Looking radiant in a bright red business suit teamed with a similarly coloured double-layered choker, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was woman power personified at her breakfast meeting with corporate honchos here on Saturday, making a fashion statement in no uncertain terms as she kicked off her first visit to India after assuming office.
| Her short blonde hair neatly pinned back perfectly complemented her attire with the ensemble being completed with smart cream and black pumps that seemed more than adequate for the long day ahead.|
On their part, Indian business leaders like Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani and Adi Godrej who attended the breakfast meeting chose to wear formal grey or navy blue, while the women, who included Swati Piramal, Sudha Murthy and Chanda Kochar, were clad in saris in an array of colours.
Impressed with Indian women"Impressed" with Indian women, Hillary Clinton said that while "enormous progress" has been achieved in their empowerment, much more needs to be done.
Addressing a press conference here on the first morning of her five-day visit to India, Clinton said: "I am very impressed with Indian women."
"I have been in touch with a number of organisations that are promoting economic opportunities and greater choices in the lives of women here in India. Enormous amount of progress has been made in this field," she added.
Clinton's visit to India includes her meeting with women from Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA), where she will examine the textile and garments exhibits by the SEWA members.
SEWA leaders, including Ela Bhatt and director Reema Nanavaty, will update Clinton on the progress of Global Women's Trade Finance Council, founded in 2007 in New York to take the work of grassroots artisans to the global level and link them to the world markets, and to improve the situation of women in underdeveloped and developing countries.
The association of the US secretary of state with SEWA, the organisation of the craftswomen from the Kutch in Gujarat, dates back to 1995 when she visited as the US first lady. Since then she has made several visits to the NGO's offices in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
"I look forward to meeting old friends when I go to SEWA. I am excited to see the expansion of their work," said Clinton.
While stressing that much more remained to be done for women empowerment, Clinton said that the development of a nation is directly linked to the progress of women.
"It is absolutely undeniable that the progress of women is directly linked to the progress of any country. The more women have the rights, education, employment opportunities, access to credit, role in decision making in family and community, the more development will take place...
"Progress that has been made is extraordinary. But much more needs to be done. It is a priority of Indian government to create more literacy among women," said Clinton.
Clinton arrived here late Friday and was immediately taken to the Taj hotel, where she is staying during her sojourn in Mumbai as a mark of solidarity with the victims of the 26/11 terror attack.
Clinton will fly to New Delhi Sunday for meetings with India's political leaders and members of the civil society.