RENU KHATOR SPEAKS AT WOMENS HISTORY MONTH CEREMONY-Andrew Stelzer03/10/06
The city of Tampa held is annual womenâ€™s history month ceremony at the Tampa Convention Center this morning,; the keynote speaker was Renu Khator, the Vice President and provost of the University of South Florida. WMNFs Andrew Stelzer was there and filed this report.
Bell canto singers of The University of South Floridaâ€™s womenâ€™s Chorale sang a song called fences to open the womens month ceremony, which included city council woman Gwen miller, and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio.
ACT-Iorio â€œimagine 86 years ago women didnâ€™t vote, we would be so irritable..â€?
About 200 people were there to see the a short film about the life of Josephine Howard Stafford, the first female judge in Hillsborough county, and an award named after Stafford, given each year to an outstanding city of Tampa female employee, was presented to Cindy Miller, the director for the city of Tampaâ€™s department of business and housing development. The featured speaker of the day, USF provost Renu Khator, said that Miller accomplishments are increasingly mirrored by others around the world.
ACT-Khator â€˜women have found a place in the workforce, 39% of the global workforce is female, 66 million in US, compared to 5,6 million at the turn o the 20th century, so we can celebrate. Women go to school entering and graduating college. 125 thousand more women going to ..â€?
Khator was named provost of USF in February of 2004, making her 1 of only 2 female provosts at an American university.
ACT-Khator â€œtake a look at Madame presidents in Chile, Liberia, Germany, what is different about them and Ghandi, the difference is they donâ€™t need to use male family members as a crutch, they bragged and believed than women lack ambition..â€?
But the picture painted was not all positive. Khator said women still earn less than 70 cents for doing the same job which men do for a dollar, meaning it will be 2039 before women earn as much as men.
ACT-Khator â€˜according to the UN, there is no country where women have the same opportunity that men do, except backwards blindfolded and in high heels..undervalued by 11 trillion dollars, they own less than 1 percent of the land, put in more time, such as in Bangladesh, 2 thirds of illiterate are women, and we heard ab9t afghanistan..beheadingâ€?
Khator pointed out that women often take the lowest paying jobs, so that they are able to take care of their families, and the consequences can be unhealthy and dangerous.
ACT-Khator â€œin the global economy, women are most exploited, they want to care for family and opt for low paying jobs, and I could give you examples, I could take you to Africa..maqulliadoras, women are participating they are reporting 19 times more gynecological problems, miscarriages, low birth babies and 3x more babies born with congenital malformations..â€?
In terms of hope, Khator pointed a policies instituted in her home county of India a decade ago, which mandated 1/3rd of all local government seats be appointed to women. She said governments and international institutions have to learn to involve women in decision making processes, or they will find solutions themselves and will undermine solutions imposed on them.
ACT-Khator â€˜I come from the state of Rajistan, women walk 5 miles to get water, so the world back said, and when I went to get my field work I saw word bank, what I learned, women were not going alone, but together that was the time of building communities, the was their time to figure out issues they need to deal with, now they realized when the well was built, they lost that precious time ,so therefore it was easy, one woman spread the rumor there is ghost n the well, so one illiterate woman killed project PHDS.â€¦â€?
WMNF asked some students from Rampelo elementary school, who were at the womenâ€™s month ceremony, their thoughts about womenâ€™s history month and the progress women have made.
ACT â€œIt didnâ€™t use to be fair, are things fair, they are gonna get better..my mom works at the sheriffs dept, and she working to be a bailiff, cause our teacher is big fan of women, youâ€™ve never seen a woman sheriff of the county they have a n equal right to menâ€¦I think it awesome what they have to say, in the past they couldnâ€™t be. WHY CANT WOMEN BE PRESIDENT?..they tried to be president, in the past women couldnâ€™t be anything that wasnâ€™t right, women just wanted to stand up or themselves..why havenâ€™t we had a women president, male chavaunist..DO YOU GET TREATED DIFFERENTLY..the boys can go anywhere, but the girls have to get a partner, but in another way we get treated nicer, if we have boyfriends..â€?
WMNF asked Khator if there are any laws of policy changes she believes would improve womenâ€™s situation in the US and around the world.
ACT-Khator â€œlaws can only do so much, its about suddle things , its not legal things, women can own land in many countries, but they still donâ€™t, its more about changing culture , transforming paradigms, and how we thing..US? not at the top, UN puts US somewhere around 7th or 8th others are doing better, even those have a long way to go..â€?
For WMNF news, Iâ€™m Andrew Stelzer.