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MD's Note February 2013
Arpita Bansal

At no time in the history of modern India has the urban woman, and her rights, as she goes about participating in a vibrant economy, been placed more in the limelight. It took the horrifying gang rape and death of a student to wake India and Indians out of their self-induced slumber when it came to women's rights, especially their right to safety and access to public spaces. Suddenly, the state machinery, the police and education system have been hit with a 50 per cent report card: Th ey've been ignoring the daily battles and plight of half of their congregation, the girls and women.

The system is now also staring at the fact that without ensuring the rights of Indian women – to study, to work, to have safe access to public spaces – we cannot progress as a nation. A survey done three months ago by Booz & Company found that if employment rates of women are matched with men, India's GDP would increase by 27 per cent by the year 2020. India ranks rather low in Booz's index of women's economic empowerment, as female labour-participation rate is below 30 per cent due to lack of adequate education and social and political support, the report said. Forget heavy production and exports or infrastructure development – simply ensuring that women get out to work can boost this country's economic growth in ways nothing else can.
It is a humbling coincidence that Atelier Diva was launched at about the same time as this national revelation, with indeed much of the same agenda. In our launch note to the media fraternity, we described ourselves as a feminist magazine that aspires to equality for women – in terms of economic, personal, political and social freedoms. Our target audience is the educated, urban, working woman, we said – admittedly a niche group, but one that has unimaginable potential for changing the fate of our nation.

Now in our fourth edition, with immense feedback from our readers, we are convinced we are on the right path. Do keep writing in with your ideas – this is your space. Together, we are a force to be reckoned with.

 
 
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