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24 October – WOMAN EMPOWERMENT THROUGH EMPLOYMENT

Every year Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th to stand together as a united force and to advance gender equality around the world. However, remain a global challenge. To fill the gap there is a need to empower women through employment.

Employing women can make them independent

• There should be more work openings accessible to women that are not just exclusively open to the females who live in metropolitan cities but also to the individuals who live in tier II, III cities and villages.
• According to the International Finance Corporation study, incorporating more females to work makes them independent but at the same time, it is also good for business growth. When a woman is independent she can stand against any physical and emotional abuses.

Women strengthen team dynamics

• Women have the skill to unite people and draw together opinions and proposals, this is the reason a woman should be given a chance to work in the organisation.
• Overall this favours the creation of teams, furthers participation and optimizes the decision-making process.
• Organizations should be committed to build policies focussed on encouraging women to take leadership roles and try every way to fight back gender inequality.

Improved productivity and innovation

• Diversity is key to the company’s growth where women should be employed equally with the number of male employees in any organisation.
• There is evidence highlighting that the co-existence of men and women in the same organisation delivers better and enhanced productivity.
• These are the reasons why women should be empowered.
• To achieve this, proper skilling of women is of utmost importance. It is important to skill women so that they can sustain competition and stay relevant.
• However, it is also essential to connect with mentors and peers who can support and enable growth.
• Companies have started realising that empowering a woman is equal to empowering the entire society. While there have been trailblazers like Rebecca Parsons, Indra Nooyi and Gita Gopinath, recently people are realizing that business benefits through diverse leadership. For example, SEBI regulations from 2014 made it mandatory to have at least one woman on a company’s board. The step was initiated to increase the diversity in the boardroom from just 6% in March 2014 to 17% in 2020.
• Companies like Nestle are internally building a more diverse company through its Gender Acceleration Plan to raise the proportion of women in its top 200 senior executive positions to 30% by 2022. Many organizations today have robust Diversity & Inclusion programs.
• But there are still some areas where inequality appears entrenched in many organizations. In the public sectors of India the benefits and compensation are equal regardless of gender, but the private sector still has a long way to fill the gender gap. Companies still showcase a certain level of hesitation in the matter like maternity leave, during probation periods and when it is the hiring of female personnel right after maternity leave.
• Reducing limitations and ensuring equitable access to quality jobs for females requires focused and targeted action by the private sector as well as from the Government side, even though the Indian Government has taken certain steps in this direction.
• The Government’s role is also pivotal in empowering women. To encourage the women owners of MSME, the government offers them certain schemes with lucrative offers. Some of the schemes like Bharatiya Mahila Bank Business Loan, Mudra Yojana Scheme, etc. are few of the Government’s initiative that aims to improve the status of women by making them financially independent and self-reliant.
• India’s Prime Minister, in his Mann ki Baat radio program asserted, “Our dream of New India is India where women are empowered, strengthened, where they become equal partners in the all-round development of the country.” The Prime Minister quote highlights that the Government is very much serious about women orientation.
• It can be concluded that empowering women is essential. No country can gain its actual potential if half of its human capital is not contributing to its growth. However, Indian society will have to dampen gender inequality in all forms. With the hybrid working model gaining prominence, it is hoped to bring more women back into the workforce post COVID-19.

(Paper-1/ Social Issues)

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