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Speakers - Women and Technology 2012

Hon'ble Lulama Xingwana
Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Republic of South Africa

I think as governments, but most importantly as women, it is important that we use technology from informed positions especially informed by our spirituality. I think it is important that at all times we know that there is a superior being out there who is above our own wisdom, our own abilities, who has actually given us the wisdom, the intellect, the talent and the expertise to do whatever we are doing and in so doing, we need to remember that science and technology comes from that Being.

They say technology doesn't have a heart. But if more women are active in technology, may be technology will have a heart and will compliment the human as well as spiritual touch.
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Hon'ble Dr.Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs, Government of People's Republic of Bangladesh

Women hold up half the sky, women are active agents of social and economic transformation. Women's development is no longer an isolated issue but it is smart economics and I am confident that this conference will be an excellent platform to share the mutual experiences and best practices in our respective countries in ensuring gender equality, mainstreaming gender, in the development agenda and how we can combine the Human Values and Spirituality in using technology to empower our lives.
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Ms. Shiren Ibrahim Fattah
Representative Kurdish Government, Iraq

Before our freedom, Iraqi women didn't have any rights in constitution or in society, but after 2003, after freedom, Iraqi women worked hard to have a right in constitution. Now she has a right above the political, social, economical and in education.
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Ms. Orna Sagaev
Hon'ble Consul General of Israel, Mumbai

This is our role as mentors, as we look at the next generation of girls; our own daughters. We should make sure that from a very young age, we as mothers/parents, should tell them to go the technology way and not be afraid, because if we give them the tools they will have a better future. Women are not just about technology; they are about fashion, passion and compassion.
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Hon'ble Dr. Daggubati Purandeshwari
Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Government of India

Today, technology is touching every aspect of our life, we need to ensure that the future generation is comfortable with the technology. Even rural women are starting to become entrepreneurs. We have a self help group which is a silent revolution in our country, which is trying to empower women by providing them with micro-finance and giving them the confidence that they can do it, that they can go forward and stand on their own two feet. To make rural women comfortable with technology, we have to do a lot more work at the ground level in bridging the gaps.
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Hon'ble Ronit Tirosh
Member of Parliament, Israel

As Director-General of the Ministry of Education I was responsible for the whole system of education all over the country. In this position I created and encouraged the use of technology especially by girls. I expanded the computer project to every child and it brought social change, even inside the families. Today I am the Chair of Technology and Science committee in the Parliament of Israel. I find myself holding meetings with very high personnel from technology, academics and security fields, and I have learnt how to break through the glass ceiling. What I want to say in conclusion is that – nothing can withstand determination and only if you dare, you will succeed.
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Ms. Irina Rukina
Co-chair, Counsel of Consolidation for Women's Movement in Russia

Women carry a vast potential to renovate the existing system, but the very system often is not ready for it.
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Smt. Akhila Srinivasan
Managing Director – Shriram Life Insurance Co. Ltd, India

Women and technology there is definitely a great fit here – because a nation that wants to progress cannot afford to ignore women's development………Almost 48% of India's population comprises of women and if you keep women from the income generating and wealth creating streams of activity enterprise creation cannot take place, therefore wealth creation cannot take place. So the only answer for India's development is to empower women.
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Dr. Preetha Reddy
Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals, India

Every piece of action we do today is powered by technology. 30% of the women in India have access to technology. 70% of women, for example from the village, still have the traditional systems of waking at dawn without alarms, going to the stream to fill water, burning firewood for cooking, etc. There is a huge disparity, a huge paradox – there's phenomenal advancement in technology in one hand, we're capable of sending a satellite into space, our mobile technology is one of the best in the world, but on the other side, if you go 100 miles out of where we're sitting, there's no good clean drinking water. This is probably a global phenomenon, and that is what leadership is all about, that if we can make a difference in places like this, if we can use technology to give them safe drinking water, make the planet a better place, then we would have done our job. Each one of us has a role to play.
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Ms. Joana Tomova
Owner Prosveta&Prozorets, Bulgaria

Bringing technology into the classroom could help us achieve at least 50% of the above skills. If the product is more interactive and dynamic we could also acquire 90% of new knowledge and skills. New technologies offer fast connections, and transfer of ideas, they create partnership and mutuality.
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Ms. Sushma Rajagopalan
Head of Global Strategy & Corporate Development, L&T Infotec, India

To me internet is the new world library, so creativity is also in ascribing meaning, knowledge and content, content lands clarity, with clarity comes astonishment, with astonishment comes the conviction to act, when you have conviction to act, you become creative and technology is a mere catalyst.
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Ms. Elim Chew
Founder, 77th Street, Singapore, Netherlands

So how can we use technology to change what we're doing today, how can we use technology to its fullest potential? I have seen young people, aged 13, 14, 15, with 20,000 people on their Twitter, if they say things in the right manner, people will follow them in the right manner, but if they say the wrong things, people will follow in the wrong manner. Likewise, if you go to Youtube, young people have a following of 40-50 million people for the videos that they have created. The opportunity is about sharing, learning it and implementing it in our own country. And I am very impressed with the Art of Living, I am very proud to be here.
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