situation, there will be no final decision about Italy's armament at the moment. And the defense MoU will not be signed now as several procedural issues are pending.

Officials in Dhaka said that the issue of safe and orderly migration of workers from Bangladesh will be given importance in this meeting between the two countries. Italy drafted a memorandum of understanding to Bangladesh in February this year to facilitate safe migration between the two countries. This draft will be discussed.

It is known that the Rohingya crisis will be discussed due to the deteriorating internal situation in Myanmar in the discussion between the foreign secretaries of the two countries. A part of the Italian delegation will visit Cox's Bazar after the meeting.

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This time Palestine was recognized by another European country



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This time, another European country, Armenia, has recognized Palestine as an independent state. At the same time, the country has strongly condemned the barbaric attacks and massacres by the Israeli forces in the besieged Gaza territory of Palestine.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Eastern European country made this announcement on Friday (June 21), Arab News reported in its report.

In the declaration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia demanded an end to Israeli violence in the entire Palestinian territory, including Gaza. By granting this recognition, the Eastern European country supports the Palestinian people's right to self-determination and their legitimate status as an independent state.

Earlier, the Slovenian government approved the decision to recognize Palestine as an independent state on May 30. The Slovenian prime minister also demanded an immediate end to the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and the release of all Israeli prisoners.

Spain, Norway and Ireland officially recognized Palestine as an independent state on May 28. The leaders of the countries said that their countries officially recognize the Palestinian state for peace in the Middle East.

So far, about 145 UN countries have recognized Palestine.

Incidentally, starting from October 7, Israel has been carrying out indiscriminate massacres and barbaric attacks in Gaza, which is besieged by Palestine, for about eight months. More than 37,000 Palestinians have already been killed in Israeli attacks. Most of them are women and children. Besides, more than 88 thousand people were injured.

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Butcher Jihad in 14 days jail custody again



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Jhenaidah-4 Constituency MP Anwarul Azim Anar's murder case accused butcher Jihad Howladar has been ordered to 14 days in jail custody again.

Barasat’s Sessions Court of North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal gave this order on Friday (June 21).

On May 23, Jihad was arrested from Bangaon in West Bengal by the CID of West Bengal State Police. On May 24, he was taken to Barasat Court for the first time. After that, the court ordered a total of 14 days CID custody for 2 rounds. After CID remand, when he was taken to court on June 7, the judge ordered 14 days of jail custody in the first phase. At the end of that period, the court again ordered a 14-day jail custody on Friday.

However, the accused Jihad Howladar did not appear in court that day. He is currently lodged in Dum Dum Central Jail. From there, Chief Judicial Magistrate Shuvankar Biswas heard the statement of the accused on video conference and fixed the date of next appearance. In that case, he will be brought to court again on July 5.

Accused Jihad has been booked under four non-bailable sections – 364 (kidnapping with intent to murder), 302 (culpable homicide), 201 (tampering with evidence) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) – of the Indian Penal Code.

It is to be noted that on May 13, MP Anar was murdered in Sanjiva Garden in Newtown. It is known that the murder was done on the orders of Akhtaruzzaman Shaheen, a US citizen of Bangladesh origin, who planned the murder.

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Despite ban, Turkish goods are going to Israel



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Turkey imposed a ban on all trade with Israel. The announcement was made by the country's Ministry of Commerce last May citing the "further deterioration of the humanitarian situation" in the besieged Gaza Strip. However, despite the ban, Turkish goods are going to Israel through third countries this month.

This information was published in a report of Middle East Eye on Thursday (June 20).

According to the report, Turkish goods have been reaching Israel through Greece and other nearby countries since the beginning of May, despite the trade embargo.

According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel imported 116 million US dollars worth of goods from Turkey last May which is 69 percent less than May last year. But Turkey's export agency claims only 4 million US dollars worth of goods went to Israel in May which is 99 percent less than last May.

However, a permanent ceasefire has not yet been established in Gaza. In the meantime, Turkey is sending goods to Israel even after announcing the imposition of a complete trade embargo on Israel.

However, a trade official claimed that most of the goods that Israel ordered before Turkey imposed the trade embargo are now going to Israel via Greece.

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