From the compiler

Ravi Kumar

Greetings. 2012 is coming close to culminate; howbeit, it is time to celebrate a bright and cheerful Christmas and look forward to the New Year begin on a prosperous note.

Honestly, to me 2012 has been wonderful than I expected. Many of you were sociable, engaging and very discerning – just amazing! It is the time of the year again, to be thankful for everything merry and bright.

As the SKILLS2013 International Conference is fast approaching – 59 days to go from the date of this missive, my engrossing in this communication is mostly on it. Here is a succinct:

REEDS is hosting the Second International Conference on 'Life Skills and Livelihood skills - Challenges for International cooperation' - SKILLS2013 in February 2013 at Hyderabad, India.

The three day conference seeks to address several dimensions of skill development and the challenges in international cooperation; provides an opportunity to establish fruitful collaborations among the entrepreneurial participants.

Collaborating partners of the event include the Ministry of Labor & Employment, Government of India and Government of Andhra Pradesh. Over a dozen of institutions – national and international, of repute such as National Skill Development Corporation, UNESCO, American Sentinel University etc, extended their support to the event.

A galaxy of 32 eminent personalities representing 13 countries is on the International Advisory Committee to the conference to advice and sphere head the event.

The call for papers has been made and proposals are also invited for workshops addressing challenges for international cooperation and opportunities there in.

Conference website www.skills2013.org enlightens more on the conference preparations and progress.

We are confident at REEDS, with the gaining prominence and your support; the conference would certainly be a path breaking event!


REEDS is committed to improving the lives of rural communities and we consider women empowerment is an absolute priority for rural prosperity. REEDS believe women empowerment is a tremendous resource for social change. It is our endeavor and expectation that SKILLS2013 would debate on the needs of skills for women empowerment in building the rural livelihoods and how the challenges should be met.

Estimates drawn from various organizations affirm that women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours but earn only 10 percent of the world’s income. Back at home, 69 % [or 405 million] Indian women live in rural areas and a staggering 81% of rural women workers are engaged in agriculture either as laborers and cultivators. Despite rural women’s major role in agriculture and other rural activities, higher barriers in education and training limit their participation in the development of their communities. Women make up two-thirds of the adults worldwide who cannot read or write!

Financial management, governance, skill development, capacity building and human resources are identified as key areas of weakness which undermine the sustainability gender-mainstreaming and development initiatives.

In this context, I would like to share US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remarks at the Conference on "Power: Women as Drivers of Growth and Social Inclusion” at Lima, Peru on 16 October 2012 that demonstrates impact of Women Empowerment: "Restrictions on women’s economic participation are costing us massive amounts of economic growth and income in every region of the world" and that "In the Asia Pacific, for example, it's more than $40 billion in lost GDP every year." "In my own country, making it easier for women to enter the labor market by providing such services as child care, for example, could increase GDP as much as 9 percent. In the Eurozone, GDP could be 13 percent higher." She was further referring to Christine Lagarde, Director of the International Monetary Fund quoting "if Japan loosened restrictions on women’s economic participation, a lot of their economic drag would be overcome."

Many thanks to all and my best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a promising New Year! With best regards,

Ravi K Reddy
December 17, 2012


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