Women Entrepreneurs See Both Good & Gimmick in Pink Economic Survey
This year’s Economic Survey made much more news than ever before. For the first time in Indian history, the government presented it covered in a pink cover. It later revealed that the survey also has a dedicated chapter focusing on women’s issues. There are three assessment parameters—agency, autonomy and outcome that form the basis of the chapter Gender and Son Meta-Preference: Is Development Itself an Antidote?’ . It is the first time ever that the government has given so much focus to women’s issues and gender equality.
However, just colouring everything pink may look like a mere tokenism and promote the casual stereotype of colour preference among women. So, we went around asking a few women entrepreneurs about their opinions. And they told us that it is a 50-50 situation currently.
“…Show the government’s change in attitude towards how gender equality should be treated.”
Kanika Tekriwal, founder of JetSetGo said to SheThePeople.TV, “It is a combination of both. The government is going into elections next year. They need the support of women vote bank. It is demonstrated in Madhya Pradesh that Shivraj Singh Chauhan has won all his election with women strength. So I do think it is a combination of both gimmick and good.”
“I also believe that this government is very pro-women with all the initiatives that we have seen in the last couple of year like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, etc. The Survey is definitely innovative as well. I do not encourage the fact that the survey is in pink colour but for someone like Arvind Subramanian to have made a strong statement to further the cause of women’s empowerment show the government’s change in attitude towards how gender equality should be treated.”
However, Trunkpool founder, Priti Singh believes that the government has moved beyond gimmicks. “A lot is happening in the right direction slowly but surely. There is a whole system and mindset that we are fighting so, in my opinion, it is good times for gender equality. The very fact that they are responsive and talking about it shows that it is becoming a part of the gender discourse. It is a big step forward,” she said.
There are varying opinions on the economic survey with people who are totally pro and then there are people who are sceptical about it. There are also those who want more of groundwork and less of talks and announcements.
“It is a combination of both. The government is going into elections next year. They need the support of women vote bank. It is demonstrated in Madhya Pradesh that Shivraj Singh Chauhan has won all his election with women strength. So I do think it is a combination of both gimmick and good.”
“While the pink Economic Survey emphasises the gender issues, most of it has not been a surprise. It’s important to drive societal change at the grass root levels by providing real opportunities to women. Companies will have to play an integral role in this. We have seen wherever companies have focused on employing women in factories, located in tier 2 and 3 towns, there has been economic development in those places. With extended maternity leaves and childcare support and a higher percentage of girls getting educated, it’s time that corporate India increases hiring of women in rural areas to bring about positive change in these indicators.” Divya Agarwal, co-founder Proeves.
“It is the core of the data and survey that matters more than how it is presented.”
Another woman entrepreneur who talks passionately about gender equality and minority issues through her startup, Lateral Sutra, Mamta Dhingra parks her opinion on both sides. “It is not as much about the representation of a certain figure or a survey. One should rather dive deeper and look at the issue that are there. It is the core of the data and survey that matters more than how it is presented. Women are great contributors and for patriarchal reasons the society has always pulled their representation back.”