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First Ladies’ meet discusses challenges to women

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Empowerment: Gursharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at the NAM First Ladies’ summit on “Role of Women in Crisis Management” in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Thursday.
Empowerment: Gursharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at the NAM First Ladies’ summit on “Role of Women in Crisis Management” in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Thursday.

Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt): As leaders of the non-aligned nations discussed global issues here, their spouses, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur, held a parallel meeting to deliberate on human trafficking and other problems confronting women. Opening the NAM First Ladies Summit, Egypt’s First Lady Suzanne Mubarak said the nations faced a “very dangerous situation” in which 51 million more people, of whom 22 million were women, could lose their jobs by the end of 2009.

“Women are the most negatively and disproportionately impacted by these interconnected challenges, especially in developing countries. While some are veering dangerously close towards the poverty line, others are fighting daily battles to survive,” said Ms. Mubarak, wife of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. “Young girls are dropping out of schools to help their families make ends meet,” she said saying these girls would become more vulnerable to forced labour, abuse and human trafficking.

Ms. Kaur is expected to address the meet on Friday.

Ms. Mubarak gave her assessment of the impact of the financial meltdown on the provision of healthcare services and the resultant effect on women’s health. She said these challenges jeopardised the well-being of women and their families. — PTI


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