Coming back with this week’s top news, the stories of resilience, valiance and determination of women continue to echo in the world. They continue to inspire and promise to run towards a better future for them.
This week’s major highlights include Henrietta Lacks being honoured by WHO, Tamil Nadu witnessing its youngest Panchayat President and many more. From many firsts to honorary mentions, let’s dive into this week’s top stories section concerning women.
1. Oyo appoints Indian woman Paralympics medalist Deepa Malik as an independent director
Deepa Malik, an Indian athlete who won a silver medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games, was named an independent director by Oyo on Wednesday. Malik is the current head of India’s Paralympic Committee (PCI). Malik said she has a strong desire to travel and experience new things, and she is excited to offer a customer-focused approach to Oyo. She’s also excited to share her thoughts on encouraging worker diversity, which is a key component of Oyo’s environmental, social, and governance strategy.
2. BJP MLA Nimaben Acharya set to become Gujarat Assembly’s first woman Speaker
Nimaben Acharya, a senior BJP MLA from the Kutch district’s Bhuj seat, was overwhelmingly chosen as the first woman Speaker of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. The name of Acharya was offered by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and endorsed by Leader of the Opposition Paresh Dhanani for the office of Speaker. Acharya, a gynaecologist by profession, is the fifth-time MLA from Bhuj-Kutch. She is a Surendra Nagar district native who has been involved in many initiatives relating to women’s empowerment, rural development, and sports. Gujarat will have a female Speaker for the first time since it became an independent state in 1960.
3. Women leaders are taking the wheel at India EV companies
As India’s electric vehicle (EV) sector grows, so does the opportunity for women in leadership positions. Sulajja Firodia Motwani, CEO of Kinetic Green, is leading the charge. Mahua Acharya, the CEO of state-run Convergence Energy Solutions, is being credited with driving a mini-revolution for electric mobility across states, which is a relatively new yet exciting addition.
Rashmi Urdhwareshe, a former director of the Automotive Research Association, is collaborating on EV policy with several government agencies. Suman Mishra, the new CEO of Mahindra Electric, is also a woman. According to Convergence Energy’s Acharya, women provide a good form and kind of leadership, good camaraderie, and an inclusive attitude to doing business. Because this is a new technology, women are far more confident in stating what works and what doesn’t, as well as demonstrating a strong willingness to listen and learn.
4. WHO honours Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose cells served science
LIVE: @DrTedros honours Henrietta Lacks' legacy across the world https://t.co/IQO5qWVk2I
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) October 13, 2021
The HeLa cell line was a scientific achievement, named after the first two letters of Henrietta Lacks’ first and last names. The late Henrietta Lacks, an American lady whose cancer cells were removed without her permission during the 1950s and ended up laying the foundation for huge scientific advances, including research on the coronavirus, was recognized on Wednesday by the head of the World Health Organization.
The award from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus comes more than a decade after Rebecca Skloot’s book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” was published, detailing the discrimination in health care faced by Black Americans, as well as the life-saving innovations made possible by Lacks’ cells and her family’s legal battle over their unauthorized use.
Lacks died on October 4, 1951, at the age of 31 from cervical cancer. The first human cells were successfully cloned from tissue obtained from her at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. HeLa cells, which can be replicated indefinitely, have become a cornerstone of contemporary medicine, having been used in the creation of the polio vaccine, genetic mapping, and more.
"Acknowledging the wrongs of the past is essential for building trust for the future. We also recognize the extraordinary potential that her legacy continues to offer. There are many more lives we can save by working for racial justice and equity"-@DrTedros
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) October 13, 2021
5. Shikha Rathore is the first woman driver to co-pilot Ahmedabad – Rajkot passenger train
Shikha Rathore, 31, is the first woman to co-pilot a passenger train between Ahmedabad and Rajkot. She is from the Madhya Pradesh city of Jabalpur. On October 9, she made history as the Assistant Loco Pilot on the 06614 Coimbatore Rajkot Special Train, alongside her colleague Loco Pilot Pradeep Kumar J. She also made the return voyage. It was her lifelong dream and she has no plans to stop yet.
6. Sharukala Becomes Tamil Nadu’s Youngest Panchayat President
Sharukala was elected as the youngest panchayat president in Tamil Nadu after winning a seat in the newly formed Tenkasi district’s Venkadampatti Panchayat, which is designated for women. She is 22 years old. She was one of five candidates under the age of 35 that ran for office. She was elected in a two-phased election that took place in Tamil Nadu’s nine newly formed districts. These were recently established in response to popular demand and administrative ease. Sharukala believes that the educated youth can achieve far more and much better results than the rest of the population.
7. Priti Murthy is the Newly Appointed President of GroupM Services India
Priti Murthy has been named as the GroupM Services India’s President. Priti will also be a member of the GroupM India Executive Committee. She will be in charge of the center of delivery excellence, which includes biddable, non-biddable, reporting, and analytics. She’ll also be working closely with agencies to better understand their requirements. She’ll use best-in-class delivery metrics and a ‘improve and better’ approach to ensure continuous success. She also wants to highlight the company’s operational competence. She has over 22 years of experience in the field. She will be responsible for bringing in the proper mix of talent, process, and technology to provide quality assurance and continual improvement for partners and customers’ biddable and non-biddable media.