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For the 21st Century: More Female Voices at the Table




Asia Society President Vishakha Desai

Asia Society President Vishakha Desai

On March 8, 2011 over 100 countries celebrated International Women's Day, and throughout March, hundreds of events will not only mark the accomplishments of women but also raise awareness about women’s rights issues.

While celebrating and reflecting, Asia Society President Vishakha Desai says we must also "remind ourselves of the dramatically changed context of the world in the early decades of the 21st century and its implications for women."

“The geo-economic and geo-political shift to an Asia-U.S. axis from the Euro-American axis is undeniable. In this new power structure, we are not hearing many female voices at the table. Educated women in China and India are ambitious by any standards, and there are statistics to prove it. They are entering the workforce in huge numbers, but there is a dearth of senior women in management positions or governmental ministries.

"On the other hand, the cases of violence against women in some parts of Asia are increasing, even as more young women are being educated.

"In this second decade of the 21st century, it behooves us to be mindful of both the need for more Asian women voices at the top and for greater empowerment of women at the lower levels of the social ladder. It is time for us to connect these two agendas for women in Asia and in the U.S. to make a greater impact on our societies.”

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