Wednesday, 22 February 2017


THE 3 LS OF EMPOWERMENT  by Christine Lagarde

A SHORT SUMMARY: This is a speech done by Christine Lagarde. She prepares the women to take the challenges of  the 21st century. She speaks of the 3Ls of empowerment. They are learning, labour and leadership. Education will help women to break the chains of discrimination. Labour will help women to achieve their true potential. Leadership will help them to exhibit their talents and rise in their life. So women should come out of their comfort zone to face the challenges. Thus they can deliver the difference.
THEME: Education, determination and courage help women to break the shackles of socio-cultural taboos.
“The 3Ls of Empowerment” is a speech done by Christine Lagarde the first woman Finance Minister of France. She exhorts us to take the challenges of the 21st century.
She underlines the importance of women’s empowerment. She identifies the economic role of women. At the same time she wonders at the plight of women. According to her women should be given equal opportunity. She feels disturbed at the modern- scenario. She says today women are blocked to contribute their talents. Women are denied of equal opportunity. According to her a concerted effort will surely open the door to opportunity. She strongly recommends the 3Ls of women’s empowerment. They are learning, labour and leadership. She believes in the power of educating women. It will enable them to realize their power and break the chains of discrimination.
Next the speaker is confident of the labour to achieve women- empowerment. But she is not optimistic with today’s economic- scenario. Women are getting low payment, low status and low security jobs. She emphasizes an immediate change. The prime objective should be equal pay for equal work. She hopes for a change by eliminating gender gaps. She is optimistic that this would promote an increase in per capita income.
Finally the speaker points out that leadership is another important thing in empowering women. She firmly believes that leadership will enable them to rise and fulfill their inborn abilities and talents. It will really help them to fulfil their ambitions lin life. She is optimistic in women’s power of making good decisions with common agreement and long-term sustainability.
She concludes her speech emphasizing the fact that women must have confidence to come out of their comfort- zone. She should be ready to face any challenges and make difference in the society. She is really positive-minded to dream a world where women will reap the benefits with the above 3Ls of empowerment.
·        Christine Lagarde in her speech highlights the need for the empowerment of women.
·        She speaks of ‘learning’,’ labour’ and leadership as the three essential factors for women empowerment.
·        If you educate a boy, you train a man. If you educate a girl, you train a village (African Adage)
·        Basic norms of the society should be ‘equal pay for equal work’.
·        Researches show that ‘eliminating gender gaps’ will bring an increase in per capita income.
·        Women often get low pay, low status and low- security jobs.
·        In some countries per capita income lag significantly because women are denied equal opportunity.
·        Women represent half the world’s population.
·        We can ensure changes in society only with education, because education is the foundation of any change.
·        We should not show any discrimination against women in the case of property and inheritance laws.
·        Women can achieve greater economicindependence by education and health care.
·        Women should be confident and they should change the mindset and reset again to make changes in society.
·        Women should be ready to ‘dare the difference’ by taking risks.
·        Women should go outside their comfort zones.
·        It is time to create a world where all women can meet their potential without impediment or prejudice.
Pearl S Buck has said, “Men and women should own the world as a mutual possession”. We know that there are several challenges that Indian women face today, gender inequality is one of them. In order to build a healthy and prosperous nation, there is a need to mainstream women’s perspectives in all developmental processes as catalysts, participants and recipients.
The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian constitution in its Preamble. From the Fifth Five Year Plan onwards , there has been a marked shift in the approach to women’s issues, from welfare to development. The Government of India declared 2001 as the year of Women’s Empowerment (Swashakti). According to United Nations, “Women empowerment is a process by which women take control and ownership of their lives through expansion of their choices”.
Empowerment of women needs to be operated at different levels-Economic, Social, Political, Psychological and Familial. Economic level includes poverty eradication, women and economy, globalization, women and agriculture etc. Social level includes education, health, nutrition sanitation, rights of the girl child etc. Political level includes ‘gain political power and execute political responsibilities. Psychological level includes facing situations without fear and secure moral satisfaction. Finally familial level includes making independent decisions in the family, avoid domestic violence and relationship battle among family members.
Subrahmania Bharathi, the Indian poet and social reformer has once saidempowered, enlightened women can take the lead in building a good family, a compassionate society and a more tolerant world.
The literary world too has strongly been advocating the struggle for women’s liberation and equal rights through prose and verse. The post-independent India has witnessed the emergence of zealous women writers who have been successful in expressing their independent identity.
Pandit Jawahalal Nehru says, “The emancipation and empowerment of women was a major principle of our national freedom movement. But still women face numerous challenges and discriminations emanating from social prejudices. The worst manifestation is female foeticide. I hope we can all join hands and work together to make society a safer and more secure place for women. We need a fundamental change in our mindset. Society has to be made aware that a girl child is a boon and a gift.
Empowering women requires a multi level approach- a three E approach. This approach involves enabling environment, education and equality. So women who wish to pursue education should be supported through scholarships and loan facilities. They should also be encouraged to build entreprenurship as a career option and to look at self employment options. It is equally important for women to be motivated to fight against discrimination and to march towards equal status. Physical education for girls should be made compulsory to girl students from a very early age to make them physically strong and to build their confidence.   
However, in our country, there is the need for a sea change in the mindset and attitude of the people to truly understand the meaning of women’s empowerment.
Smita Patil was an active feminist and a member of the Women’s Centre in Mumbai. She was deeply committed to the advancement of Women’s issues in her films. Almost all of her films explore the role of women in traditional Indian society.
Helen Boaden is the Director of BBC Radio, which provides the national radio stations. She covers local news, current affairs, etc to empower women and the whole society.
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom is also known as MC Mary Kom or simply Mary Kom. She is a five-time World Amateur Boxing Champion. She is nicknamed  “Magnificent Mary”. She is the only Indian women boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics. She became the first Indian woman boxer to get a Gold Medal in the Asian Games in 2014, In Incheon, South Korea.
J K Rowling is a British novelist, best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantansy series. Rowling was named the “Most influential Woman in Britain” by leading magazine editors. She has supported charities including Comic Relief, One Parent Families and in politics supports the Labour Party and Better Together.
Any Woman” is a poem written by Katherine Tynan. This poem describes how the presence of the mother makes the family happy. It also reflects the poet’s belief that woman is the central figure in a family. It presents the all-embracing power of a woman to hold a family together. The poem gives a vivid account of the sentiments and emotions of women who are the backbones of the family and society.
Women always stand for supporting their family and children. They are ready to sacrifice anything for their family. This poem appears like a prayer to God. In this poem the woman is compared to the pillars of her family. She is ready to do anything for the children, because she thinks that without a mother, good children cannot be shaped. She doesn’t raise any voice when she does all things from floor to roof. She stands as a wall against all dangers and tries to act as a door against the wind and snow. She is described as the fire upon the hearth. She is also compared to the light and heat that warms the earth. At last she prays to God that she should be allowed to live till her children grow up.
The poem contains six stanzas. Each stanza contains four lines.It contains visual and tactile images like the house,the hearth(visual),heat and cold(tactile). It has a hymn-like tone. It is in the form of an earnest prayer of a mother.  The poet has made use of simple words and language. So it is very easy to understand. The first-person narration is used here. The rhyming words are used except in the first stanza.The rhyme scheme is ‘abab’. Besides the poem “Any woman” is a unique blend of Catholicism and feminism.  It is very clear that the poem “Any Woman” brings out the feelings and views of any woman.
Read the following lines from “Any Woman” by Katherine Tynan
“I am their wall against all danger,Their doors against the wind and snow,
Thou whom a woman laid in a manger, Take me not till the children grow!”
Explain the message of the above lines in a paragraph.
The Poetess Catherine Tynan in her poem “Any Woman” expresses her thoughts and feelings of women who are backbones of the family and society. The poem is actually the voice of women.
The Poetess here speaks the importance of a woman in a family. She is the wall that protects the children against all kinds of dangers. She also can resist dangerous winds and snow. Thus her family will be well protected. The poet highlights the fact that women stand as a door against all adversities of family.
The last lines are made as a form of prayer of motherhood . She prays to God who assumed the form of man to save the lives of all women. She wants to live till her children grow into menhood. She knows well children can acquire good qualities along with a mother. She wants to make her children good. After that she is ready to sacrifice her life.


THE TOYS BY Coventry Patmore
The poem “The Toys” describes the thoughts of a father. It gives a vivid picture of the sorrows of childhood. When his little son disobeys him he punishes him. He treats him with hard words and sends him to bed without any affection. Later he finds his sleeping son with tears on his eyelids. He also finds him with some toys. Thus the father feels sorry for his mistake. He becomes conscious of his cruel behavior.
We can’t justify his action because the boy needs love and care. Besides his mother is no more. If he disobeyed him, the father could correct him in a lovely manner. He should be very patient and tolerant.
Compare the poem “The Toys” with the poem “Any Woman”
The poems, “The Toys” and “Any Woman” are similar poems. Both these poems mainly talk about the role of mother in a family. In Patmores “The Toys”, the boy is sad when his father punished him, because he was lonely after his mother’s death. But the poem “Any Woman” describes how the presence of mother makes the family happy and the “The Toys” depicts how the absence of mother makes the family sad.
Both poems contain images. “Any Woman” contains visual as well as tactile images like the house, the hearth (visual), heat and cold (tactile). “The Toys” contain visual, auditory and kinesthetic images like darkened eyelids and their lashes (visual) and moved and spoke in quiet, grown- up wise.(auditory) and I struck him and dismissed (Kinesthetic)
The themes of the poems are entirely different. Tynan Poem “any Woman” reflects her belief that woman is the central figure in a family. The theme of “The Toys” is man’s love versus God’s love. Man’s love can’t go beyond the Father’s love. Man’s love is totally different from the Father’s love. Man’s love only sees one side of a matter. In the poem “The Toys” we can see a father who punishes his child with hard words and sends him to sleep. Later he finds that his son is sleeping alone. He also finds some toys near his bed.  But in the poem “Any Woman” we can see a mother who satnds as a pillar and keystone of the house. She binds her children with strings of love. The poet even glorifies the mother by describing her as the walls that protect the house.
Tone: The poem “Any Woman” has a hymn-like tone. It is in the form of an earnest prayer of a mother. The tone of “The Toys” is serious, sympathetic and regretful. The dominat tone in the poem is serious. It is sympathetic because the father sympathizes with his child. It is also regretful because he realizes that he himself does bad things. But he is not punished by God. Both poems are religious.
Both these poems make use of powerful symbols. The poem “The Toys”, symbolically reveals the sorrows of childhood and the love of God to his children as a father. We can see a person doing bad things. But he is not punished by God. When his child does a bad thing, he punishes the child. Here he doesn’t consider the unconditional love of God. God is like the unconditionally forgiving father of the prodigal son in the Bible.
Tone of the poem: The poem “Any Woman” has a hymn-like tone. It is in the form of an earnest prayer of a mother. The tone of “The Toys” is serious. It is sympathetic  because the father sympathizes with his child. It is also regretful because the father realizes that he himself does bad things and is not punished by God. It is shameful that the father has punished the boy.
Both poems are religious. The poem “Any Woman” is a unique blend of Catholicism and feminism. “The Toys” reflects the Old and New Testament ideas in its structure and message.
MAJOR FIGURE OF SPEECH: The poem “Any Woman” employs the figure of speech ‘metaphor’.  Eg. “The first thing is a second thing. I am the pillars of the house. I am the fire upon the hearth. “ etc. The metaphors in this poem are so effective and strong. The metaphors bring out the power and depth of mother’s influence in the family.
SUMMARY:  It is a short story about a married couple. In this story, women are compared to matchboxes. Matchboxes have fire inside. Like women they appear meek and harmless, but they can set everything into fire within no time.
Ashapurna Debi tells the story of a Bengalimiddle-class woman. The central character of the story is Nomita. She is from a poor family. But she is married to a rich person named Ajit. Nomita his wife doesn’t like his habit of opening her letter. She often becomes angry at him. But he never tries to stop this habit. She also gets insulting comments about her mother.Mother used to write about her misfortunes and hardships. But Ajit her husband goes wherever he wants and leads a happy life enjoying freedom. .Ajit even challenges hersaying, “I will do what I want, what I please. What will you do?Can you do anything? Thus Nomita leads a miserable life of pain and frustration and is confined to the house by custom.
When we come to the climax of the story, we can see a woman who gets angry and goes out of control. She even threatens him that she would teach him a lesson. But Ajit goes on making humorous comments at her using insulting words. Nomita then explodes with rage and she frightenes him by setting fire to her own sari. This story really describes the consequences of her rage at the misbehavior of her husband. She lights a matchstick and touches it to her sari. “Instantly it flares up, the very fine anchhol of a wealthy wife’s sari.” Ajit pours water on her sari and tries to make Nomita calm. Nomita calms down and she begins her house hold works again.
The short story “Matchbox” is a vivid record of the feminist struggle for their empowerment. The central character of the story is Nomita. She is from a poor family. But she is married to a rich person named Ajit. Nomita his wife doesn’t like his habit of opening her letter. She often becomes angry at him. But he never tries to stop this habit. She also gets insulting comments about her mother. Nomita reacts in a different way. She loves her husband and does all the chores of the house. She is an ordinary woman. We can say she is really a bride daughter, wife or mother of our own surroundings.  But Nomita is different in her own way. Though she is the daughter of a poor dung-picker, she is a woman with dignity.Her fights are not personal. She fights against the cruel world of men. Though she is compared to a matchbox, she won’t burn anybody.
SPEECH WELCOMING THE PANELLISTS AND INTRODUCING THEM ( “Indian women- finding a space in the socio-cultural mileu”.)
Good morning…
On this auspices day, I am extremely happy to invite all of you to this panel discussion. I feel very much excited to announce the topic of today’s panel discussion. The topic is “Indian women-finding a space in the socio-cultural mileu”. The Indian women are not enjoying freedom in the fullest sense. They suffer inequality and other problems. We have some experts to enrich our discussion.
First I welcome Smt. Sugatha Kumari, the famous environmentalist and a former member of Women’s commission, Kerala. As an environmentalist, we all know her. There is no need of any introduction. I cordially welcome her to this panel discussion. Next I welcome Film Actress Smt. Manju Warrier. As you all know she is working for the green movement. She is the brand ambassador of. All these people are working hard for the women empowerment. Let’s wait patiently to get their viewpoints on women empowerment. So let’s us listen them. I hope this discussion will find some solution for all the problems and inequalities.  Finally I welcome all of you to this wonderful event. Welcome all…... Gandhiji said, “Women will enjoy the same right as men………….This is the India of my dreams”
What can we do to empower the women of our nation? Express your views in the form of an essay.
Introduction:  Women empowerment is a great issue that has achieved importance recent times. A world in which women enjoy the same right as men is a far reaching dream for us today. The main reason behind this is the increasing cruelties against women.
Women have a central role to play in the development process, but their particular needs and rights are often not reflected in development policies and practices. Women have been considered as the second citizens in our society. Our constitution allows equal rights for men and women, but they are not implemented properly. It is a fact that women are reaching heights even in the adversities. But the question is how can we ensure the rights and needs of women?
Women have a great role in the development of a nation. The new generations spring from them. They are said to be the backbone of the nation. It is said that there is woman behind every success of man. Women possess great talents and potentials. Still they are not well recognized.
If we analyze the case of women, we can understand that they are neglected from all spheres of life, even in their family. Men are not treating them as human beings and behave very cruelly.  Even in this 21st century, all the girls are not getting equal opportunity for education and they are getting married at an early age. If this is the condition our country is sure to become a derelict nation. Women have to do the world’s agricultural work, producing food for their families, but often they cannot own or inherit  the land they work or live in. The situation of women is often hard and dangerous in developing countries. The reason behind this situation is poverty,  inequality, social attitudes, illiteracy and violent conflict.
At this situation we have to do something to empower the women. As students it should be our responsibility to respect women. It is high time to ensure measures for ensuring safety for women. Women empowerment should start from the family itself as it is the basic structure of the society. The males should also be involved in household duties like cooking, cleaning etc. As students we should visit our neighbours to study the situations and take adequate awareness to solve women’s problems. Women should be able to go for education and do some jobs even after their marriage. Strict measures should be taken against child-marriage.  We should ensure education for all women of our village.
Gandhiji, our Father of Nation dreamed of an India where women will enjoy the same rights as men. As students we should try our best to eradicate the discrimination women suffer from society. Education is the only thing by which women can be well educated. From the evidence gathered over 30 years show that educating women is the single most powerful weapon against malnutrition.
It is very important that the society must change their attitude towards women. Women should be considered as the most powerful resource of any nation. They should get an opportunity to express themselves and show their talents. All these measures would ensure drastic change in the women-empowerment.
So let’s not forget the fact that women are the greatest gift of God. Women empowerment is an essential factor which should be done so earnestly in our nation than anything else. Only then we can say that our country is really a well-devloped one. Let’s together work for this noble cause.
Sudha Murthy’s short story “Horegallu” speaks about the importance of resting during the journey of life. The rest is related to both physical and emotional. Rest is needed for men to lighten their burdens. The story, “Horegallu” is set in a village in Karnataka.. Horegallu means a stone that can bear weight. It is a large flat stone placed horizontally over two vertical ones. Thus it makes a stone bench on which anyone could sit and rest a while. It also becomes a place where one can chat with a fellow traveler and exchange news of the road. Here Sudha Murty narrates how her grandfather used to sit on the horegallu and speak to farmers. It was really a refreshing experience for them. But Sudha Murty was not aware of the value of such horegallus in her childhood. After some years when she completed her education, she understood the true value of such horegallus. It was In Mumbai she found her colleague Ratna who reminded her of the village Horegallu. People in her office used to share their problems with Ratna during the lunch hour. Ratna worked like the author’s grandfather. She helped the people regain their strength. Ratna would sit with some person in one of the rooms. They would have long chats but Ratna never suggested any solution to their problems. She is not a trained counselor or an intellectual to solve their problems. Ratna says, “ God has given me two ears to listen to others. I hear them out with sympathy and without any judgement.”  Ratna’s words echoed Sudha Murty’s grandfather’s sitting on the stone bench under the banyan tree.Ratna as well as the retired school teacher (Grandfather) were really doing great social service. Though nobody acknowledged their service, their acts of kindness gave them joy. We can see the true spirit of India in the minds of the people like the retires school teacher and Ratna. Thus the short story proves that our problems are silly and we should be ready to look at the brighter side  of our life. Nothing will happen to us after worrying over them.
Styles used…1) Fictionalisation of real life experiences 2) Use of simple words 3) Exploring the spirit of India 4) Capturing the essence of human life. 5) adopting the style of  the writer R.K Narayan 6) Conveys good morals from humility to humanity 7) Stories of every day people. 8) Sharing the feelings, emotions and experiences of her travels world-wide. 9) Real life-like quality 10) Makes us think about our life 11) Bringing female characters  with the excuse she says, “I can understand women better than men”
Sudha Murty’s grandfather says, “A horegallu is essential in any journey. “
“We all carry our burdens according to our situations and capacities. But every once in a while, we need to stop, put down that burden and rest. Only then can we be refreshed enough to pick up the load once more”
·        The stone bench gives everyone an opportunity to put down the burden of life and take rest.
·        It helps people regain their strength.
·        Horegallu attains a philosophical dimension at the end of the story.
·        The author’s grandfather sitting on the Horegallu and Ratna listening to her colleagues were giving kindness and joy to the people around them.
·        The symbol “Horegallu” carries the whole meaning of the story.  It allows different interpretation to the story.
1. Do you think that one can comfort others and give a relief to them from their problems by listening to them? Prepare an essay on the topic, “ The importance of being a good listener”.
2. Prepare a report for your school magazine on the Film-Festival you conducted in your School with the women characters and women film-makers.


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