Empower women, they have the potential.
Women empowerment is trending and that reinforces their inherent leadership qualities and calibre. Need of the hour is to recognise and tap the available talent for balance and growth of an organisation or country. Therefore it is imperative for their family and organisation to embolden their pursuits and sprit.
Paramount requisites to empower women which attributes to change the world for the better. 1) Must respect women and entrust her with the challenges she aspires as she excels in multitasking. Her priorities must not be suppressed. 2) Organisations should maintain an unbiased stance and provide equal opportunities based on merit irrespective of gender and the sprit bolstered. Reservations or charity offers are not essential as it diminishes their confidence. 3) Flexi hours or extension of unpaid leave after childbirth for a reasonable period of time 4) Safety a cause of concern in India unless addressed and ensured will always prove a hindrance in growth. Quite often than not when I travel alone or with my daughter in cab during nights in Singapore, the cab driver remarks ‘ you are lucky to be in Singapore, a safe country unlike India’. Such is India’s safety reputation and that has to change.
Reminiscent of my late grandmother (if alive would have been 104yrs old) She was a school dropout and was married at the age of 13. She was constantly encouraged by her husband and was one of the first few female writers in Kannada. One of her books was a best seller at that time and she was bestowed with several awards by the Government of Karnataka. Her daughters inherited these qualities and one of them served as Chairman of family planning in India and another was a classical singer and writer. They were not professionals but simple women prioritising their family commitments yet pursued their passion even in those days.
Leadership qualities does not terminate with educated upper middle class women. The less fortunate school drop outs or those from the lower strata of the society have to be boosted, identified at the grassroots. Many of them have the calibre and happen to be the sole breadwinners, diligent workers, manage finances and are responsible for paying their kids school fees, house rent, electricity bills , fulfilling their family responsibilities and yet get beaten up by their husbands who also swindle their earnimgs. Their numbers are massive and deserve to be elevated.
Possible ways to facilitate women grow in their respective fields 1) Free adult education camps should be conducted by NGOs for rural and urban uneducated women.2) workshops could be organised for mid level workers in factories and clerical posts giving them incite into their rights and opportunities. 3) For those women at senior levels a dedicated R&D for women headed by women to cater to their generic needs, gathering inputs to facilitate their growth through relevant presentations and introspection to curtail gender bias.
Women have come a long way, the mindset and perceptions in the educated urban society is changing, gender equality is recognised at least when it comes to their own children. Educational institutions have been by and large unbiased as far as gender is concerned unlike in workplaces. An extension of this is definitely possible at least in a staggered manner. Wish to conclude with pride of our sports women Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza and Sharmila Nicollet who currently at their pinnacle and have an inspiring story to motivate the rest.