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Safe Spaces: Standing up for Women’s Safety From Violence in the Workplace

December 6, 2023


Women in the workforce can drive growth. But the rate of female labor force participation in South Asia is at 25% compared to male labor force participation of 77%. The region’s GDP could rise to 58% if the number of working women was equal to that of men. At the same time, rates of gender-based violence are high in South Asia. Harassment, violence, and unsafe workspaces stop South Asia’s women from joining and staying in the workforce.

As part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, this event will explore how violence affects female labor force participation in South Asia and discuss solutions that can help make workplaces safer from the perspective of change-making business leaders, civil society organizations and artists.

  • Martin Raiser 220
    Martin Raiser
    Vice President for South Asia, World Bank

    Mr. Martin Raiser became the World Bank’s Vice President for the South Asia Region on July 1, 2022. As the Regional Vice President for South Asia, Mr. Raiser manages Bank relations with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and oversees a portfolio of projects, technical assistance and financial resources worth almost US$55 billion. 

  • Jehan-Ara
    Jehan Ara
    Founder & Ceo of Katalyst Labs

    Jehan is the Founder & CEO of Katalyst Labs which is a Startup Accelerator Innovation Hub and Women Leadership Fellows program. She is the former President of the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & Information Technology Enabled Services (P@SHA) where she spearheaded efforts for over 20 years. She is a motivator, an entrepreneur, a social activist and a strong propagator of extending the power and use of Information and Communication Technologies beyond pure traditional business, to empower and enable communities. Currently, Jehan serves as a Member of the PM’s Advisory Council on IT & Digital Economy, a Member of the Asia Pacific (APAC) Content Advisory Board for TikTok and is on the Advisory Boards of the Punjab IT Board, the Sindh IT Advisory Board and on the Industry Advisory Board of various local universities. 

  • Nadija-Tambiah
    Nadija Tambiah
    President of John Keells Group

    Nadija is the President, Legal, Secretarial and CSR, John Keells Group. She is the Head of the John Keells Foundation; the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of John Keells Holdings PLC and is a member of the Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. She is a Director for several subsidiaries within the John Keells Group, and is a Trustee of the George Keyt Foundation. She is also a Trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust, Lunuganga Trust and is a Member of the Executive Committee of the Colombo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.  

  • Nobonita-Chowdhury
    Nobonita Chowdhury
    Director, Gender, Justice And Diversity & Preventing Violence Against Women Initiative, Brac

    Nobonita Chowdhury is a member of the BRAC leadership team and is currently leading the largest Gender Equality and Women Empowerment programming in Bangladesh as the Director of the Gender, Justice and Diversity unit of BRAC, the largest NGO of Global South. She spearheads gender mainstreaming and disability inclusion initiatives across the organization in all its Programmes, Departments, and Enterprises

  • Nayantara
    Nayantara Gurung Kakshapati
    Nepal-Based Photographer, Curator, And Activist

    NayanTara works at the intersections of visual storytelling, research, pedagogy, and collective action.  In 2007, she co-founded, an independent artist-led platform that facilitates learning, exhibition making, publishing and a variety of other trans-disciplinary collaborative projects for Nepali visual practitioners. In 2011, she co-founded Nepal Picture Library, a digital archiving initiative that works towards diversifying Nepali socio-cultural and political history. NayanTara is also the co-founder and festival director of Photo Kathmandu, an international festival that takes place in Kathmandu every two years.  Her photobook, ‘The Public Life of Women: A Feminist Memory Project’, that she co-curated, won the Paris Photo Aperture Book Award, 2023. 

  • Sovattha2
    Sovattha Neou
    Country Director, Care Cambodia

    Sovattha Neou is a gender advocate, working in CARE International Cambodia, a feminist organization for a dignified work and gender equality of socially marginalized and ethnic minority women and girls in Cambodia.  Sovattha is the country director, a mother of two beautiful girls, a sport lover & Yoga practitioner. She graduated master degree from Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Science in the Netherlands. She is working for 20 years in development sector in Cambodia in various leadership position.

  • Subina
    Subina Shrestha
    Emmy-Nominated, Journalist, Filmmaker

    Subina Shrestha is an Emmy-nominated, award-winning journalist and filmmaker. From undercover reporting in Myanmar during cyclone Nargis, to investigating child slavery, to covering Nepal’s earthquake and its aftermath, Subina has steered major news coverage, often as the only international journalist on the scene; and told stories of people whose lives have been affected by natural and human-made disasters. Subina has been speaking, hosting and moderating at national and international conferences that focus on gender, development and journalism. She was a 2017 Nieman fellow at Harvard and 2019 Global Media Makers fellow at Film Independent.

  • The World Bank
    Maninder Gill
    Director, Environmental and Social Standards, World Bank

    Maninder S. Gill is Director for the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Standards. Prior to this, Mr. Gill was Director, Social Development for the World Bank from 2014–June 2019, leading a team of about 300 social scientists committed to promoting socially inclusive development in the World Bank’s operational and analytical work. 


  • When:: 6 December
  • Time: : 7:00 am Eastern Standard Time