Actress Nandita Das at the Difficult Dialogues 2018
Brookings India was a knowledge partner at Difficult Dialogues 2018, an annual conference that was held from February 9 to 11 at the International Centre Goa (ICG) and this year, focused on gender equality.
Brookings India Director of Research, Shamika Ravi was part of a panel discussion on women in politics.
The conference featured leading experts, policy makers and renowned personalities including filmmakers Prakash Jha and Ketan Mehta; actors Nandita Das and Deepa Sahi; LGBT rights activists Laxmi Narayan Tripathi and Ashok Row Kavi, women’s rights activists Flavia Agnes, Zakia Soman, Vrinda Grover, Urvashi Butalia and Ritu Menon were part of the event.
Speakers also included Maharashtra’s first woman IPS officer Meeran Chaddha Borwankar and Rajya Sabha MP and former Union Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury and politician Jaya Jaitly.
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The word [a North Korean defector] used [to describe the women in South Korea] meant tough, almost obnoxious. He said it was radically different from women of the North, who are so traditional. [Even in the North, however, t]heir husband’s income is just not enough. [E]xpectations of a good life are rising [among the elite] and for the lower middle class, they work because their husband[s] have lost their factory jobs. The production system is so antiquated [that] many women come and participate [in the workforce].
[Kim Jong-un's sister is] a novelty item. The princess of North Korea came to town and unveiled herself for the first time, so it’s natural to be both curious and impressed. But she is part of that regime, part of that family. [North Korea holds a] traditional view of women as lower and obedient. South Korean women have been pushing and fighting their way out of it, while North Korean women never had that way out.