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Companies with women in leadership positions consistently do better. Nasscom pointed to an <em>Economic Times</em> study several years ago that Indian firms headed by women had a compounded annual growth rate of 35% compared with 21% registered by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)-30. Their profits grew by 56% over five years compared to the BSE-30 firms' 27%. Despite the evidence, India lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to corporate leadership roles held by women.
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Not every person with disabilities is able to break through; social pressure to be asexual generally triumphs. There is little recognition of--or thought invested in--the sexual rights of the differently-abled. And, as with most social tragedies, it's the women who suffer the most.
It's unlikely that India will achieve Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's stated aim to push growth into double digits without expanding economic opportunities for women. The allocations to security funds and colleges in Budget 2015 will not be enough.
In 2014, hundreds of children around the world were kidnapped from school or on their way to it while thousands were forcibly recruited by armed groups. As Jonny Cline, CEO of UNICEF Israel, observed: "This year, nightmares came true for too many children..."
Michael Brown is a metaphor of our times. This is an age in which -- from the US to the Middle East to South Asia -- racial, religious and sexual minorities are under systemic siege.