With constant vigor and passion, women achieve their dreams and speak up for their rights continuously proving their strength and determination. From historic wins to various bills being presented in parliament, the world of women sees chaos and triumph daily as they continue to strive.
This week’s top stories constitutes India’s win at Miss Universe, a proposal for women’s minimum age of marriage, CBSE exam controversy, and others. Without further delay, let’s catch up with this week’s top stories concerning women.
1. Cabinet clears Proposal on the minimum age for marriage of women from 18 to 21
The Union Cabinet approved a proposal to raise the minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 on Wednesday, a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicated the measure was under review. Men must be 21 years old to marry, while women must be 18 years old. To put the plan into reality, the government is considering amending the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, the Special Marriage Act, and the Hindu Marriage Act. The task panel highlighted that a woman must be at least 21 years old at the time of her first pregnancy in its recommendations, which were submitted in December. Marriage postponement has a favorable financial, social, and health impact on families, society, and children, according to the report.
2. India’s Harnaaz Sandhu brings home Miss Universe crown after 21 years
Harnaaz Sandhu, an actor, and model, was crowned Miss Universe 2021 on December 13, 21 years after India last won the title. Sandhu won the title after defeating competitors from 80 different countries. Only two Indians have won Miss Universe before Sandhu: actresses Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000.
The pageant’s 70th edition was held in Eilat, Israel, where the 21-year-old won the coveted title. The Chandigarh-based model is studying public administration for her master’s degree. Sandhu began her pageant career when she won Times Fresh Face in 2017 at the age of 17, representing Chandigarh. She went on to win the title of LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021. Sandhu has also appeared in Punjabi films such as “Yaara Diyan Poo Baran” and “Bai Ji Kuttange.”
3. Chennai-Bengaluru highway blocked for hours as a big protest by women industrial workers
The 16-hour marathon blockade of the Chennai-Bengaluru national highway by approximately 3,000 female Foxconn workers concluded on Saturday evening after many rounds of talks between officials. Food poisoning and the lack of information on the health state of at least eight female workers spurred the protest late Friday evening in Oragadam in the Kancheepuram district. Protesting ladies requested that the district government return the hospitalized women and prosecute individuals in charge of a hostel and dormitory for providing defective food to the workers.
4. TMC announces Rs 5,000 per month cash transfer scheme for women in Goa ahead of Assembly polls
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) said on Saturday that if it is elected to power in Goa following the Assembly elections in February next year, it will implement a direct cash transfer system for women. TMC spokesperson Mahua Moitra said that under the Griha Laxmi scheme, Rs 5,000 would be handed to a woman from every household every month as guaranteed income support to combat inflation whenever the party comes to power. She said the TMC will soon begin distributing cards for the plan, which would have unique identity numbers, whenever the TMC forms a government in Goa, which would cover 3.5 lakh homes.
5. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi slams Centre for endorsing ‘retrograde views on women’ in CBSE exam
Unbelievable! Are we really teaching children this drivel?
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) December 13, 2021
As a question in the CBSE class 10 board exam created controversy, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra criticized the government for encouraging “retrograde views on women.” The line of the CBSE English exam to which the Congress leader was alluding was as follows: “In twentieth-century children became fewer and feminist revolt was the result…Father’s word had no longer the authority of holy writ…” “Married women now retained their identity and some pursued separate careers,” it further read, and concluded with “emancipation of the wife destroyed the parent’s authority over children.” The passage aroused controversy around it because of its sexist and misogynistic notions of it.
6. Gujarat HC agrees to review law that provides immunity for Marital rape
Despite having strict rules against rape, non-consensual sex, and sexual harassment, India’s law allows for a “marriage rape” exception. Sexual intercourse or sexual acts between a man and his wife are not considered “rape” under Exception 2 to Section 375 (rape) of the IPC. As long as his wife is over the age of 15, a husband is immune from prosecution under Section 376 for sexual assault on his wife. The Gujarat high court decided on Wednesday to re-examine the constitutional legitimacy of categorising marital rape as a “exception” to the Indian Penal Code’s rule that criminalises sexual assault (IPC). The high court made these observations while hearing a petition filed by Jaideep Verma, a Vadodara resident, and issued notifications to the Union and state governments.
7. The Indian-origin Leena Nair is Chanel’s new Global CEO
I am humbled and honoured to be appointed the Global Chief Executive Officer of @CHANEL, an iconic and admired company.
— Leena Nair (@LeenaNairHR) December 14, 2021
Leena Nair, who grew up in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur, will take over as the Global Chief Executive Officer of French luxury fashion label Chanel at the end of this month, joining the ranks of Indian-origin CEOs at Global Inc. Ms. Nair, 52, was Unilever’s first female and youngest Chief Human Resources Officer, a position she left to join the famed luxury group. According to her LinkedIn page, she earned an Electronics and Telecommunications Engineer from Walchand College of Engineering in Sangli, Maharashtra, and an MBA in Human Resources from XLRI Jamshedpur in 1992 joining HUL as a trainee and rising through the ranks. Ms. Nair will begin her new job at the end of January.
8. Indian shooter Avani Lekhara wins Best Female Debut honor at Paralympic Awards 2021
— Avani Lekhara अवनी लेखरा (@AvaniLekhara) December 16, 2021
For her record-breaking gold medal at the Olympics this year, Avani Lekhara, a decorated Indian shooter, got the ‘Best Female Debut’ at the Paralympic Awards 2021. In 2012, the 20-year-old Jaipur athlete was involved in a car accident after suffering a spinal cord damage. At the Tokyo Olympics 2021, she won gold in the women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event. With her victory, she equaled the world record and set a new Paralympic Games record. She became the first and only Indian woman to win two medals at the Paralympic Games. The Indian government honoured Lekhara with the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award for her achievements. It is the greatest sporting honour bestowed to the country.
9. IAS Officer Tapasya Parihar Refuses To Kanyadaan
Tapasya Parihar, who recently ranked 23rd in the UPSC exams, is making headlines once more. Tapasya married IFS officer Gauravit Gangwar in Narshinghpur, Madhya Pradesh’s Joba village. She refused to have the kanyadaan ritual performed during her wedding. Tapasya, an IAS officer, said in an interview that she had disliked the notion of giving away girls since she was a child. She used to be perplexed as to how someone could donate to her without her permission. She talked it over with her family, and they were all on board. She was also able to persuade the groom’s side. After that, the marriage took place without any Kanyadaan.