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Watch Video of the First All-Female Spacewalk

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will exit the International Space Station to replace a power controller that failed last weekend
Update, 2:58 p.m. EDT: NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir have completed their spacewalk, becoming the first two women to venture outside the International Space Station at the same time. The two spacewalkers, over the course of about seven hours outside the ISS, successfully replaced a power controller that recently failed.

“Today was especially an honor, as we also recognize that this is a milestone. It symbolizes exploration by all that dare to dream and work hard to achieve that dream. Not only that, it’s a tribute to those who paved the way for us to be where we are, and we hope an inspiration to all future explorers,” Koch said upon reentering the space station. Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will make history today as they step outside the International Space Station in pressure suits for the first all-female spacewalk. For five and a half hours, the two women will float outside the ISS as they work to replace a faulty power controller.

Koch and Meir were originally scheduled to install new batteries outside of the space station next Monday, but they were reassigned to replace a power controller as soon as possible after it failed last weekend, Mike Wall reports for NASA officials said the power controller failure is a repeat of a similar problem that occurred in April, so the astronauts need to retrieve the faulty battery charge/discharge unit (BCDU) and send it back to Earth for inspection.

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Mask of shame after experiencing an online love that turned into betrayal and financial disaster to the tune of over One Million Dollars.

Who Am I?

I am Debby Montgomery Johnson, an amazing, strong woman who has removed the mask of shame after experiencing a love that turned into betrayal and financial disaster to the tune of over One Million Dollars. Yes, that’s right … $1,080,762 to be exact!

Like so many of us who have experienced pain, challenge, shame, guilt and worry, I would put on a happy face, smile and have the well-rehearsed words, “I’m fine” come flying out of my mouth.

I hid behind that smile for decades and it seemed to be working, until it just wasn’t anymore and the time to remove the mask and step out from behind the smile became the only way for me to be.

Stepping out from behind the smile, and releasing the paralyzing fear of what others would think if they only knew the truth has allowed me to stand up in my power and I know it can do the same for you!


Henry Sapiecha

‘We will stop the next war’: Watch Women march for Israeli-Palestinian peace

About 5000 Israeli and Palestinian women, calling for peace, have marched through a desert landscape down to the Jordan River where they erected a ‘peace tent’.

Thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women have trekked through a biblical desert landscape, converging on the shores of the Jordan River in a march for peace.

The women, many of them dressed in white, descended through the arid hills leading to the river, where they erected a “peace tent” named for Hagar and Sarah, scriptural mothers of Ishmael and Isaac, the half-brother patriarchs of Muslims and Jews.

“We are women from the right, the left, Jews and Arabs, from the cities and the periphery and we have decided that we will stop the next war,” said Marilyn Smadja, one of the founders of the organising group, Women Wage Peace.

Israeli and Palestinian women march in the desert near Beit HaArava in the Jordan Valley, Israel, near to Jericho, in the West Bank, 08 October 2017.

The organisation was established after the 50-day Gaza war of 2014 when more than 2100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed. Israel put the number of its dead at 67 soldiers and six civilians.

About 5000 women participated in Sunday’s march, organisers said.

It began last month at several locations across Israel and will culminate in a rally later in the day outside the Jerusalem residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Palestinian and Israeli women take phone photographs of thousands of women taking part in a Peace march in the desert near Beit HaArava in the Jordan Valley

The march comes at a time when many analysts see little hope for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is 82 and unpopular, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads what is seen as the most right-wing government in his country’s history.

In 2015, Women Wage Peace members fasted in relays over 50 days, the length of the 2014 war between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

“The men who have power believe only in war, but with the strength of women we can bring something else, something new,” said Amira Zidan, an Arab Israeli mother of one of the organisation’s founders.

Sunday’s arrival in Jerusalem coincides with the week-long Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which commemorates the Jews’ journey through the Sinai after their exodus from Egypt.

Earlier Sunday, thousands of Jews gathered at Jerusalem’s Western Wall for a priestly blessing held during the holiday each year.

Henry Sapiecha

Broader definition of polycystic ovary syndrome is harming women say experts .Video presentations.

Lucy Ogden-Doyle was only 14 when she learnt she may develop fertility problems. It was distressing news for someone who went to see her GP about irregular periods.

Her doctor said she might have a hormonal condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and she should drop five kilograms – despite then being 52 kilograms and 172 centimetres tall – to “pre-empt” weight gain, a symptom.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: an expert’s guide

“It was quite a dramatic thing to tell someone so young that they may be infertile and to lose weight, which would have made me underweight,” Ms Ogden-Doyle, now 24, said.

“Two years later I had tests and I do have PCOS but I’m not showing the symptoms like excess hair or extra weight so, while it has been a negative experience, right now I’m not letting it affect me.”

The arts student is among one in five women diagnosed with PCOS, a deeply stigmatising condition. The figure is based on eight separate studies across six countries including Australia and China.

PCOS, which occurs when a woman’s ovaries or adrenal glands produce more male hormones than normal, is the most commonly diagnosed endocrine disorder in reproductive aged women.

In an opinion article in the latest British Medical Journal, Australian researchers argue that an expanded definition had inadvertently led to overdiagnosis, and therefore too much treatment and even harm.

The widening of the definition (to include the sonographic presence of polycystic ovaries) in 2003 led to a dramatic increase in cases, from 5 to 21 per cent.

Lucy Ogden-Doyle has polycystic ovary syndrome. The definition of the term is problematic

Lead author Tessa Copp, a PhD student at Sydney University, said many women were being “given a lifelong disease label” in their teenage years when symptoms such as acne and irregular periods overlapped with signs of puberty.

She referred to three studies that found the prevalence of PCOS by age decreased rapidly after 25, suggesting the symptoms may be transitory for some women.

“A lot of my friends had it and were feeling quite dissatisfied because there’s no cure, nothing you can do, except to undergo treatments that focus on alleviating symptoms,” she said.

“Some cases are severe and they will benefit from the label, but women with milder symptoms may experience harm from the overdiagnosis and overtreatment.”

The authors said women diagnosed with PCOS had higher levels of depression, anxiety, poorer self-esteem, negative body image, disordered eating and decreased sexual satisfaction.

They said it was unclear whether these impacts were due to the condition, its symptoms, or from the psychological effect of being labelled a PCOS sufferer.

“It’s associated with infertility, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, so it labels women as abnormal but the consequences are not the same for everyone,” Ms Copp said.

The authors argue that, given the uncertainties, the risk of psychological harm and the impacts of applying a one-size-fits-all diagnostic criteria to a wide-ranging set of symptoms, it was important for doctors not to rush diagnosing women.

“We need better understanding and research to characterise the benefits and harms of diagnosis and treatment for women with both severe and milder symptoms,” Ms Copp said.

“Instead of diagnosing women in adolescence, note they’re at risk, follow up with them over time and use treatments that target the symptoms.”

Call to action

The article comes as influential health groups, including the Consumers Health Forum and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, launch a call to action to address overdiagnosis in general and “the problem of too much medicine”.

In an initial statement via a Wiser Healthcare collaboration, they said there was an urgent need to develop a national action plan.

“Expanding disease definitions and lowering diagnostic thresholds are recognised as one driver of the problem, and the processes for changing definitions require meaningful reform,” it said.

Dr Ray Moynihan, from Bond University and a Wiser Healthcare member, said the problem of too much medicine was driven by many factors, including the best of intentions.

“PCOS appears to be a strong example of the problem of expanding disease definitions or lowering diagnostic thresholds that are potentially labelling too many people,” he said.

PCOS is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, high blood pressure and poorer psychological wellbeing.

Wonder Woman and the important need of the Female Hero Moment

Holly Towler in Action

When J.J. Abrams was wrapping up Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he showed a rough cut to Ava DuVernay, the Selma director he’d recently befriended. It needed something, she told him. Daisy Ridley’s Rey needed to have one more powerful moment, one more show of strength in her final battle with Kylo Ren. Abrams took her advice, shot some new footage, and added a close-up of Rey’s face as she strikes a massive lightsaber blow. If you watch it now, it’s very clear which one it is. Just ask any 15-year-old female Star Wars fan—even now, she can probably recall it from memory. When you don’t expect to see yourself as the hero, you don’t easily forget what it looks like.

Wonder Woman has more than 20 hero moments like this. It even ends on one. They’re not all close-ups like the one Abrams added to Force Awakens, but they do show a hero in action. Filmed in slow motion, almost always in battle, they feature Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), as well as other women. It’s trite to say, but I’ll say it anyway: This is revolutionary.

The hero shot is a staple of superhero movies, and action movies in general. If you had to think of one right now, though, your mind would probably light on Thor hoisting a hammer or Superman floating above Metropolis with his cape billowing in the wind, not of a woman saving the world. Katniss Everdeen got some of them in the Hunger Games films, the female mutants have had their share in the X-Men movies, Joss Whedon gave a couple to Black Widow and Scarlet Witch in the Avengers flicks—but rarely, if ever, has one film been dedicated to them in the way Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is. Viewers not thinking to look for it might not even notice it (looking at you, gents), but the impact of those shots is hard to ignore.

As more and more women saw Jenkins’ movie this weekend, their reactions tended to fall into two categories. First, they liked it. Second, they felt empowered by it. Sure, many were just excited that after 75+ years there was finally a movie dedicated to their favorite hero, but the sentiments went deeper than “yay movie!” MakeLoveNotPorn founder Cindy Gallop tweeted a note to Silicon Valley VCs pointing out that Gadot shot Wonder Woman while pregnant, adding “Don’t ever doubt a pregnant female founder [is] not up to it.” Actresses like Lupita Nyong’o and Jessica Chastain took to social media to express their excitement over the film. Some praised Antiope’s (Robin Wright) battle face; others joked about the ability to ask guys in the theater whether they just came because their girlfriends brought them, not because they like comic book movies. DuVernay herself retweeted this:

**Much gets said (and often by us) about the lack of female heroes and heroes who are people of color, but Hollywood is only just now starting to see the results of efforts to diversify. This weekend, Wonder Woman gave audiences something they’d been waiting for for a long time. And, in return, they gave the filmmakers an expectation-shattering $103 million opening weekend in the US, and proof that women could rule the box office and save Warner Bros. and the DC Universe in the process. In Wonder Woman, Diana’s mother Hipplyta (Connie Nielsen) tells her daughter that the world of men does not “deserve” her. That may be true for the Allied powers in World War I, but for everyone who has been championing a proper female-led superhero movie since the dawn of time, they definitely do.

Holly Towler gives it to the bad guys in this GIF video-Do not mess with me she says.

Back to all those hero shots, though. If this had been a Batman movie, their sheer number might have been too much. But for the first female-led, female-directed superhero movie, showing off is necessary. It’s Dottie Hinson doing the splits to catch a pop foul in A League of Their Own—a little performative, sure, but also a way of saying “yeah, I did that.” When Wonder Woman has her first big hero moment crossing No Man’s Land (see what they did there?) to save a village, it’s tear-jerking; when she gets her umpteenth slow-mo shot in the finale, it’s just awesome. Female superheroes haven’t gotten a lot of big heroic movie moments over the years, so to make up for it Wonder Woman got all of them.

Now that Wonder Woman is a massive success, that kind of badassery just got carte blanche. It means Diana Prince can now thank Bruce Wayne for that sweet note he sent her at the beginning of her movie and tell him, “Thanks. I’ll be leading the Justice League now.” It means Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel—already slated to be the most powerful superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—gets to have a movie that could leave the Iron Mans and Captain Americas in the dust. It means that Whedon’s Batgirl movie has a real shot, and if Marvel was ever wavering on whether or not to give Black Widow a standalone film, now might be the time to green-light it. And it means Rian Johnson should take a good, long look at his latest cut of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Because this time around, Rey gets all the hero shots she deserves.

Henry Sapiecha

Video: Why 29 year-old women are taking over the world

This chap has some interesting stuff to tell you in this video

Henry Sapiecha

Big Picture: Marketing to women-Videos to watch here….>

Marketing to women – understanding what makes them tick as consumers and how communication addresses their desires, needs and concerns is changing, but it will need to change fast to keep up with growing economic power of the world’s females. It’s time to step beyond femvertising, Nicola Riches reports.

Marketing-to-Women image

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) projects that women will control 75% of discretionary spending around the world by 2028. Nielsen estimates that by then women will collectively out-earn men in the US.

More immediately, BCG expects women’s global income to reach $18 trillion by 2018. We may not have arrived at an ‘equal future’ yet, but it’s inevitable and the clear message is this: marketing tactics have to evolve to manage the changes coming down the line.

Bec Brideson, Australian consultant on the female economy, argues that the time for change is upon us and if businesses and companies want to survive and thrive under the scrutiny of powerful female consumers, now is the time to act.

“It’s time to rethink not just communications, but products, pipelines and the female-centricity of the entire business because women will see the entire picture,” she said.

“Those businesses that are already responding or pre-empting her needs will win her dollars, her heart – and the race.”

‘Femvertising’ has provided a key starting point for this very shift. #Likeagirl, ANZ’s ‘Smart Girls’ and ‘Pocket Money’, Dove’s ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’, and Ariel’s ‘Share The Load’ (India) are all excellent examples where a brand has not only developed a fresh way to talk to women, but has also pushed gender issues centre stage.


However, as much as those issues withstand and necessitate constant re-telling, it is widely thought brands will have to move past such tactics and develop alternative ways to tune into the female audience to prove they are authentic and genuine.

“Femvertising is a start, a great entry point and a topical, if not faddish way to win her attention. But a business must build authenticity and a genuine female factor as well,” Brideson warned.

Her sentiments are echoed by content agency Red Engine’s director and head of strategy Kate Richardson.

“As long as women face gender related discrimination, there is the potential for brands to raise awareness of the invisible, culturally embedded issues that women deal with every day,” she said.

“When this kind of communication is deeply connected to a company’s cultural beliefs it can really resonate. When it feels tokenistic or inauthentic, it’s an absolute turn-off.”

The argument is that brands must look at complete revitalisation through a female lens.

Brideson and Richardson both agree this should start at the product development phase. However, when it comes to marketing, several tactics have already been used across Australia to achieve this, most notably through content marketing plays – the premise being that women are more likely to engage with content and, in turn, respond, share and advocate.

“Female shoppers now are so savvy to a brand message being rammed down their throat that for it to be engaging content, which touches them in a true and real sense, you have to deliver something authentic,” Westfield senior group marketing manager Prue Thomas told AdNews.

Thomas was responsible for the ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ roll-out for Westfield – a play which barely mentioned the brand but delivered content, wrapped around a cleverly-devised cross-retailer push, in an ‘always-on’ fashion.

The campaign was so successful it resulted in the roll-out of a number of unexpected edits – partly because the content was so strong, but also because audience response was so positive.

As the balance shifts, it’s not entirely clear how marketing will change, but what we do know is the following: storytelling will be essential, brands will rely on content and advocacy, and they will be forced to adopt a responsive, ‘always-on’ approach, but more than that, they will be held accountable to true authenticity.

Case Study: Effecting true change the ANZ way

Times like these call for drastic measures, but it’s virtually impossible for one smart girl to do it alone. When a team of smart girls – indeed, an institution of smart people – come together, branding can become about more than shouting into a loudspeaker, it can actually set in motion groundbreaking changes.

ANZ’s ‘Smart Girls’ and ‘Pocket Money’, part of the bank’s Equal Future stand, are perfect examples of how to ground a gender-specific campaign in authenticity and how a branding exercise can mean more than just amplification. That it can genuinely go on to effect behavioural change and provide welcome utilities into people’s lives.

ANZ’s work – which won Ad of the Year at this year’s AdNews Agency of the Year Awards, created in conjunction with Whybin\TBWA Group Melbourne – is not a paper lantern designed to float away when consumers start eyeing up the next shiny object. Instead, explains ANZ group marketing general manager, Louise Eyres, it is the result of a decade-long journey by the bank which began with a program of financial literacy in the shape of MoneyMinded. It had a strong skew towards women who wanted to be empowered financially.

The banking group understands that women seek authenticity in their dealings and purchasing, perhaps going some way to explain why Equal Future has been so successful. Eyres sees the move as being part and parcel of the company’s culture.

“This is fundamental to what ANZ is – minimising discrepancies where we can. ANZ lives and breathes these values,” she said.

It’s often been recognised that the financial services industry has long defaulted to talking to men and talking in their language. However, in launching ‘Smart Girls’ and ‘Pocket Money’, ANZ realised it had to be sensitive to how women engage with content.

Eyres explained how the bank adopted a fluid approach to the execution of the campaign, modifying and adopting various executions as it monitored the responses of women across Australia.

“We start with a few assets, start the conversations, start the engagement, and as the assets grow, we see what’s resonating and keep building so we don’t push.

We land a few pieces of content and see how they evolve. They are all different executions, with stories optimised around them,” she said.

Interestingly, ‘Smart Girls’ was designed to be a PR/social piece in digital channels – both seeded and paid – but then, owing to its success, ANZ later decided to broaden it out to TV. A decision on the future direction of ‘Pocket Money’ (which only landed this month) hasn’t been made.

Whybin\TBWA creative director Tara Ford is convinced the latest installment will be as well received as ‘Smart Girls’.

“Pocket Money is really reson-ating because it is unscripted and the responses are so raw. We relate to the unfettered sense of equity. It makes the issue very personal, here we are talking about people’s sons and daughters in your home. That’s very thought provoking,” Ford said.

ANZ is clear about the pathway it has chosen for Equal Future.

“It really was a content strategy to generate debate and get other sectors to look at their systems,” Eyres said.

If anything it is a behavioural change program marked by the initiatives which underpin the advertising campaign: elements such as contributing $500 to female staff’s super funds when they are on maternity leave; specialist advice for women structured around different hours; a service line for women with less than $50,000 in super to assist them getting to a livable threshold.

But, perhaps, the icing on the cake of the whole effort is that within days of ‘Smart Girls’ launching there was a successful unilateral three-party call for a Senate Inquiry into the Economic Security for Women in Retirement. ANZ was invited to make the opening submission at the inquiry. That, right there, is effecting change.


Henry Sapiecha



Henry Sapiecha

Microsoft says not everything is ‘man’ made – Video

Can’t name any female investors? Microsoft can.

Microsoft has launched a campaign to coincide with International Women’s Day in the US as part of an effort to encourage girls to enter tech fields.

The spot pictures young girls taking about why they love science but failing to name any inventors beside men. A montage of creations by women creators follows – including Maria Beasley who made the life raft. Who knew?

One girl says: “In school it was always male inventors. I just realised that.”

young girl at school image

The idea came from only men showing up in Google’s carousel search results when the term ‘famous investor’ is searched.
According to the World Economic Forum, the gender gap in computer science won’t close until the year 2133.

As part of its initiative, Microsoft also announced a patent program that will give select female inventors support in patenting their ideas. The idea is to address the reality that women hold only 7% of patents and just 15% of inventors in the US are female.

Check out the other campaigns released for International Women’s Day here.

Henry Sapiecha

Westfield tells women they are empowered to be anything

Delta Goodrem tells her younger self she can be anything and wear anything.

Scentre Group has launched its national autumn/winter 2016 fashion campaign ‘Own Your Story’, announcing singer Delta Goodrem and model Yay Deng as the new style ambassadors.

The campaign empowers women to embrace their individuality and express themselves through style.

delta-goodman-image www.goodgirlsgo.comyaya deng model image

In two short films, ‘Own Your Story’ sees Goodrem and Deng each share advice with their younger self on topics spanning fashion to self-confidence and career, based on lessons they’ve learned, told from their now adult perspective.

Deng says: “There will be times when the world thinks you can’t be a model. Don’t listen. Be beautiful, be intelligent. You can be both.”


Henry Sapiecha

Google’s Doodle ‘1 DAY I WILL’ celebrates International Women’s Day

Ellen DeGeneres, Michelle Obama and Whoopi Goldberg

support Google #OneDayIWill campaign.

Google would like women around the world to share their own dreams supporting International Women’s Day.

The company has created a hashtag, #OneDayIWill and asked that women and girls write what they want to achieve. The initiative is gaining momentum, with Ellen DeGeneres, Michelle Obama and Whoopi Goldberg posting the hashtag on their own Twitter accounts.

Google has made doodles to celebrate major days and achievements in the past. For International Women’s Day, the company wanted to celebrate the next generation of doodle-worthy women—the engineers, educators, leaders and movers and shakers of tomorrow.

Google visited 13 cities around the world and asked 337 women to complete the sentence “One Day I Will”, then compiled the results into a video shown upon clicking on the Google Doodle.

The women make up a diverse mosaic of personalities, ages and backgrounds and their aspirations are just as varied, ranging from the global to the very personal, from discovering more digits of pi to becoming a mother to giving a voice to those who are unable to speak.

Familiar people also participated, including anthropologist Jane Goodall, wanted to discuss the environment with the Pope, and Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai and activist Muzoon Almellehan

Check out the other campaigns from Uber and ANZ for International Women’s Day.


Video creators: Lydia Nichols, Helene Leroux & Liat Ben-Rafael
Original music: Merrill Garbus


Henry Sapiecha


This documentary on sex guide for girls in the 21st century is worth watching 4 all the right reasons


Henry Sapiecha

With this dowry I now own your son: Indian brides turn tables

indian bride has a dowry & owns the groom image

“Ask nicely, and I might let you use my things,” says this bride in a video made for the government campaign Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save your Daughter, Teach your Daughter) in India. Photo: Supplied

New Delhi: India’s efforts to stop baby girls being aborted are seeing the circulation of some surprisingly hard-hitting videos that are turning the tables on men, using the issue of dowry to turn them into pathetic “objects”.

Having to give a dowry to daughters is the single most powerful reason that Indian parents prefer boys. The dowry – cash, fridges, jewellery, TVs, scooters, furniture, sewing machines, cooking utensils – can bankrupt families but without it, no daughter will ever find a husband.

In one video, made for the government campaign Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save your Daughter, Teach your Daughter), a young bride is shown about to go for a ride on a scooter with her husband. The woman’s father-in-law tells her contemptuously that she had better think again because he needs the scooter to do his chores.

“Monthly instalments are only for objects,” says this bride to her mother-in-law in response to suggestions how dowry payments should continue, in a videos for Save your Daughter, Teach your Daughter campaign. Photo: Supplied

The bride retorts: “I’m the one who paid the quoted price. I gave you the scooter as part of the dowry I brought so I own the scooter and your son. Ask nicely, and I might let you use my things.”

The second video, too, alters the usual image of a new bride in her in-laws’ home, namely, tense, eager to please, everyone’s doormat. It shows her in the kitchen with her mother-in-law who is goading her into asking her parents for a new fridge.

The bride says her parents only recently gave a sewing machine. “What is this? Do I have to give monthly instalments or what?” asks the young woman. The mother-in-law’s reply is why not?

The wife answers: “Well, monthly instalments are only for objects, so if you expect monthly instalments from me, that means your son is an object I can use as I wish”.

The videos were funded by business consultant Sunil Alagh in Mumbai.  He says he wanted to contribute to the government’s campaign to empower women but not with a preachy sermon on the evils of dowry that everyone has heard before.

“I was at a friend’s house where the servant told me that a girl in his village had told her prospective father-in-law that if he wanted a dowry from her, he had better accept that he was selling his son to her. It was brilliant, I knew I had to use that line,” said Mr Alagh.

The two videos, produced by Red Carpet Entertainment, have attracted two million views on Facebook, more than 225,000 hits on YouTube and are being shown at all INOX cinemas in India. They have also generated intense debate because Indians are accustomed to homily-laden education campaigns, not videos which savage traditions in this fashion.

Reactions have ranged from praise to criticism that the videos implicitly accept the practice of dowry instead of questioning it. “All the ad is doing is discouraging audiences from finding an educated bride for their family … because education, apparently, transforms a woman into the quip-hurling bitch who’s out to isolate her husband from his parents, according to this advertisement,” wrote Rohan Venkataramakrishnan on the current affairs website Scroll.

For New Delhi economist Anuradha Bhasin, such criticism is absurd. “They are clever and funny. While the setting is traditional [mother-in-law hectoring the daughter-in-law], the daughter-in-law is educated and knows her rights. And equating a dowry with the buying of a son is fantastic,” she said.

The practice of dowry has etched the preference for boys deep in the psyche. Last month, some doctors practising the traditional Indian system of medicine known as ayurveda were arrested in Bhopal during a herbal fair for selling herbs that ensured women would conceive baby boys.

Last February, India’s most famous yoga guru, Baba Ramdev, came under attack for selling an ayurvedic potion to infertile couples that “guarantees” a male child.

With female foeticide still rampant, the sex ratio has fallen from 927 girls per 1000 boys in 2001 to 918 girls for every 1000 boys in 2011.

In launching the Save your Daughter, Teach your Daughter campaign in January, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited members of the public to devise their own ways of promoting women’s empowerment.

Mr Alagh is one of many Indians who have tried to do something innovative to change attitudes. Another was Sunil Jaglan, a father in Haryana who organised a “Selfie with Daughter” campaign on social media, which Mr Modi promptly helped promote on his own Twitter account.


Henry Sapiecha