Prompt­ing Equal­ity

Gen­der in­equal­ity is a global con­cern and re­quires as much at­ten­tion. Mech­a­nisms must be pro­moted to ad­dress th­ese is­sues and poli­cies must be es­tab­lished to abol­ish gen­der in­equal­i­ties in the work­place. To take steps to bet­ter work●life poli­cies for wome

Assocham Bulletin - - SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES -

While speak­ing at the con­fer­ence, Mr. Rakesh Sri­vas­tava, Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Women & Child De­vel­op­ment said,

In­dia has taken a lead role in gen­der bud­get­ing in the world. How­ever, ef­forts are re­quired for train­ing and skill up-gra­da­tion of­women in tra­di­tional, new and emerg­ing ar­eas to pro­mote women's em­ploy­ment in both or­gan­isedj un­or­gan­ised sec­tors in­clud­ing en­tre­pre­neur­ial de­vel­op­ment." Im­ple­men­ta­tion of suit­able strate­gies and women friendly laws will en­sure that women have equal op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­ter and en­joy de­cent work in a just and favourable en­vi­ron­ment, in­clud­ing fair and equal wages, so­cial se­cu­rity mea­sures, and oc­cu­pa­tional safety and health mea­sures.

Gen­der equal­ity is crit­i­cal for the de­vel­op­ment of any coun­try. Re­mov­ing bar­ri­ers that prevent women from hav­ing the same ac­cess as men to ed­u­ca­tion, eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties and pro­duc­tive in­puts have led to board pro­duc­tiv­ity gains, which are all the more im­por­tant in a more com­pet­i­tive and glob­alised world to­day, he added.

In­dia has been ranked 87 out of 144 coun­tries on the lat­est World Eco­nomic Fo­rum's Gen­der Gap Re­port 2016. But in the eco­nomic sphere, much work re­mains to be done as In­dia

ranks 136in this pil­lar out of 144 coun­tries, said Mr. Sri­vas­tava.

The progress to­ward gen­der equal­ity in re­spect of par­tic­i­pa­tion in eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties seems to have stalled. In 2011, the work­force par­tic­i­pa­tion rate at all In­dia level was 25.51% for women as com­pared to 53.26% for men. While there was no ur­ban-ru­ral gap for males (53%), there was con­sid­er­able ru­ral-ur­ban gap for fe­males, where work­force par­tic­i­pa­tion rate for ru­ral women stood at 30% as against only 15.4% for ur­ban women.

Women form an in­te­gral part of the In­dian work­force. They need to be equal part­ners in the so­ci­ety for them to be equal par­tic­i­pants in work. Women have to con­tend with dis­crim­i­na­tory laws, in­sti­tu­tions and at­ti­tudes that re­strict their lead­er­ship and full par­tic­i­pa­tion in pub­lic life. Women are also dis­ad­van­taged by un­equal ac­cess to the re­sources needed to be­come ef­fec­tive lead­ers. All the cor­po­rate and gov­ern­men­tal ini­tia­tives can be a suc­cess only when we suc­ceed in chang­ing the deep-rooted mind sets about the role of women at work. But the mind-set is chang­ing. Gen­der diver­sity is gain­ing mo­men­tum as peo­ple think in­clu­sive work­place cre­ates more growth op­por­tu­ni­ties and sup­ports progress.

Ms Kr­ishna Raj, Min­is­ter of State for Agri­cul­ture & Farm­ers Wel­fare, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia in­formed that Oc­to­ber 15th shall be ob­served as Women Farmer's Day. She said, "women can make enor­mous con­tri­bu­tions to economies,whether in­busi­nesses, on farms, as en­trepreneurs or em­ploy­ees, or by do­ing un­paid care work at home."

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