While launching the Women Transforming India Award, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that India needs to increase its women workforce to 48 percent, in the next 10 years. 48 percent is the global average and as India is all set to add USD 700 billion to the GDP growth, it is not viable for India to leave behind nearly half of the female population.

The sorry state of Women Entrepreneurs is corroborated by the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) 2018, where India ranks at a low of 52 out of the 57 participating countries.

“It is not possible for India to grow at high rates of 9-10 per cent if half of the population is not in the workforce, and necessarily, that responsibility falls on men to ensure that women get into position of leadership,” Amitabh Kant said.

75 Million Women To Get Into Workforce In Next One Decade

“Women have to play a very critical role because by next decade we will have 75 million women getting into the workforce in India. At present, India has only about 27 percent of women in the workforce and we have to take it to the world average of 48 percent. And if you are able to take it to 48 percent, we will be adding close of USD 700 billion to India’s economy,” Kant said while launching Women Transforming India (WTI) award entries for this year.

Women Better Than Men In India

Kant says that whenever equal opportunities were given to women, they performed better than men. And therefore, Niti Aayog’s view has been that there is a need to create entrepreneurship amongst women, he added. It’s just that women aren’t being given equal opportunities. As per the statistics by Ministry of Statistics And Programme Implementation in July 2018, women constitute just 14 percent of the total entrepreneurship in the country. This means that only 8.05 million out of the total of 58.5 million entrepreneurs in the country are women. The statistics themselves are enough to substantiate that the country isn’t doing great in nurturing its Women Entrepreneurs. This sorry state of Women Entrepreneurs is further corroborated by the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) 2018, where India ranks at a low of 52 out of the 57 participating countries.

The 57 participating countries contributed 79% of the female labour force in the world. And out of them, India ranks at 52, ahead of countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, and Bangladesh.

The 57 participating countries contributed 79% of the female labour force in the world. And out of them, India ranks at 52, ahead of countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, and Bangladesh. Moreover, the Mastercard Index gauges women’s abilities to capitalise skills and opportunities granted through various supporting conditions, most important of them is the environment around them. So basically, the ranking directs us towards the lack of opportunities i.e., lack of access to financial services and the ever prevalent gender bias in the country.

Our Society Doesn’t Perceive Women As Entrepreneurs At First Hand

“We still very much live in a patriarchal society with many restrictions on girls. In entrepreneurship — sometimes you come across biased clients, consumers and investors. Sometimes, your family may not support you. While such scenarios exist, the key is not to lose hope and keep working on your dream. With determination, anything is possible,” says Sairee Chahal, Founder and CEO of SHEROES. 

“I still recall going in for one of my meetings with a potential investor around three years ago and the minute I entered, the first thing I was asked was, ‘Is any male member from your team joining you.’

“I still recall going in for one of my meetings with a potential investor around three years ago and the minute I entered, the first thing I was asked was, ‘Is any male member from your team joining you.’ I was certainly taken aback beyond belief at that time and I retorted by saying, ‘I am enough and can handle everything single-handedly.’  There is still some gender-bias in the Indian Start-up ecosystem, but I staunchly believe that it is not as bad as what it used to be a few years ago,” says Sakshi TalwarCreative Director and Co-Founder — Rugs And Beyond

Picture Credit: Rediff.Com

Read More: India Ranks 95 Out Of 129 Countries In New Global Gender Equality Index

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