Women’s Empowerment: Is it a distant dream?

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Reblogged from www.avagmah.comhappy women day

Today, we celebrate women and womanhood on the occasion of International Women’s Day. One can’t help but look at the challenges the working Indian woman faces at workplaces and at home. Still struggling with patriarchal mindsets, she struggles to break free from prejudices, glass ceilings, sexual harassment and other issues at workplaces. Is the woman at work really empowered?

Is she really treated on par with her male colleagues?

A UN report says that gender inequality and empowerment of women is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. Despite massive strides made in this direction in the last 15 years, the gap between job opportunities and quality of work for men and women is still gaping wide. Some relevant statistics: India’s workforce comprises 24% women, only 5% of which are in senior positions. A staggering 48% of women drop out of workforces before mid-career. And on an average, a woman earns only 62% of what a male counterpart earns in a similar role.

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Women’s Day has just flashed by. As usual, there were a veritable deluge of blog posts on the occasion. This is one I particularly loved.

Though the piece begins by quoting statistics on women in the workplace, it does not eulogize the struggle of a woman who is trying to keep her head above water by juggling work and home. This is no ‘feminist’ viewpoint blatantly playing on the reader’s pity. It doesn’t demand that she be given a pedestal which was his (masculine pronoun used here in a generic rather than specific sense) duty to wash daily with his guilt. Those kinds of articles/ pieces set my teeth on edge. Their underlying assertion- behind all the rhetoric- is that women need to be mollycoddled (’cause they, poor things, are weak?!). Excuse me..!!

In this piece, blogger and freelance content writer Rachna Srivastava Parmar very emphatically states: Women are not liabilities that must be supported. Women are assets who have strong linguistic, negotiation and technical skills along with great people skills.

In other words, making it easier for women to stay a part of the workforce and not drop out of it in order to raise a family, is in the interest of organizations.

Enjoy..!

Thank you for permitting me to reblog this Rachna. Your empathetic, balanced voice of sanity was refreshing. More power to your pen.

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