Women Empowerment as a Foundation for Nation Building
Oceanic Pharmachem Private Limited (OPPL) believes that Society’s development without development of women is unimaginable.
Women empowerment is to empower women in ways to help them sustain in fields of finance, society, culture, law, industry and politics. Over the past decade, gender equality and women’s empowerment have been explicitly recognized as keys not only to the health of nations, but also to social and economic development.
The Government of India declared 2001 as the Year of Women’s Empowerment (Swashakti) and to mark the occasion, announced the National Policy for the Empowerment of Women.
India has the lowest percentage of women employees (23%), followed by Japan (24%), Turkey (26%) and Austria (29%), according to the Corporate Gender Gap report brought out by the World Economic Forum. The United States of America (52%), Spain (48%), Canada (46%) and Finland (44%) display the highest percentage of total women employees, as per the WEF survey. The Indian male-female work force participation gap is much wider in urban areas in comparison with rural areas.
At the industry level, the services sector employs the greatest percentage of women employees. Within this sector, the financial services and insurance (60%), professional services (56%) and media and entertainment (42%) industries employ the greatest percentage of women. The sectors that show the lowest percentage of women are automotive (18%), mining (18%) and agriculture (21%).
The Government, NGOs and media can play a crucial role is to bring about the advancement, development and empowerment of women, by encouraging active participation of women in all walks of life.
There is a need of valuable CSR campaigns from prominent companies which can change fate of women in Indian society and will boost them to live independent and dignified lives.
Corporate entities can pursue the following to improve working conditions for women:
1. Creating a positive environment in order to enable women realize their full potential
2. Equal access to women to health care, career and vocational guidance, appraisals, remuneration, occupational health and safety, social security and public office
3. Encouraging co-worker acceptance and executive management of women in non-traditional roles
4. Improvising delegation of authority and active role in decision making process to uplift women morale
5. Equal access to participation and decision making
6. Promoting good performances, contributions and achievements of women in an idealistic way
7. Changing societal attitudes and community practices by active participation and involvement of both men and women
8. Mainstreaming a gender perspective in the development process
9. Providing adequate child care for women with children along with time-off and absenteeism for new mothers
10. Strengthening systems aimed at elimination of all forms of discrimination against women
11. Elimination of sexual harassment of women in the workplace by effective internal control
12. Strongly opposing violence against women
13. Building and strengthening partnerships with civil society, particularly women’s organizations
Corporate social responsibility towards women empowerment can become a ray of hope in many ways, right from changing attitude towards women in the society to making women independent financially, physically and socially; which should be adopted by all business houses voluntarily. This can be a sure shot remedy for many issues like illiteracy, poverty, child labour, unemployment, rural development and thus, can help women become productive citizens.
A steady nation development needs finance from society which can be amply supplied by business houses, while becoming instrumental in developing the status of women.