Countless number of times has it been stressed upon that female participation must grow for the advancement of Indian economy. And yet, it remains a matter of concern. The issue has been consistently raised at various platforms but there are many social stigmas that still pose as challenges for women to come out and work.
“It is estimated that nearly 120 million Indian women or 80 per cent of the total female workers, are employed in the rural sector. This is around 30 per cent of the total number of workers in rural areas,” India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Tanmaya Lal said at the UN Commission that is currently being held on the Status of Women, reported Indian Express.
He added, “The women worker participation rate in India’s urban areas is significantly lower and needs improvement. Several important measures are being implemented to increase the participation of women in the workforce.”
He pointed out that worldwide there is a much better recognition of women’s empowerment and implementation of women’s rights, but back home, it is still a difficult task to fulfil as the mindset of public is such that comes off as a hurdle.
However, he claimed that India’s commitment at achieving UN goal of sustainable development is one to be reckoned with. He quoted PM Narendra Modi’s message that the multi-tasking ability of Indian women is our strength. Lal added that the PM’s focus on the progress of humanity is through the empowerment of women and now the issue has moved towards ‘women-led empowerment’ and not women’s empowerment. He cited Indira Gandhi and Pratibha Patil as the flag-bearers of women’s position in the country and what they have done in the past.
Lal emphasized the great number of women political leaders and that Sumitra Mahajan is the speaker of the lower house of Parliament currently.
“This has been enabled by the reservation of seats for women – between one-third to half of total seats – in local government down to village level. This translates into one million women actively participating in decision-making,” he said.
He spoke of the many initiatives that have made India proud like the Mars Orbiter Mission and the role of women involved in it. He also elaborated on the various steps taken by the Indian government towards the growth of women in workforce like the ‘e-haat’ initiative where women can sell their products online and the ‘Beti bachao beti padhao’ program that encourages rural families to send their girl child to school for education.
Picture credit- Saath WordPress