Let us consider an obscured reality where a woman’s ultimate power to procreate, nurture and feed becomes a barrier for her. The not so new scenario that ‘the reason of a woman’s existence and her sole duty is to reproduce and take care of everyone’ clears the picture of our society. What we get to see is a dependent woman with no identity of her own.
The mutiny to make people understand the importance of educating a woman has not gone in vein and cannot be ignored, but the no. of women visible through the sight of employment is still dim. We are living in the era where we either ‘allow’ our girls to take up a profession or “mai kama raha hoon,phir tumhe kya jaroorat hai’’ becomes a perfect reason to shut her career dreams.
Equality for women has been dream for centuries which is yet to accomplish. The dream which can be the medicine to cure diseases such as unemployment, poverty, gender discrimination, dogmatic patriarchal ideologies, and inferiority complexity towards women. Equality means an acceptable workplace that draws on the talents of the whole population, and not unilaterally depends upon male. But the direction showed by Michelle Obama that ‘‘no country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens”, is a route not taken yet. It is a beautiful thought that if both men and women start contributing towards increasing the employment rate of country, the GDP can go in two-digits number, which is at present 7.2 as analysed by IMF.
Surprisingly, India’s Female Labour Force participation (FLFP) rate which is itself at lowest after Pakistan in South Asian Countries, the labour force of illiterates and college graduates are highest in both rural and urban areas. Statics speaks that only 23.7 % of eligible Indian women are part of the workforce as compare that to 75% of men. Another, eye catching data is decline in employment ratio of women after 12th and graduation. Unequal pay and harassment at workplace is another reason for women to be left behind.
Well employed girls after marriage are forced to leave their jobs by their husbands and in- laws because of reasons as terrible as the men taking it against their pride. The women cannot be any less blamed for accepting and bearing all the confinements. To celebrated future of India, of course, this is curse. The dogmatic orthodox principle behind joblessness of women is responsible for nasty condition of women in the society.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has been administering “Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women” since 1986-87 as a Central Sector Scheme with aim to provide skills that give employability to women and to provide competencies and skill that enable women to become self-employment/entrepreneurs. The assistance under STEP Scheme is available in any sector for imparting skills related to employability and entrepreneurship, not just limited to the Agriculture, Horticulture, Food Processing, Handlooms, Tailoring, Stitching, Embroidery, Zari etc., but also reaches to the field of Computer & IT enable services along with soft skills and skills for the work place such as spoken English, Gems & Jewellery, Travel & Tourism, Hospitality. Another project by The Ministry of Women & Child Development is “Mahila E-Haat”, a bilingual portal which was launched on 7th March, 2016, is a unique direct online marketing platform leveraging technology for supporting women entrepreneurs/SHGs/ NGOs for showcasing the products / services which are made/manufactured/ undertaken by them. It is an initiative for meeting aspirations and needs of women. The goal of equal participation of women in jobs is yet to be achieved.
Clearly, we have taken the baby steps towards creating jobs for women which implies that we look beyond it towards the other solutions. Curtailing the unprogressive conventional concepts which are responsible behind creating inequality in society is necessary. Given the fact that it is almost impossible to put an end to an idea which has been in existence for centuries, it would be rather effective to nurture coming generation so that they may accept the requisite change.
by Richa Shukla