Bharat Bhise, Indian American founder and chief executive of New York-based Bravia Capital, and his wife Swati Bhise Nov. 13 announced the launch of the "Making Herstory Project," a nonprofit, non-partisan advocacy organization aimed at closing the gender gap and promoting the economic empowerment of women.
"I believe that over recent history, 45 percent of humankind was barred from significant productive activity depriving all people of progress," Bharat Bhise said in a statement. "While strides have been made during my lifetime, women remain underrepresented not just in economic but in political power. HerStory will seek to expand women's participation in the corporate and government leadership, and create an empowered generation of female entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders."
Bravia, HerStory and their affiliates are firm supporters of the economic empowerment of female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses and is launching this organization as part of their strong commitment to narrow the gender gap in all sectors, the release said.
HerStory will be dedicated to a civic, activist and legislative agenda crafted and driven by women in pursuit of dignity and empowerment for women. Its work will be inspired by the principle that every woman deserves equal access to opportunities, resources and equality, the release added.
The organization's efforts will focus primarily on electing women to public office; capital funding and mentorship for women owned businesses; and supporting legislative agendas to benefit women in all phases of life, with a focus on education, foreign affairs and military.
The Bhise family was inspired to launch this endeavor by the movie "The Warrior Queen of Jhansi," which was released in the United States and Canada Nov. 15, according to the release.
It brings the true story of the 1857 Indian rebellion against the British East India Company to the big screen. The film portrays the times of the world's first major corporate bankruptcy and the world's first corporate bailout. The movie was written, produced and directed by Swati Bhise, and stars actress Devika Bhise, who happens to be their daughter.
The Bhises have been supporting women's projects since 1982, as Swati Bhise has dedicated all her work in the arts to education and arts for women's advocacy, according to the release.
"We are taking the 35-plus years of the work that Swati has done in women's empowerment causes primarily through education and giving it the structure that will survive the generations,” Bharat Bhise said. “That can be achieved in simple bite sizes in accretive gender equality programs. That's what HerStory is all about."
Members of the Herstory board include Rinarisa Coronel DeFronze, Ankur Jain, Meghan Johnson, Rachel Pearson and Kristie Stiles.
The board brings a wealth of diversity and professional expertise in a wide range of arenas, including legal, finance, marketing, government relations, elective politics and development strategy, the release notes.
More information on the organization can be found by visiting www.makingherstoryproject.com