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Star Media Group’s Esther Ng was honoured at the Asian Women Entrepreneurs Awards in the Media and Communications category.

The company’s chief content officer was bestowed the award by the Malaysia Chinese Women Entrepreneurs Association (MCWEA) for her experience and work in the Star Media Group’s transformation to a digital-first media outlet.

Ng said it was good that the achievements of women in the media industry were acknowledged and honoured.

“I stand somewhat alone in this, in that there are so few female editors-in-chief among the main media in the country.

“It’s time, not just to sit up but stand up for ourselves. We need to mark and celebrate each milestone we achieve. In the tough and challenging world that is the media industry, editors of mainstream media need to stand together in combating fake news.

“Real news has become a necessity,” she said when met at the presentation ceremony at the Sunway Hotel Resort and Spa on Tuesday.

This year marks the second edition of the Asian Women Entrepreneurs Awards, which was founded last year with the aim of promoting women leadership in business in the region.

MCWEA president Datin Sri Jessie Wong said the awards honour outstanding women leaders who play a significant role in shaping Asia’s business landscape in the next few decades.

“These winners represent the diversity within Asia’s business landscape and the awards recognise these businesswomen as role models for their excellent achievements and contributions towards the industry and nation-building.

“MCWEA seeks to encourage, enhance and empower businesswomen in contributing towards the development of community, industries and the building of national economy,” she said in her speech.

Other winners include Sunway Group exco member Susan Cheah who bagged the Lifetime Achievement Award and Miss Fashion World president Isabelle Liow who took home the MCWEA most outstanding contribution award.

Source: The Jakarta Post

The 2019 Global Research Report of Female Entrepreneurship & Employment, jointly produced by China Women’s University, an institution affiliated with All-China Women’s Federation and academically administered by the Ministry of Education and Ali Research of Alibaba group, was released at the 2019 Global Conference on Women and Entrepreneurship, looking at “how the world is beautiful because of women” as Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group’s board of directors, said.

The report outlines how women entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of economic and technological development eye the international market by allocating and integrating resources globally in the era of 4.0. It also details how female entrepreneurs who have never left their villages and families break the boundaries of time and space through the internet, contributing to and sharing the technology and economic benefits in the digital era.

As shown in the report, the digital economy is empowering women’s entrepreneurship and employment, including simplifying the technology selection process, providing “toolbox”-like digital services and integrating platform resources, helping women entrepreneurs break through the constrictions of space and time and participate in the process of innovation. In addition, the digital economy is helping to transform the employment model from “industrial thinking” to “digital thinking” while extending the definitions and boundaries of employment.

The report also undertook an analysis of research data on female entrepreneurs, and took a close look at what the internet offered in terms of the female entrepreneurship and employment across the countries on five continents.

In fact, digital platforms and women now depend on and support each other and will achieve mutual progress and development in the future.

More information is available in the 2019 Global Research Report of Female Entrepreneurship & Employment.

Source: PR Newswire

  • Palestinian woman preparing for an exam to become a qualified female Palestinian truck driver. 
  • ‘(Society) has changed a little. There have been some developments, but not enough’

As the 30-ton truck weaves through the crowded Palestinian streets, groups of men stop and gawp at the diminutive figure of Dalia Al-Darawish in a purple headscarf seated behind the wheel.

Darawish is preparing for an exam to become one of only a handful of qualified female Palestinian truck drivers, a test the 26-year-old sees as about more than just driving.

“It is symbolic,” she said. “It shows we can do anything — that as a woman you can work, drive a trailer or whatever.”

The mother-of-two is among several Palestinian women pushing boundaries in the traditionally conservative city of Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, amid a growing assertiveness of women’s rights.

Darawish said she had faced criticism from both sexes as she trained, but the men were far more vocal.

“They are some who supported, a minority,” she said. “But then there are people shouting in the street, ‘No, why are you driving a trailer?!’”

“Whenever I made any mistake you would find men shouting, ‘It’s impossible (for you)’.”

At the driving center, she shakes slightly as her black-moustached examiner Issam Bedawi explains the test.

After briefly demonstrating her ability to detach and re-attach the trailer, the two clamber up into the carriage and drive off.

Recent months have seen protests in the West Bank after a 21-year-old woman was allegedly killed by her family members after posting a photo with her soon-to-be fiancé on Instagram.

The demonstrators are demanding more protection for women, but also a more prominent political movement for women’s rights.

Palestinian women still often give up their careers to care for children.

A World Bank study last year found that 58 percent of skilled women between 25 and 34 were unemployed, compared to 23 percent of men.

The general unemployment rate for women (44 percent) is double that of men, according to official Palestinian statistics.

Wafaa Al-Adhami had long dreamt of being an artist, but didn’t have the opportunity to study growing up.

But five years ago and with the kids older, she returned to her passion, studying hours of videos about artists on YouTube.

“Painting and art courses are expensive and I had no time,” she said. “So I loved educating myself.”

“Every artist has their own style, and I wanted to find mine,” she said.

From her living room table with an array of children passing through, she developed a specific layering technique for her work, pouring the paint onto the canvas before sculpting and manipulating it.

The result is a 3D texture that she says is unique among Palestinian artists.

Her inspiration ranges from Palestinian icons such as the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem to more Jackson Pollock-inspired surrealism.

A recent 40-work exhibition was a big hit.

Elsewhere in the city, 31-year-old Asia Amer has set up what she believes is Hebron’s first women-only restaurant.

The idea behind the Queen Restaurant, she said, is to give women a space to feel at home.

Those who normally wear the hijab can remove the headscarf if they wish.

“I felt that it was the right of women to have a place they can relax in — where there are no restrictions or people watching her,” she said.

“I am proof that Palestinian women don’t just stay at home to cook and look after the children.”

Back at the driving test center, Darawish pulls the trailer to a stop and waits nervously as Bedawi tallies up the score.

“I’m happy to say she passed,” he announces. “Everything I asked of her during the test she did fantastically.”

Darawish doesn’t even know if she will work as a truck driver, as right now she is still looking after her children.

But she said she wanted to help drive change in attitudes.

“(Society) has changed a little. There have been some developments, but not enough,” she said.

“If there had been big movement, men who see a woman driving a trailer would be happy or they wouldn’t say anything at all.”

Arab News

Sport is one of the most powerful platforms for promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls and Asian women are poised to make their mark in women sports.

On Sunday the 29th of September 2019, Indian women held their host Great Britain to a 1-1 draw in the second match of their Tour of United Kingdom.

India’s Lalremsiami scored the equalizing goal in the 32nd minute after Great Britain had taken an early lead in the match. India was out of the blocks quicker, and earned a couple of penalty corners within the first two minutes. Britain’s custodian Maddie Hinch was at hand to ensure India didn’t get an early lead though.

Soon it was Great Britain, who reciprocated, winning a penalty corner from a swift counter.

Despite a smart save by the Indian defence, an infringement meant the hosts were awarded a penalty stroke, which was duly converted in the 8th minute, giving them a 1-0 lead. It was that slender lead they took into the first break.

Much like the first quarter, it was India again, who took the initiative early in the second period, winning another short corner and Hinch pulled off another save.

In the third quarter, India finally restored parity after Lalremsiami finished off a counter attack to draw the scores level. With both teams locked at a goal apiece and all to play for, the game opened up. Neither the defence caved though as the teams went into the final quarter tied at 1-1.

Indian women are scheduled play their third game on Tuesday, October 1 and all eyes are on Lalremsiami.

The welfare ministry is considering crafting a new law to strengthen the protection of women, including school girls, from sexual exploitation, according to sources.

The law would provide the legal basis for prefectural consulting centers for women, a role currently played by a law that deals primarily with prostitution.

According to the sources, the change would allow the centers to provide more flexible support to a wider range of girls and women, such as those coerced to appear in adult videos. It would also be aimed at high school girls, or joshi kōsei in Japanese, exploited in the so-called JK business to entertain men.

The ministry hopes to introduce the bill during the next ordinary Diet session, which will start early next year, the sources said.

The law against prostitution defines the centers as places to protect and rehabilitate women who may prostitute themselves.

A panel of experts set up by the ministry has called for a review of that narrow definition, saying the current system doesn’t fit the needs of women suffering from other forms of sexual exploitation.

Women being tricked or coerced into appearing in adult videos and schoolgirls being lured into the JK business are seen as major social problems. Starting in 2017, the government has carried out a campaign against sexual exploitation each April.

The prefectural consultation centers for women already provide assistance to victims of domestic violence and many other problems.

The definition “no longer fits the current realities,” a ministry official said.

Under the planned law, the definition of the centers would be rewritten to make it easier to deal with a wider range of exploitation as well as other problems.

The law is expected to include provisions to ensure that the centers work closely with municipalities, public welfare and child consultation centers and nonprofit organizations so they can reach victims unaware of the public assistance available.

Source: Japan Times

Vietnam is leading ASEAN in terms of the percentage of working women in total employment, according to a report by the ADB and OECD.

The share of Vietnamese women in total employment stayed at about 48.5 percent in 2016; however this was little changed from 2009.

Vietnam was closely followed by Laos at 46 percent and Thailand at 45 percent.

The figures were published in the ‘Government at a Glance: Southeast Asia 2019’ report that was released on September 10 by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The report aimed to provide insight into government processes and performance in member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

It gathered data in various areas such as public services, promoting digital government and providing better work opportunities for women.

ASEAN members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Strengthening public institutional capacities is critical to all operations and ADB remains committed to supporting our developing member countries in improving public sector management functions and financial stability, while promoting more effective, timely, corruption-free, and citizen-centric delivery of public services,” said ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Bambang Susantono.

The report showed 48.1 percent of public sector employees in Vietnam in 2016 were women, up from 46 percent in 2009. The latest figure was higher than the average rate of ASEAN at 46.9 percent.

Generally speaking, the report highlighted that women and men were almost equally represented in Southeast Asian public sector employment.

However, the rate plummeted regarding women’s political representation, deemed crucial to ensure women’s perspectives were taken into account in policy-making.

Vietnam ranks third at 27 percent behind the Philippines and Laos in terms of the number of female parliamentarians, higher than the ASEAN average rate of 20 percent and far ahead of Thailand at 5 percent.

Source: Vietnam Plus

In a recent Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi, a decision that approves the scheme of providing free bus ride for women was taken. The policy allows for the scheme of providing free bus ride for women, but put a rider on female employees of the city government that they have to give up their transport allowance to avail the facility. 

The free-ride scheme is slated to begin in two months’ time. The Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed his cabinet’s approval to the scheme a “revolutionary step” towards “empowerment and safety of women”. 

According to the Chief, he said in a tweet: “I believe those opposing this step will in the future see it as a milestone towards empowerment of women. Poor and lower middle class will get maximum benefit from it”. 

A statement revealed that, women employees of the Delhi government, local bodies and undertakings will not be entitled for transport allowance if they opt for free ride in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses. 

“The departments, local bodies, autonomous bodies etc will take an undertaking from their women staff to the effect that they are not availing this free travel facility,” it said.

The transport department will also write to the Ministry of Finance after implementation of the scheme, to consider issuing necessary instructions in this regard to all ministries, Central government departments and autonomous bodies in Delhi, the statement added. 

“Women commuters will be able to get free rides using ‘single-journey passes’ to be available with the bus conductors. Those not willing to avail free ride may buy tickets,” Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said in a press conference. 

The Delhi Assembly recently approved a supplementary grant of Rs 140 crore to facilitate free ride for women in buses for the current fiscal. 

“Its a very big step as 30 per cent of the travellers in DTC and Cluster buses are women,” Gahlot said. The facility will be available in Noida NCR service, airport and other special services operated by DTC and Cluster scheme. 

There are around 5,500 buses of DTC and the Cluster scheme of the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) that according to latest official figures carry over 45 lakh passengers each day. 

The government will reimburse Rs 10 per single-journey pass, to the DTC and similar payment will be made in case of Cluster buses. 

The free ride scheme in buses and Delhi Metro train was announced by Kejriwal in June. However, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) sought time to implement the scheme. 

Delhi Assembly has also approved a grant of Rs 150 crore for implementation of schemes in Metro trains. 

“The Delhi Metro had said that a board meeting will be held on these issues, but has not mentioned when it will be held,” Gahlot said when asked about progress in implementing the scheme in Metro trains. 

The cabinet has directed the DTC to propose suitable amendments in DTC (Free & Concessional Passes) Regulations, 1985, if any, so that it could be be notified in the official gazette. 

Both DTC and DIMTS will strengthen their ticket checking mechanisms prevent “misuse” and “pilferage” of single journey passes. 

Source: The Economy Times