IIFA 2013 takes up the cause of women empowerment

Updated: Jul 02, 2013, 17:54 PM IST

Mumbai: 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.