Monday, September 23, 2019
Home /  Business  /  Ensure gender equality for global sustainability: Doha Bank GCEO

Ensure gender equality for global sustainability: Doha Bank GCEO

Ensure gender equality for global sustainability: Doha Bank GCEO

Tribune News Network
Doha
Global sustainability could be improved only by ensuring gender equality and increased participation of women in governance, Doha Bank Group CEO Dr R Seetharaman has said.
Addressing a gathering in the South Indian City of Chennai, the banking executive said, “Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful and sustainable world. The exclusion of women places half of the world’s population outside the realm of opportunity to partner in building prosperous societies and economies.”
Dr Seetharaman was addressing the graduation day of SDNB Vaishnav College For Women in Chennai on August 19.
“Equal access to education, decent work, and representation in economic decision making processes are not only rights women should have, they benefit humanity at large, he said.
“By investing in the empowerment of women, we not only make progress on gender equality goal of the UN sustainable development goals, we also make gains on the alleviation of poverty and fuel sustainable economic growth.”
Dr Seetharaman also called for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in the public and private spheres and to undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources and access to ownership of property.
Highlighting the diversity trends across the globe, Dr Seetharaman said, Norway was the first country to pass a law, in 2003, mandating that public companies achieve 40 percent representation of women on their boards within five years.
Non-compliant companies risked fines or even dissolution, he said, adding since then, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain have passed similar laws.
In the US, he said, the New York State Common Retirement Fund announced in 2018 that it would vote against all board directors standing for re-election at companies that have no women on their boards.
Where a company has only one woman on the board, he said the fund plans to vote against members of the governance committee.
And in the UK, he continued, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the country’s largest private sector pension scheme, took a similar stance, saying that it would vote against or abstain from voting for members of the board’s nomination committee if a company had no female directors and had no timeline set to introduce them.
Giving insight into the measures for welfare of women, Dr Seetharaman said, “Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in economic and public life. Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws.
“Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women. Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.”
Dr R Seetharaman gave insight on Gender equality impact on economy. He said, “Women in India represent 29 percent of the labour force. The economic impact of achieving gender equality in India is estimated to be US$700 billion of added GDP by 2025.
“The IMF estimates that equal participation of women in the workforce will increase India’s GDP by 27 percent.”
The Companies Act of 2013 mandated a certain class of companies to have at least one woman director on board, he said. There are also social benefits to empowering women, he said, adding: “Women spend 90 percent of their income on their families, and economically empowered women boost demand, have healthier and better-educated children, and raise human development levels.”

Pages

POST A COMMENT