Amrita Kumar-Ratta headed for inaugural International Geneva Competition on ‘Empowering Women for Development’

   Amrita Kumar-Ratta Photo submitted

Amrita Kumar-Ratta Photo submitted


AMRITA Kumar-Ratta, currently Project Lead for Regional Diversity Roundtable in Peel, is headed for Geneva, Switzerland, as part of the team of three finalists for a competition for a project for empowering women.

Over 40 teams of M.A. students from all over the world entered the inaugural International Geneva Competition on the topic of Empowering Women for Development.

Hosted by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, this international competition has been created under the patronage of Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the UN.

Among the three finalists chosen is the Canadian team comprised of four graduate students from the Munk Centre of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and one from the University of Western Ontario in London.

Amrita – and her four other team-mates – Anam Ansari, Faye Simmonds, Annie Tayyab and Kevin Vuong – have been invited to present their paper and proposal in Geneva on September 15 before a distinguished audience and a panel of judges.

Their proposal is entitled “Educating against Vulnerability: An Integrated Approach to addressing the Exploitation of Female Migrant Workers.”

The proposal focuses on the struggles of millions of female workers from Indonesia who migrate to richer countries like Saudi Arabia to earn better wages and to support their families back home, but who often face discrimination and exploitation in host countries, as well as the double burden of caring for their own families.

The Canadian team, in their proposal, makes concrete suggestions for equity and fairness for migrant workers and how to make that happen.

The other two finalists are teams from the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, and from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. These two team of graduate students will be presenting their papers on: “Empowering Female Sex Workers in the City of Bogotá: From Stigma to a Health Rights Approach,” and “Market Match-up: using a participatory communications platform to raise women’s self-efficacy,” respectively.

The competition offers cash prizes to all finalists, and the Canadian team continues to seek opportunities to fund their pilot project in Indonesia.

Amrita Kumar-Ratta studied in Mayfield Secondary School in Caledon, and is a graduate of McGill University and of the Munk Centre at the University of Toronto, with extensive experience of working on development issues in Kenya, India and Thailand. A few years ago, she and her sister Ankita started an initiative “Save the Girls” for a campaign against female foeticide.

Amrita also wrote many articles on women’s empowerment in the South Asian press.

Amrita has recently started as ‘Project Lead’ for Regional Diversity Roundtable in Peel Region for “promoting respect and equity within organizations and institutions for an inclusive and harmonious community.”