An international exhibit titled “Women Changing India” heads to South Africa for the first time.
The Women Changing India project is an initiative that commemorates the 150-year anniversary of BNP Paribas Bank and its operations in India. Since 2010 the exhibition was hosted in 5 cities in India including Mumbai, Delhi, Kochi, Chennai and Kolkata. The exhibit has toured throughout the world visiting cities such as Paris, London, Brussels, Stuttgart, San Francisco, Milan and Tokyo to name just a few.
It is an unusual exhibition with unexpected visuals that show another side to India and the power women who have shaped history.
BNP Paribas have a deeply held commitment to social responsibility and equal opportunities and has transformed this commitment into concrete action in each of the countries in which it has a presence.
In South Africa, the banking group recently announced the provision of its first micro-finance loan to the Small Enterprises Foundation (SEF), a renowned microcredit institution in South Africa, 99% of whose customers are women living in rural areas.
The exhibition combines the talents of Magnum Photo Agency and Zubaan, a Delhi-based publishing house specializing in books for and about women in South Asia. The “Women Changing India” book maps some of the change that is both visible and invisible in India today. It covers stories of individual women who are making their mark in their communities.
Indira Jaising, for example, a judge of the Supreme Court and Fighter for the Rights of Women. She stands confidently behind her desk, looking up, the left on a law book. Or Chanda Kochhar, head of the second-largest private bank of the subcontinent, who is shown with a big smile in front of her huge office window. These and many other pieces evoke a proud history of women in India.
As part of the official opening day of the exhibition a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Women Changing South Africa’ will be hosted.
Speakers include Kirti Menon – Mahatma Gandhi’s great granddaughter, Sibongile Mkhabela, – CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, Khadija Patel – Editor of Mail and Guardian and Kayan Leung – Attorney, Lawyers for Human Rights who will discuss the positive roles and changes women in South Africa have contributed to.
The panel discussion will be moderated by the author and publisher Urvashi Butalia.
Vikas Khandelwal, CEO for BNP Paribas in South Africa, comments, “It is our great pleasure to bring this successful exhibition to South Africa. An exhibition of this nature is a great idea to showcase the positive changes that women bring to our society and break away from the stereotypical image that we hold of them, especially in an emerging market like India. This exhibition in its own creative and unique way, celebrates the diversity and achievements of women despite several adversities’
The exhibition will be on display and open for public viewing at Gallery 011 in Sandton from 1 November to 9 November.
About: BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with an international reach. It has a presence in 74 countries, with more than 192,000 employees, including more than 146,000 in Europe.
The Group has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services (whose retail-banking networks and financial services are covered by Retail Banking & Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which serves two client franchises: corporate clients and institutional investors. The Group helps all its clients (individuals, community associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporates and institutional clients) to realise their projects through solutions spanning financing, investment, savings and protection insurance.
In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail-banking model in Mediterranean countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas as well as a solid and fast-growing business in Asia-Pacific.