By- Rashika Aggarwal
Why is a woman given less credit for the same amount of work as done by men?
Why do people take gender into consideration whenever an economic decision has to be made?
Why being a woman is this feeling of powerlessness, discrimination and repression?
These are the questions that invade most female minds. And answer to these questions, they prevent the development of humankind.
For most of history, women have been neglected and so has their economic contribution.
It is a fact that 50% representation of women adds 35% to India's GDP.
From Kiran Mazumdar, the founder of Biocon, to Shahnaz Husain, the founder of The Shahnaz Husain Group and a Padma Shri awardee, women have now made their presence known on this earth.
Gender equality is, first and foremost, a human right. A woman is entitled to live in dignity and freedom. Empowering women is also an indispensable tool for advancing development and reducing poverty. And these empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of whole families and communities and improved prospects for the next generation.
The importance of gender equality is underscored by its inclusion as one of the eight Millennium Development Goals. Yet discrimination against women – including gender-based violence, economic discrimination, reproductive health inequities, and harmful traditional practices – remains the most pervasive and persistent form of inequality.
The promotion of female empowerment is often misunderstood these days as an attempt to abolish the power of man. But rather it simply intends to bring women ahead and let them stand as equal to men.
The first prime minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru has remarked "when a woman moves forward, the family moves, the village moves and the nation moves”
Which is why, I believe that the first step towards development is the empowerment and equal status of women
Although women have great contributions to the socioeconomic development of the country, their paths are not free from hurdles.
Talking about India, even our country doesn't lack in cases of male dominance and patriarchal rule in society. In India, women used to have equal status as a man in the early Vedic period. In Vedic civilization, women were revered and valued not only as mothers who brought up new generations but also as individuals with immense ability to see the truth and contribute greatly to human society. But in the later stages, child marriages became prevalent and the ban on remarriage of widows too. There were customs made like Jauhar and Sati. However, almost all these old traditional problems have disappeared gradually from society but have given rise to other new issues. Women are continuously facing many problems even after having self-confidence, individuality, self-respect, personality, capacity, talent, and efficiency more than men. They are facing problems in their daily life even after they are given equal rights and opportunities like men by the Constitution of India.
It worries me to see that in developing countries, women are constrained by gender-based social norms and barriers.
According to studies, it has been observed that Women are very good entrepreneurs as they can maintain a work-life balance. They are necessary for the growth of any economy whether it is large or small. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
Whatever the field may be, people should be judged by their accomplishments and not by their gender. Ultimately, there needs to be a shift in how we think about and treat women in business roles. Being the future of the world, we as youth should create a mindset challenging stereotypes and work towards creating a working environment that allows everyone to thrive and progress. And although change is happening, more of it needs to come.