Good morning everyone, hope you’ve had a refreshing weekend. As most of you might have noticed, our website has gone thru a revamp and was re-launched recently. It’s been months of work, countless sleepless nights and many more of back-end VisualText
testing, feature building and optimizing. Many of you have left me brilliant messages expressing your enthusiasm for the content I deliver and I could not be more overjoyed that my work touches you in such a profound way.

Rendezvous With V, is my effort at tackling important global discussions, engaging a community of next-generation thinkers, sharing inspiring and current news and providing new opportunities. Being only 23, I still have a long way to go in helping create a positive community of changemakers but I do hope you will join me in this journey. 

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With that being said, today’s post has been in my drafts for a long time and glad to finally get this live, so let’s get into it?

October is universally known as the month of women – from ‘Breast Cancer’ Awareness to ‘International Day of Girl’, this is the time when many come together to celebrate the power of girls and highlight the barriers faced while also creating launch pads for global action. From the enormous success NGOs have seen, it is apparent that initiatives have helped bring the focus on ending gender inequality, promoting girls’ rights and lifting millions out of poverty and towards opportunity. I firmly believe in these views, and as part of Rendezvous With V’s efforts to amplify this message, I would be thrilled to see many of my readers also get involved – stay tuned till the end to find out how. In honour of several women orientated initiatives, our post features the importance of educating and encouraging them to pursue their passion, with a small twist. While women empowerment allows them to do great things with their lives, the discussions that happen on the subject are mainly focused on the benefit to women. Lets change that for a moment, shall we? Lets focus on the benefits to society, to industries and more importantly to their equal counterparts … the men. 

Society
Lots of women across the globe are thrust into positions which compromises their quality of life but we know when rights are respected, girls can lift themselves and are in a unique position to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty for their families, communities and entire societies as well. Ensuring girls are respected and valued is the first step to breaking down discriminatory barriers. 
 
Men 
How great would it be to have a women that could support you intellectually, emotionally, financially – whether it comes to raising a family together, running a business or just having someone to help charter the unpredictable waters of life? The women in your life, might just surprise you with their perspective, problem solving ability, mindset and approach, which can truly create a strong support system and alleviate many of life’s problems.
 
Industries
An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls promises a prosperous future, where the other half of humanity is equally involved in solving problems of climate change, economic growth and global sustainability. Several industries have made major strides because women were just as involved with pushing it forward, hence we have chosen some stellar women that are not only great role models and a force to be reckoned with in their industries but are also incredibly family orientated. They have proved that you can have professional aspirations and also thrive in your personal lives and relationships. So without further ado: 

Global Leadership: Queen Rania Of Jordon

Queen Rania is an idol of mine, I’m always admired her liberal views, compassion and and how balanced her point of view is. Despite being part of the royal family she’s always maintained that her queen status is one that she needs to earn. Being a voice for many, she is an advocate for the youth and incredibly passionate about reinstating the rights of citizens, educating and honing young minds, investing in schools, unified agendas, tradition and security, and building firm foundations for individuals to grow and prosper. With strong emphasis on creating schools and ensuring that all children have a safe and creative haven, she is a progressive female voice in the Arab world, a powerful advocate for reform in education and public health, the development of a sustainable tourism industry in Jordan and encourages cross-cultural dialogue.

Education and Children’s rights: Nita Ambani

Spreading education is a mission that I’m extremely passionate about and hence running Rendezvous With V is my way of addressing several global concerns, spreading knowledge, awareness, new ideas and inspiring the youth. As a young Indian woman myself, I constantly look to Mrs. Ambani for inspiration and would love to hear her thoughts for the future of the Reliance Foundation School. Her contribution to the world of education and NGOs is admirable, for the simple reason that the institution is dedicated to providing an enriching educational experience to over 15,000 children through a network of 13 schools. Their sole motive is to widen the intellectual and creative capabilities of every child, while ensuring that they achieve full potential. Along with mentoring thousands, she is just as devoted to her family and I absolutely love that about her. 

Being only in my early 20s I have a long way to go before I succeed in helping the world for the better but this sort of progressive approach and mindset, inspires.

Social Issues and Media: Oprah Winfrey

Popularizing the trend of using TV as a way of addressing several social issues, Oprah is the main reason for me starting this blog. At a young age she proved that stereotypes are meant to be broken and tackled several global issues during her time as television host. She has also set up foundations to fund key projects such as encouraging girls in leadership roles in South Africa, Rebuilding the Gulf Coast on top of volunteering her time with the Animal Rescue League, ovarian cancer awareness and research, treating HIV and AIDS, fighting climate change, rescuing hundreds of babies from abandonment and abuse every year along with contributing to build schools for children in developing countries.

Oprah Winfrey is one of the greatest philanthropists in the 21st century and I hope to one day make as much of an impact globally as she has. Hopefully I’ll do her proud by addressing causes that we are both passionate about.

Entrepreneurship: Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo is one of the most valued members of the organization and from early on helped the company restructure and shift in global strategy. She became the fifth CEO in PepsiCo’s 44-year history and was named the 3rd Most Powerful Woman in Business by Fortune in 2014. Along with being a tough business woman who has approached her role with the ideology ‘performance with purpose’, she has also participated in various mergers and acquisitions, such as Tropicana, Quaker Oats, and Wimm-Bill-Dann. During her time as CFO in 2001, the company’s annual net profit had risen from $2.7 billion to $6.5 billion. She moved corporate spending away from junk foods and into the healthier alternatives, with the aim of improving the healthiness of even the “fun” offerings. I adore the fact that she is just as involved and successful in her personal life and values her family above all.

Entertainment and Performance Arts: Sushmita Sen

Sushmita has pushed the boundaries of acting and has broken the compartmentalization for actors that feel they need to belong solely to one genre of cinema. Eliminating the need to belong to one film fraternity, she has worked in south Indian cinema while also paving the way for models to enter Bollywood. I always tune into her interviews and would love to get her thoughts on a sprinkling of subjects, as she evidently has a strong moral compass, is spiritually connected and instinctive. Family has always been important to her and despite being a focused career woman, she has always been just as involved and present in the lives of her loved ones.

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Literature: JK Rowling

Having been almost a year into the writing of my own novel, often the only inspiring 21st century literary icon that comes to mind is JK Rowling. Conceptualizing, writing and executing Harry Potter was a feat on its own that has captured millions of hearts. JK rowling has pushed the boundaries of literature and in a digital era, has re-kindled the love of reading amongst several younger audiences. A series that will go down in history, Harry Potter, broke the mold and has managed to create a world that many mentally live in. As she said, “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home”. 

It is every author’s dream to have their books read by decades to come and I hope to inspire and touch the lives of others just as profoundly as she has. 

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Journalism: Barkha Dutt

A reporter of considerable stretch and depth and fearless in bringing issues closer to her viewers, Barkha Dutt, is a powerful voice for so many across the globe. After receiving a Master’s in Mass Communications, she started her journalism career with NDTV and later rose to head of the English news wing. I enjoy watching several of her hard hitting interviews and it comes as no surprise that she was listed twice on 100 “Global Leaders of Tomorrow” compiled by the World Economic Forum. Having won many national and international awards, including the Padma Shri – India’s 4th highest civilian honour, she has also been among 50 Indians who were 35 or younger and listed for their achievements and impact on society. 

Having started Rendezvous With V as a way of talking about several global topics and reaching out to new wave thinkers across the globe, I look forward to seeing many of her new endeavours especially since she now intends to set up a media company. Being in the same boat, I think there is definite hope for a brighter world by putting the focus on stories worth sharing.

Trending Initiatives in Dubai

Dubai Cares

Observing International Day of the Girl Child, Dubai Cares called on governments, activists, institutions and individuals to come together with a collective goal of improving the rights and opportunities of girls around the world. Commenting on the occasion, Tareq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares, said:

“In the present day, it is distressing that girls still face inequality in a number of areas. They endure discrimination when seeking education, medical care, legal rights, protection from violence and marriage. Dubai Cares is a true advocate of empowering girls around the world, and we believe in achieving gender equality. Equity is a prominent theme in all of Dubai Cares’ education programmes and we will continue to build on our success in securing equal access to education for boys and girls, and be advocates of female empowerment across the globe.”

In many parts of the world, young girls are still expected to sideline their education in favour of domestic duties, while others need to support children as young as themselves forcing them to enter low-paid and labour-intensive activities. Knowing this, Dubai Cares launched a number of programmes to support and provide access to girl’s primary education, secure a platform for girls to break through gender norms, to achieve professional and personal success equivalent to their male counterparts. 

Letters Of Love

As part of our effort to work with organizations that amplify global messages, we recently attended a ‘Letters of Love’ event organized by The Goodwill tribe in Dubai. We spent the afternoon writing anonymous letters to breast cancer awareness survivors amongst spreading positive messages to take life headlong. This made several realize the unknown struggles and hardships that so many around us are facing and while we may not be able to directly impact their circumstance, simply sharing a few inspiring words can make a difference. 

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How You Can Inspire? 

The global community has made significant progress in improving lives and in 2015, girls in the first decade of life were more likely to enroll in primary school, receive key vaccinations and avoid health and nutrition problems. There has however been insufficient investment in addressing the challenges girls face when they enter the second decade of their lives, which includes obtaining quality secondary and higher education, avoiding child marriage and protecting themselves against unwanted pregnancy, exploitation and gender-based violence.

As the theme for International Day of the Girl Child for 2015 is: The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030, their long-term vision and priorities include:

Investing in high quality education, skills, training, access to technology and other learning initiatives that prepare girls for life, jobs, and leadership.

Investing in health and nutrition suitable to the adolescent years

Promoting zero tolerance against physical, mental and sexual violence.

Enacting and consistently implementing social, economic and policy mechanisms to combat early marriage and female genital mutilation.

Investing in the creation and maintenance of social and public spaces for civic and political engagement, creativity and talent enhancement.

Promoting gender-responsive legislation and policies across all areas especially for adolescent girls who are disabled, vulnerable, marginalized and victims of exploitation.

Obtaining an education of the highest level, if that is her choice

As always we love to leave you with ways in which you can get involved and today’s opportunity is for all of you to record a short 1 minute video talking about your passion for women’s rights – it could include a personal story, a friend or even a loved one’s experience. Tell us, why you think gender equality can pave the way for a brighter future. Send in your recordings to rendezvouswithv@hotmail.com and we will turn this into a video, with a bonus surprise for all of you. We look forward to receiving your submissions and can’t wait to show you the finished product.

Until we rendezvous again,

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