In case only laws were all that we needed to fortify the presence of every human, we would have achieved a socially and economically balanced position way back. The irony is, however, that despite of so many laws aimed at the betterment of underprivileged, handicaps, women, and such other overlooked members, India is still scuffling with all those ages-old disparities and setbacks. I have always emphasized a very elementary fact that economy is the second name for any society; without apt means to live and prosper, you cannot deliver social contentment. Post the Delhi gang rape incident, the government hastily rolled out new set of rules, but the desired outcomes have rarely been attained until today. For that matter, cases of rapes and molestation have rather increased. This is because we find easy solutions but never pay heed to the roots of the issue. The IT and BPM industry, one of the most women-friendly domains, employs merely 30 percent women in their total workforce. Then it is not that hard to conclude what is the statistics in other paid workplaces, rural parts of India being the worst.
Isn’t that very simple? Men relish all that freedom, security and growth because they have always been at the epicenter of the economy. Indian women have been restricted to homes and those who work are suppressed. Bring women to work, make them a part of the economy, a contributor and sharer. The underlying fact with respect to ever-high number of crimes against women is that though our media and films have freely used the stamina of women, the society and economy still craves for their part in evolution. Then again, bringing more and more women to workplaces is dependent on the quality of services viz. education, laws, and special perks that we can provide to our women. Having talked about these key essentials many a time, let me today focus on what all paybacks can we fetch by endorsing women involvement in the economy. The trend nowadays is though predictive that with the youth workforce of India, we will be able to see more and more value addition and creativity in our economic structure, unless we recognize the forte of women contribution, the race will be half won.
Let me begin with a simple to understand notion. More economic participation brings more economic demand, which in turn calls for more economic participation. Isn’t that an easy addition to the GDP? With inclusive partaking of women in the country’s fiscal domain, I can assure a minimum 2 percent upsurge in our growth rate. Then is another equation, with more and more women working, addition to retirement savings would boom, hiking the much-needed social security savings, thus bringing down the funding gap of the government with respect to such welfare schemes. Gender pay unfairness is a concern, believe it or not. Males are usually considered more reliable; hence with an increase in women engagement in management, this disparity is likely to curtail. Risk taking and risk management an issue? Why not play safer then; studies reveal that the females in any society are more risk-aware, can take more risk-prone decision, wisely. For those who disagree with studies, at least give it a try, let us then analyze results.
IT start-ups have amused many venture capitalists. This means that the doors for wise innovations is open; then why not call people from diverse areas, who can bring in all-new concepts within the group. Since same groups are leading those high-profile cabins and board rooms, Indian corporates are rarely coming up with those out-of-box ideas. The society and the workforce of today’s India have a reformed perspective towards work and workplace. More and more people want to work with organizations that are socially accountable and are delivering a real value-addition. Sooner than later, as have the IT and BPM sectors realized, corporations will need to be focused towards gender equality. Should I also advocate the well-known equation of any economy, that with more people increasing their monetary holdings, investments will thrive, thus bringing in women in this scenario is indispensable. Then are the social pluses, which will range from more and more education drive among females and carried forward to children of these working and more informed women. Crimes will drop down since demands will be met with ease, women-centric wrongdoings would trim down too.
Yes, this good-looking picture is not that easy to achieve, nor is the same that tricky. It just calls for broadening our mindsets and realizing the fact that women are no less. The legislatures and women advocators have to think beyond making for-women laws and have to extend labors in calling for their enhanced participation in the economy. With all these dowry and rape laws that rather than safeguarding women have become a weapon, in many cases, to humiliate blameless men and families, we even today are what we always have been, aimless. I was pleased to hear that post the Uber rape case, cab companies are focusing on hiring female drivers, but are we not late and narrow to have realized the power of women? The Companies Act, 2013 also mandates a woman on the board of companies, but where are the means to make so many desired women directors talented and responsive towards the corporate needs of today? Schemes for direct recruitment of women in few reserved occupations, special incentives for companies that allow flexible working hours to female employees and educating conservative clusters on autonomy of women can ease the way to real women empowerment. Lesser bank interest rates and tax holidays for women entrepreneurs will boost up their share. Rest, education, access to toilets, easy reporting of grievances, and such other basic rudiments will play their part.