Marriage Can Wait, Education Can Not: CRY


Saleema (name changed) is about to reach her eighteenth birthday and cannot wait to begin her journey into life. But she is also sad to leave her school behind. After all, it was this school that gave her a new lease of life when she joined back four years ago. Saleema was married off when she was just twelve.

After going through the perils of extreme domestic violence, she came back home in a year’s time. It was a school teacher that got in touch with her family living in one of the remote villages of Jharkhand, India – called Modidih, an intervention area of Child Rights and You (CRY).

That was the turning point for Saleema. She went on to not only start on life afresh, but started taking part in singing competitions, winning accolades and using her talent to spread awareness about the importance of education and the perils of child marriage.

But not all girls are as lucky and courageous like her. In India, girls are still seen to be burdens to the family, to be married off soon, often in exchange of dowry. As the world gears up to celebrate the International Day of the Girl, 1 out of every 5 girls enrolled in school drops out after Class 8, 12.5 million girls between 5-18 years are child labourers and 1 out of every 3 child brides in the world is an Indian. Globally, 130 million girls are out of school and 15 million girls of primary school age do not even enter a classroom. This largely comes from the social mindset that investing in girls’ education is not worthy enough.

Puja Marwaha, CEO at CRY says, “When a girl goes to school, she stays away from early marriage, grows up as an empowered citizen who can secure her own future and take care of her family. It’s the responsibility of every individual and the civil society to be responsible and ensure accountability to implement and invest in schemes and legislations for girls’ education.”

CRY, a leading Indian non-profit, believes in creating access to education for girls to grow up educated and capable of influencing their communities. Along with many grassroots level partner organizations, CRY works for ensuring lasting change for children.

Sodexo Canada achieves Women in Governance Parity Certification

Awards, Business, Society

A  focus on gender balanced teams for operational excellence earns Sodexo recognition as a Parity Certified employer


Sodexo Canada’s commitment to supporting a gender balanced workplace has earned recognition by Women in Governance with 2018 Parity Certification.

Sodexo will join 30 other Parity Certified organizations to be honoured at the annual Women in Governance Gala on September 11th at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal.

The Women in Governance Parity Certification helps Canadian organizations increase the representation of women, especially in decision-making and senior management positions. This innovative standard not only assesses parity at the decision-making level but also assesses an organization’s commitment to implementing mechanisms that enable women at all levels to achieve career advancement and create a pipeline of female talent.

The Parity Certification Committee thoroughly researched trends across sectors and formulated a questionnaire with the support of McKinsey & Company and the Quebec Order of Certified Human Resources Professionals (CRHA).

Sodexo in Canada
Sodexo has been delivering On-Site Services in Canada for over 40 years. Recognized as a strategic partner, Sodexo Canada is dedicated to providing Quality of Life Services for clients, their employees and visitors in the corporate, education, healthcare and energy and resources segments. These Quality of Life Services create healthy, safe, and efficient environments allowing individuals and organizations to grow and succeed. Delivering food and facilities management services for over 175 clients, Sodexo is a market leader in Canada in terms of revenue and consumers served, and has been recognized as a top employer for the past six consecutive years. Sodexo Canada is proud to have created the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, an independent charitable organization that has donated more than 1 million meals to at risk youth in Canada since it was founded in 2000.

Women Business Owners Share Success Stories and Tips for Rapid Growth


NEW YORK  — It’s lonely at the top. The need for continuing business education, specifically targeted to female founders of successful second-stage companies beyond the startup phase and focused on steady sustainable growth, has reached an all-time high. Local New York and Connecticut WPO members of The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), a peer advisory group for leaders of multi-million dollar companies, will share their experiences at a recruitment event for prospective Fairchester Chapter members on June 21st, at Putnam & Mason, 34 East Putnam, Greenwich, CT 06830, from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by Wells Fargo.

The impact of women entrepreneurs is enormous and snowballing:

The number of U.S. women-owned businesses is growing five times the national average of all firms, according to the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, Commissioned by American Express.
An impressive 1 in 11 adult women is an entrepreneur.
More than 11 million U.S. women-owned businesses generate over $1.6 trillion in revenues and employ 9 million workers.
According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, if U.S. women- owned businesses were their own country, they would have the 5th largest GDP in the world.
According to the 2018 Business Outlook Survey, sponsored by EY, women business owners have a positive growth outlook for 2018, expecting revenue to increase and their workforces to grow. The majority (61%) of women business owners are more optimistic about their company’s financial performance in 2018 than previous years.

WPO helps female founders who may need to make dramatic changes to their business models to adapt, survive and grow. “I have been a part of the Fairchester WPO group since 2009,” said Deb Volansky, CEO, Connex International. “From high-level support and sage counsel for my business, to a generous outpouring of empathy and aid during hard times in my personal life, I have truly benefited from and appreciate each and every member of our group. I cannot list all the tips, tools and techniques I have learned throughout the years and employed to the benefit and growth of my business—doubling my company’s net income.”

Women entrepreneurs across New York and Connecticut are strengthening the economy on a local, state, and national level, with the revenue they generate and the number of people they employ. Average annual revenues of area WPO member businesses are $13.8 million; aggregate revenues are $1.7 billion. The average number of employees is 37; total number of employees is 4,345.

“Wells Fargo is committed to helping women business owners access capital to help their businesses grow and thrive, having loaned more than $58.6 billion to women business owners since 1995,” said Jacqueline Schinnerer, Senior Vice President, Business Acquisition Manager NY/CY, Wells Fargo Bank.”

According to WPO Fairchester Chapter Chair Linda Price, “Our monthly meeting provides a confidential, non-competitive forum for a business owner to come to work ‘on’ rather than ‘in’ her business. This means learning how to tackle a multitude of strategic and operational issues. Members in the group say they gain confidence, connections, discipline, new habits, stay current on technology, see business trends, and drive revenue. They learn to create a new relationship with the metrics that drive the business, manage profits.”

Dr. Marsha Firestone, WPO President & Founder, said “Being an entrepreneur is the great equalizer for business leaders who seek to build success on their own terms. By taking charge, women have more power and influence, can pay themselves more and have control of their time. New York and Connecticut are two of the best places to build and grow your company.”

Eligibility criteria for WPO membership require prospective members to have an ownership interest in their companies (senior management for attorneys and accountants). Annual gross revenue must be at least $2 million for product-based businesses or $1 million if service-based.

HOW SAFE ARE WOMEN IN MUMBAI! Abha Singh in conversation with Faye D’souza, Bhagyashree & Aahana Kumra about women safety; Launch of a book- Stree Dasha aur Disha written by Abha Singh

 Also spoke on rising crime against young girls and Love Jihad
Abha Singh- A Lawyer, Faye D’souza- An anchor & journalist & Aahana Kumra- An actor, three women pioneering their respective fields came together to wake the nation & raise a question to Mumbai & India “HOW SAFE ARE WOMEN”.  Are they safe at 2 in the night? Are they safe at home? Who are those men to treat women like their commodity? 
Abha Singh, a lawyer by profession launched her book Stree Dasha aur Disha which speaks volumes about Stree Dasha aur Disha. The book comprehensive examination of women’s ongoing battle for her rights. It aims to bring light upon the present condition of women versus how it should be. It also educates every woman to be brave & stand up for her rights. 
The launch saw the presence of Abha Singh Husband Yogesh Pratap Singh, Faye Dsouza, Aahana Kumra, Mrs Ritu Khare, Bhagyashree, Madhoo, Bina Aziz, Zeba Kohli, Naazneen Bedi, Nisha Jamwal, Sharon Prabhakar, Raell Padamsee, Parvati Khan & many other renowned lawyers & Social Activist.
Abha Singh is worried seeing the NCRB 2016 figures of increasing crime against women and Children. She through her NGO RannSamar would like to take up the cause of Women Safety and hence this Seminar to raise voice against increasing crime. Mumbai is no more a safe city she says “Every single day single women, young girls, mothers and women from all walks of life are being assaulted, molested, and violated. The streets, public transport, public spaces in particular have become the territory of the hunters. While the ones already hunted down weep in silence or in disdain, the rest fight their way to a basic life with dignity. Women’s safety in India seems to be a crumbling illusion” says Abha Singh
Cases of Rape have gone up by 12 percent. Highest is Madhya Pradesh (4882) followed by Uttar Pradesh(4186) and Maharashtra(4189).What is worrying is that compared to 2015 there is 85 percent in rape cases against Children. Increasing  Crime is s cause of worry, hence this book which covers all laws pertaining to women and also life stories of women who are facing such crime every day. Women need to know the laws and their right to take on the he Mysoginistic mindset
Aahana Kumra said “I am actually going to begin by saying what I actually feel about Mumbai. I remember the day Lipstick Under My Burkha released, my first interview was with Faye D’souza. I feel really happy because she really resonates with the idea of women being free in a free world. I am from Lucknow & you know how it is in Lucknow. I remember my mother not allowing me to step out of the house post 6 in the evening because no male cousin or no male bhaiya or no male uncle could accompany me till a nearby place, it was impossible to leave the house post evenings. We moved from Lucknow to Mumbai in 1997 & I remember writing to my best friend that I could play outside my building & my mother didn’t say a no. I cannot tell you how I sensed that freedom, that has been the biggest gift & the biggest realization for me as a woman, as a girl child in this country that feeling of being so powerful that I could play with boys & my mother didn’t object. I was not asked to come home at 6 o clock. My girlfriends back in Lucknow were so happy that I could play till 9 o clock & I was like yes, it is huge for us. You’ll can’t imagine that life because you’ll are from Mumbai so any one from another city enjoying that freedom is a different high all together. Now with Lipstick Under My Burkha, because I think somewhere it is very deeproted because my mother has worked in a very unconventional  job. She has been with the CBI Mumbai, she is in Police, she has raised children in a city like Lucknow where my father primarily used to live in Moscow so they have lived away from each other for years, till my father once decided & he called her up & said that before my kids start calling me uncle we should all live like a family together , so we moved to Mumbai”
Bhagyashree said “In any circumstances every woman should raise her voice for her safety. Women should encourage, motivate & support each other to voice against men. I request all those women who have fallen prey to such practices to talk to their family, contact police & raise their voice”. 
While India’s financial capital has long prided itself on being relatively safe for women, the question arises “is it really safe”? Which is the real Mumbai? Is it the one where a woman can walk around all over the city in a skirt and top and not get cat-called or even stared at or is it the one where a woman is constantly stared at as she goes around the city? 
As we all know that Mumbai is a most famous country all over the world for its great tradition and culture where women are given most respected place in the society from the ancient time. It is the city where women are considered as safer and most respected. Women are given the place of Goddess Lakshmi in the Indian society. Indian women are found working in all fields like aeronautics, space, politics, banks, schools, sports, businesses, army, police, and many more. Safety of women matters a lot whether at home, outside the home or working place. Last few crimes against women especially rape cases were very dread and fearful. Because of such crimes, women safety in India has become a doubtful topic