Violence against women requires change in attitude
As horrific as the recent incident in India has been, we must remember that this kind of violence is not restricted to the subcontinent.
Violence exists in many societies, and the victims are often women and children.
As your editorial, Change is the only way to honour victim in India (December 30) pointed out, nothing less than an entire cultural shift will make a difference.
However, that change may take generations to occur.
What we can hope for in 2013 is that all governments put in place programmes to ensure that men begin to see women in a different way - as equals rather than chattel.
The UAE has some enlightened attitudes towards women - as evidenced by its encouragement of higher education for women and the new affirmative action policy that will see positions for women on boards of directors.
Still, governments and public institutions can only do so much; at the end of the day, it comes down to attitudes. And attitudes can only be changed through education and law enforcement.
There is a long way to go, but we should applaud each small step.
T Holt, Dubai
The protests against the Delhi gang rape have been confined to cities, and among educated and enlightened people.
The vast Indian society has not yet accepted that rape, violence and the molestation of girls or women is a heinous and unpardonable crime.
Only by changing the social mindset and attitudes towards the rights of girls and women, and applying tough and lengthy punishments for crimes against women, can India control the situation.
A prolonged battle at all levels is required.
Raju M Mathew, Al Ain
Visa rules should allow for return
I agree with your editorial, A flexible approach to worker amnesty (December 31).
While people without the proper visas have done the wrong thing, many of them still have a lot to offer and should not be shut out of the UAE forever.
R McGrath, Abu Dhabi
Observations on the year ahead
I offer some predictions for 2013:
US President Barack Obama should embrace the Republican opposition, or his next four years will be as lacklustre as the first.
Europe will reel under austerity. I believe that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will retain her job. The US and Europe may recommence local manufacturing, and in Russia Vladimir Putin will adeptly manipulate various oligarchies to keep himself entrenched.
China's new president Xi Jinping will consolidate his position. The Chinese will target Africa for raw materials and western markets for finished products. However, we should guard for a slowdown.
The Arab Spring could ebb as youngsters chase jobs and homes, not revolutions. Syria will be turbulent; Iran will taunt.
Latin countries will progress economically, but India will wallow in corruption.
The global unemployment rate will continue at about 6 per cent, and stock markets will be volatile.
Hopefully, 2013 will bring sensitive movies starring fine artists like Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro, while Bollywood will dish up gargantuan escapism.
In sport, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer will battle to recover lost fortunes, while Sachin Tendulkar must regain his form.
Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai
US president does not act on his own
I am writing in reference to James Zogby's opinion article, Obama gets a second chance in Arab public opinion (December 30).
The United States has a democracy in which a balance of power is shared between the legislative, judicial and executive branches. The president of the US only has a limited amount of influence in foreign policy.
I think this is one of the points that is misconstrued about the US.
T Adams, Abu Dhabi
All maids must be treated well
I was pleased to read A maid is treated with affection (December 29), about the way a family respects its domestic helper.
It is wonderful that the maid in the story is treated so well - but this should be the norm.
Peter Jenkins, Dubai
Workers deserve praise and respect
I am writing in regard to Honour Dubai's workers, Sheikh Mohammed urges (December 31), in which the Ruler of Dubai praises labourers and domestic helpers.
I am pleased that these expatriate workers have been recognised and appreciated. Without them, what you see now in the UAE would not have been possible.
James Donato, Dubai