IIFA takes up the cause of women empowerment

Mumbai, July 2 (IANS) The 14th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards has added women empowerment as a cause that it will pursue under the programme 'Power of 49'.

"It gives me great pleasure to announce that IIFA from this year onwards has taken upon itself, in addition to climate change, as a cause it wishes to pursue - the 'Power of 49'," veteran actress Shabana Azmi announced Monday at an IIFA weekend press meet.

"Fortynine percent is the figure of the women we have in our country today and as a nation we can call ourselves civilized if this 49 percent gets empowered," Shabana added.

Filmmaker R. Balki believes films can promote the cause in a lot of ways - for instance superstar Shah Rukh Khan's initiative to name Deepika Padukone first in the credit roll of their upcoming film "Chennai Express".

"It's always 'starring somebody' and then the heroine. I think Shah Rukh was good enough to be the first person to say I'll do it differently and 'Chennai Express' will be the first film where Deepika's name will come first and then Shah Rukh's. So it's a signal and not an end by itself, that focus on the 49 percent," Balki said.

"So films can do it in a lot of ways and the same thing will happen at IIFA. IIFA plans to surprise you at the show. There will be a change which will signal something extremely significant as far as this cause goes," he added.

IIFA kick starts Thursday in Macau. The weekend is organised by Wizcraft International Entertainment.

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