The Clock is Ticking : BACKWARD FOR WOMEN

Sometimes it is just a customary sound; but a movement that takes us backward; instead of steering us forward.

2017 and 2018 have been the most regressive years in the progress of women. 

Since Trump became the President of the United States of America, a new culture of suppression of women rights has unleashed worldwide.  He has slowly degraded Women Rights by attacking fair pay legislation, defunding reproductive rights and changing the definition of violence against women. His attitude towards women is evident from the way he treats women and his objectification of the whole gender. In response, the women rights movement has revived itself, only to become negative and vicious.

No one wins when we have to fight. It is still a pity that we have to wave flags, march, hoist posters and commemorate each other on this day every year. We should not have to. 




The global economy could be enriched by about $160tn (£120tn) if women earned as much as men. 

No Zaghari-Ratcliffe should have to be in a prison in Tehran, banned from accessing medical care blamed for things not done. 

The US State Department should not have canceled Jessikka Aro's International Women of Courage Award because she frequently condemned  Donald Trump on Twitter for his bigoted rhetoric and attacks on the press.

A decade ago, no country gave women and men equal legal rights. The United States has fallen behind many global third world countries today in respecting women rights.


In 131 economies there have been 274 reforms to laws and regulations, leading to an increase in gender equality. This includes the 35 economies that implemented laws on workplace sexual harassment, protecting nearly two billion more women than a decade ago. 

But the average global score is 74.71, indicating that a typical economy only gives women three-quarters the rights of men in the measured areas.

Six economies—Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden—score 100 in the Women, Business and the Law index, meaning they give women and men equal legal rights in the measured areas.

The average global score is 74.71, indicating that a typical economy gives women only three-fourths the legal rights of men in the measured areas.

However, the average score in the Middle East and North Africa is 47.37, meaning the typical economy in that region gives women less than half the legal rights of men in the measured areas.  

Equality of opportunity allows women to make the choices that are best for them, their families and their communities. However, equal opportunities in getting a job or starting a business do not exist where legal gender differences are prevalent. 

Legal restrictions constrain women’s ability to make economic decisions and can have far-reaching consequences. For example, women may decide not to work in economies where the law makes it more difficult for them to do so, or where they may get paid less than men for doing similar jobs.

Afghanistan eliminated a requirement for married women to be accompanied by or have written permission from their husbands to get a passport. 

Côte d’Ivoire no longer requires all married women to provide a marriage certificate when applying for a passport, a burdensome step in an economy where many marriages are not formalized.  Iraq’s new passport law repealed the requirement that women under 40 be accompanied by a guardian when applying for a passport. Finally, following a decision by the constitutional court, Kuwait amended its passport law so that a husband’s consent is no longer needed for a married woman to have a separate passport. 

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Honduras, Nicaragua, Rwanda, and Togo all reformed their family laws to allow women to choose where to live in the same way as men. Previously husbands had selected the family’s residence and their wives had to live there. 

Starting a Job analyzes laws affecting women’s decisions to enter the labor market. Thirty-five economies across every region introduced sexual harassment laws protecting women at work.  Of these, five—Argentina, Bangladesh, Georgia, Malaysia, and Moldova—introduced sexual harassment laws, but did not provide for either criminal penalties or civil remedies for the violation of these laws. 

In Georgia, for example, the 2010 Gender Equality Act defines sexual harassment and establishes that it is not allowed, but there is no criminal penalty for sexual harassment nor can a victim sue for a civil remedy. 

Additionally, nine economies introduced laws mandating nondiscrimination in employment based on gender.

Twenty-two economies reformed to remove restrictions on women’s work, reducing the likelihood that women are kept out of working in certain sectors of the economy.  

Of these, Bulgaria; Croatia; Kiribati; the Philippines; Poland; and Taiwan, China removed all job restrictions on women. 
Additionally, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Guinea, Jamaica, Libya, Moldova, Samoa, and Tajikistan removed restrictions on women working at night. 

Five economies removed restrictions on women working in specific industries. Colombia and the Czech Republic removed restrictions on women working in mining.  

The Democratic Republic of Congo removed restrictions on women working in construction, manufacturing, and mining. Mongolia removed restrictions on women working in construction, energy, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and water. 
Finally, Slovenia removed restrictions on women working in construction. 
Several of these reforms were motivated by the improved use of technology in these industries. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Guinea, Hungary, Samoa, and Vietnam also removed restrictions on women working in jobs deemed hazardous, arduous or morally inappropriate. 
However, Vietnam also introduced job restrictions on women working in agriculture, construction, energy, transportation, and water.

 Bolivia, Ecuador, Malta, and Nicaragua all granted women the same rights to remarry as men. Malta and Timor-Leste also granted women the same right to divorce as men. 

The Democratic Republic of Congo removed a legal requirement that wives obey their husbands. And Côte d’Ivoire, Honduras, Nicaragua, Rwanda, and Togo allowed women to be heads of household.

Australia, Chile, France, Montenegro, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Kingdom all introduced paid parental leave. Georgia, Mauritius, Mexico, and Samoa prohibited the dismissal of pregnant workers.

Democratic Republic of Congo reformed to allow women to register businesses, open bank accounts, and sign contracts in the same way as men. The Democratic Republic of Congo also prohibited gender discrimination in access to credit, as did 23 other economies from across every region but the Middle East and North Africa.

Meanwhile, in November 2018, US district judge Bernard Friedman declared unconstitutional a US law banning female genital mutilation (FGM), and dropped key charges against practitioners was an “outrageous” blow to the rights of tens of thousands of girls at risk of the abuse, according to campaigners. 


Avaya is out of its Chapter 11 Bankruptcy . I remember our first Avaya Project

Those were the days! Being one the largest resellers and specialists for Avaya Customer Interaction Centers and then their Distributors was just another story.

I was going over my old archives and came across the first time we won the Project of the Year Award for delivering the most impossible software and hardware integration of a customer interaction center in 90 crazy days and nights in Doha. I don't think the team slept for more than a year. We wouldn't go back home for days and live in fear of downtime ad infinitum, ad nauseum. The cost per minute of downtime was $60,000.

There were no weekends, there were no vacations. All we knew was to deliver this most important opportunity of our lifetime.

When we did get the time; we would get into monopoly warzones in the employee housing to keep sanity or watch pirated dvds of Prison Break and nonstop  Keifer Sutherland's 24.

It was just a never-ending spiral to build a company, to work so hard to beat a market that had never seen a new way of doing tech - and we were slowly and surely succeeding.
And the best part was - a woman was doing it.



"https://www.tahawultech.com/resellerme/blogs/meera-kaul-managing-director-optimus-technology-and-telecom/

Momenta wins 'Project of the Year' Award from Avaya

Feminism is not about sticking a woman in our face.

Meet Heather Nauert. She may be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Till a little while ago, she was a fox news anchor at Fox and friends, the show Trump watches intently. 

Since 1996, it seems Nauert has been a contributor and correspondent at Fox. Last year, she was offered a State Department spokesperson role as a Spokesperson.

The position justifying her nomination to the United Nations to fill in this highly academic public policy job has been that the Trump Administration wants to promote women to roles as these ones.



This is not feminism. This is a joke. Enabling women does not mean giving them jobs they are not qualified to do. It encompasses making sure they have the credibility to be able to do the job they are being asked to do. 

Just two months ago, Heather Nauert posted a picture on her Instagram of herself smiling in the Royal court of Saudi Arabia after the journalist Jamal Kashogi was murdered and dismembered.
She has no depth of knowledge about international affairs as she has publicly voiced support for KSA's role in the Yemen war where thousands of children are dying of hunger. She supported the war politically when the Canadian ambassador was expelled by the Saudi Government for demanding the released of an imprisoned human rights activist.

Her candidature does not seem right.

To call this feminism is a farce. Feminism is not about charity. Feminism is not about creating an uncreditworthy hierarchy. The fundamental value that the skills of a person bring to the role needs to be the basis of the choice of the person for this appointment.
If the choice still needs to be a woman, I am sure there are more qualified women in the US State Department with years of solid public policy experience who can fill the shoes to represent our country well.

The choice for this role should not be who Trump trusts and likes but who the right person qualified for the role is.

It's not a man or woman. It's about qualifications.

Dear Vogue, We are not planning on landing Men


Vogue USA featured a beautiful cover of a sultry, sexy Priyanka Chopra, post her wedding on their cover. Probably a first for a brown actress (?). In any case, Vogue announces that Priyanka has LANDED the man of her dreams. Who uses that expression anymore?
People who are in disbelief.
They question the ability and credibility of a person to be able to have or perform an act or have a privilege. That is when the word " land is used"

 As in " How did the oversized Instagrammer land a hot husband ?" ( check it out - it's a real story). OR 12 golden rules if you want to land dates on Friday night.

So while Cut.com was urging people to believe run away from a fraud money hungry Indian nonentity, the Indians were busy spreading memes about the age difference of the couple and really demeaning threads of takedowns.

Here is a woman, with all the flaws and perfections she may or may not have, she has the guts to believe in herself, she the balls to do it on her own, to own her culture, to be proud of her Indianness like no one ever has ever and project it on a world stage, yet all we can do is to always pull her down even on a day when we should just be wishing her well.

She is a public figure, a Miss India, a Miss World, a well spoken, well read, well-informed spokesperson for the country, yet it's very convenient for us to just diminish her persona to someone who just "landed " a guy.



Educated Indian women do not need the ratification of anyone to be who they are. They come from generations of education. They do not need to make anyone seem small to appear big themselves.

South Asians come from privilege. No, we may not have the white skin. We do not need it. We have an education. Sometimes, generations of it, We have deep skills, we have strong family and community. We have a sense of culture.  We have industry and above all, we have hard work and perseverance.

Indians in the United States are almost 100% educated. Most of them are employed and have negligible poverty levels as a community. We are growing at a rate of 134% as a community and may not feel the need to LAND a man or to be fraudulent or fake for any reason.  Our social structures are strong. 

Smart and intelligent women are landing on Mars these days.








The Audacity of a Brown Girl

I was astounded at the audacity of Ocasio- Cortez. Is it that she can dare to walk the hallowed halls that no other person of her background has ever walked? Or the alarm that she is now powerful enough to have a voice ? Wasn’t she the one not allowed to have one? So let us just point out all that we can to belittle her, spin our little stories, question ger validity, shall we? Her clothes, her demeanor? Her attitude? Her everything. It is exhausting. They just don’t believe she deserves to be there. She reminds me so much of how it was for me.
Is this not how we get slaughtered every time we dare to have an opinion. We are the women of color. We are the ones who dare not have an opinion. Because for some reason we must not. We are supposed to be inferior.
The first time I let myself feel it was when I sat on the couch of the law enforcement offices in Doha, Qatar. I had no idea why I had received a phone call to be there. But for some reason I was the reason for the heated debate happening in the high octaves of Arabic in the room next doors. Should an Indian woman ever have the right to an owner of a company? How did she get this right? Who gave it to her ? Aren’t Indians drivers and accountants? How did she become a company owner?
I looked away from their faces. I had never asked myself those questions. I had not been brought up to. I knew I had to shatter many such myths, break many such barriers every day. The part of the journey where I had to walk with a sense on danger under my skin had just begun.
I don’t know if many know but a lot of middle eastern countries work on the primitive concept of owning the lives of the people who work for you. So when you employ someone; you own them. You sponsor their visa, you hold their freedom, you own their passport, you sponsor their family, you also determine whether they leave the country, or they do not, or how.
You also control if they leave the job or you can send them packing back home.
Winning the Asian Games Contract in Qatar in 2005 was a double-edged sword. The prestige of running a world class operation, which could literally scale the work I was doing , versus the risk of being in a country called Qatar.
I am an entrepreneur. I took the risk. My joint venture partners were respected Royals and it gave me quiet comfort that they knew my extended family well enough that I need not spend sleepless nights worrying about the partnership.
But single Indian Women had never been ever given owner visas in that country. Single Indian Women owners were unheard of. Single Indian women were in fact not even allowed to enter the country.
Only dependent women were allowed. You know the ones who could verify that they had a father or a brother or a husband who could take care of them and their character.
I was an anomaly. My biggest fear for the two and a half years I built the Asian Games Infrastructure and my company there was the fact that though as a business owner, I held the power to hold passports of thousands of my own employees, but as a woman my own freedom was controlled by a Qatari gentleman who held the power to let me out or keep me inside the country at his own whims and fancies. And of late, he seemed to have, at age 60 ,started to gain some significant amorous feelings towards me.
Walking the fine line everyday, between keeping a very huge international contract on time, a growing fear for my own safety and the effort to keep civility towards the most egregious circumstances at work was a task.
I had luckily, managed to get a yearly exit permit on the visa , however, that did not prevent a cold sweat from breaking out down my spine every time I exited the country for the weekend or for work. What if he changed his mind ?The fact that someone could control my life so easily, or my destiny, was a nagging worry.
I knew that all eyes were on me, my behavior and my movements. Doha was a small place. I was held under a microscope for my choice of clothes or my choice of drinks. I was news of the day whether I was talking to a colleague or chatting with a customer. Yet, this sexism was the least dangerous. It was irritating but it was not perilous.
To escape a meeting and not be molested. To win a contract and not be touched inappropriately. These were not even issues I would be worried about. I was embattled. I was potentially facing $60K of fines of every minute of downtime from the Olympic Association.
I was out of patience for these crass unromantic approaches. I was giving it back by now. Loudly and clearly. As you may imagine, that made me very popular. At this time, I did not care a lot about the congeniality bit.
I was fighting for my life on the other hand. My sleepless nights were not because I might mess up the biggest contract of my life, but because I might die doing that. But it was important for me to execute my work. Not because I was lucky to have it. But because I was excited by it. I had worked hard for this day and not many entrepreneurs are as lucky as I was with the opportunities coming my way. I was not going to let my fear get in the way of my focus.
The fine line that I crossed every moment between getting my job done and not crossing the line was a thousand deaths. To be able to stand my ground, do the right thing and look that man in the eye and tell him that he cannot win by threatening me was all I focused on all the time.
I had picked up a fight with the very man who held my passport and represented the majority stake in my company. This was a perfect situation.
The love he showered on me continued to grow. I mean I had to deal with tones of harissa during the Ramadan days and endless Iftar invites but if that was not enough, I was not sure why this specific joint venture was the apple of everyone’s eye and I needed to be presented to all other joint venture partners from Lebanon to Paris, whether they understood what we did or not.


Our board meetings became longer and often pre-board meetings became longer than longer. One such day. Mr 60 year old walked from across his big white desk in his white dress towards me as I was preparing to leave and planted a kiss on my lips.
I stood there dumbfounded. Unable to respond. Or do anything. Including slap him.
I just left the building. Sat in my car. Cried for an hour. Drove back home.
I don’t know if it was relief or it was the end of suspense. He probably was not going to kill me after all. I may have just demonized him because of the complicity of his dress. In my head, he belittled himself from a demon to a pathetic puppy.
I come from a world where women do not have a choice. If we have to chose to engage in a livelihood, we have to be brave. Which mostly means that we have to put our lives at peril. We have to take chances. We antagonize people and we do not have a lot of fans. Our men are not sure what to make of us. And at times, we lose the support of those who are the closest to us.
We do not come from the comfort of being text book normal. Being average is a downward spiral. We have to step out of our comfort zone to stand out or we will be crushed and deemed inconsequential.
Yes, we are women of color. We are not the ones that will build personal brands like those of the rich white women even when we have in our achievements and experiences achieved and succeeded far more than they ever will. You see if we talk about our achievements and our credentials, you may not believe us.
We will never be viewed in terms of individual success. Infact, we are more likely to be doubted than believed. When we are climbing the corporate ladder, we will be questioned for our motivation and when we are successful, we will be attributed to chance.
Many women of color all of over the world put their lives at risk to be able to get a chance at being able to work. Think about that for a moment.
Each one of us , of whatever color, has our own reality.

How should you deal with Bullies ?

It could be someone you know or someone you barely know. Bullying is the act of directing aggressive, intimidating, or threatening behaviors that are directed at an individual with the intent to cause physical or emotional harm.



Bullying can take on a variety of forms and can be in-person or through the use of electronics and technology, called cyberbullying. While this list isn’t exhaustive, you may be a victim of bullying and/or cyberbullying if someone:
  • Subjects you to verbal taunts aimed to embarrass or humiliate you
  • Manipulates you into giving up possessions or money for fear of harm or embarrassment
  • Pushes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise physically harms you
  • Sends and/or forwards to others any insulting emails, texts, videos, photos, or social media posts that are derogatory or untrue
  • Impersonates you on social media to embarrass you or share your private information
  • Uses electronic messages (texts, Facebook posts, etc.) with angry or threatening language
What can you do?

Bullies are weak people. They derive pleasure by pulling other people down since they are insecure about themselves.
Other things you can do 

1. Get Emotional Support - Consider reaching out to your counselor, school administrator, human resource manager, victim services specialist, or advocate to get information on help that may be available to you and safety planning ideas.

2. Document Every Incident – Make a log of encounters with the bully. Record in-person encounters, texts or social media messages, online postings, etc.

3. Obtain a Protective Order – Consider filing for a protective order. Protective orders are issued differently by each state, so be sure to contact your local courts to determine what you’ll need to file the order. Ask about the type of order you can file based on the evidence and your particular situation. Bullying should be treated as a criminal act and is reportable to law enforcement.

4. Create a Safety Plan – Develop a safety plan for all situations in which you may encounter the bully. You can enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to plan for what you will do if the bully contacts or confronts you.

Remember the actions of other people to bring you down are testimonials of their own state of mind. They are not a reflection to the person you are.
Whatever you do, be the positive person who lights up everyone's life. Life is your reaction to what happens to you. 

You can never control what happens but you can always control and determine how you react to what happens. 


A simple guide to the world of male supremacy

I am assuming you have no mustache to wear and anatomically you are a far cry from what the leadership around you expects you to look like.

You own more monotone suits than the person down the hallway with the corner office and you are hoping that no one notices you exist while you make through the day.

God forbid you have brains. And if you have them, please relegate them to a corner of your body that's not visible.

Let's face it.

You are threatening to men even when you are not competing with them. To the most open-minded liberal men who swear to think of women as their equals, you are still not an equal.

You are still a woman. Something they used to own. And now you have a voice. How dare you?

If you are doing things that are not expected of women; you are getting in the way of your own self. Yes, they will pull you down and they will do it slowly but surely. Unless you have a very thick skin, which unfortunately cannot be purchased even on Amazon; do not try to hurt the male ego.

1. When a man talks, please let him. Be happy to only repeat his words. Do not add or take away words from his diatribe. He is the God of opinion and words.

2. When you have to disagree with their point of view; please do not. Have another man do it.

3. Before you say anything; keep asserting that you are just a woman with no skills. That makes them feel good. And Safe

4. It's better not to say anything when a man is explaining something to you. Please let him explain even if you know better. It makes them feel useful.

5. If you hear or are subject to something sexist; please do not point it out. It will allow them to attack you for existing in their space, blame you for your food, beverage habits or your clothes and your intent in being around you. You should just try your best to run away from the situation and never speak about it. They expect that. It hurts the big male ego that you found their sexism sexist. In fact, you should be grateful they have predefined tools to measure their egos with. If you know what I mean.

6. The more confused you come across as; the more powerful the man in the room feels. Please live up to the stereotype - appear and behave stupid and confused. Never come across as clear or direct. This will help the men feel powerful and in charge.

7. Don't come across as confident. Always use words like "stupid", " random" " not sure" " crazy" when giving your opinion so that the men never feel threatened by your confidence.

8. Never ever blame men for touching or feeling you. I would suggest stepping out in space suits if you are uncomfortable with the most common privilege that men assert.

9. Celebrate the bosses and co-workers who steal your ideas and take credit for work you have done. In fact, take pride and joy in the way they grow in stature and remuneration. After all, they deserve it. You on the other hand; are better at other things. I mean even if you are a brain surgeon, you are still a woman brain surgeon. Or a woman prosecutor.

10. When you stand up for your rights. ( Right); your actions are seen as hyper and emotional. So just don't protest. When a man is effectively screaming his guts out; it is a conversation. When a woman is talking; it is called emotional outburst. Your rights are a gift. Men's rights are their privilege,

There are more tactics that I have used to survive in business. I have spent years of my career careful about upsetting the male supremacy equilibrium. And facing it head-on, nevertheless.

Whenever I have raised my voice to sexism, bad behavior or discrimination; there has been a narrative that has tried to dilute mine. Will I stop raising my voice? No way in hell. The more you muffle me; the more of me you will see. And hear.








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The Clock is Ticking : BACKWARD FOR WOMEN

Sometimes it is just a customary sound; but a movement that takes us backward; instead of steering us forward. 2017 and 2018 have been the...