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Vindya Ayyar

 
Is being a woman powerful? Is it Open happiness? Can we make things better? Are we welcomed with jinga lala??? Does any parent say “hei dil maange more ..! after a girl is born? Or Can anyone in the society assure us with “No more tears”????????? These jingles are suitable to advertise the products, however we the “Women” are still branded as weaker sex as a whole. Maha kavi Bharathiyaar has quoted that…birth of a girl can take place only if we have done some good deeds.  Is it an utterly over rated statement? I strongly feel like saying “YES” to it. Because women are crushed at every level by some vultures.
 
The core issues are, Violence against women, Sexual assault, Maintaining healthy relationships, Economic security and financial literacy, Improving self-esteem, Women leadership and finally Health issues of women! All these are iconic words because it can motivate or create controversy. This is because we don’t have clarity on what we want! Our great country worships women on calendar as goddess and on the other side her obscene pictures are used to promote their products by the same calendar. Whenever there is a mismatch in our objectives the goals are devastated and women are again labelled as delicate darlings!!!
 
What is the cause? Why do we under estimate ourselves? Why do we still fight for our rights? Do we need to be empowered? If yes….from whom?  I would like to recollect a commonly circulated joke, that a woman is a master piece after god has created men. There is nothing like women should be given power separately, especially when we have to talk about the business acumen.
 
“Daring the difference” a speech by Christine Lagarde at National Democratic Institute Washington emphasizes on three “L”s for women’s leadership qualities.  It is Learning, Labor and Leadership.
“If we educate a boy we train a boy and if we educate a girl we educate an entire family” This is an old saying and how many girls are getting educated…this is a million dollar answer in our country. Because gender equality is a crucial component in our society. Investment for educating a girl is a big mission in developing countries like India. Women’s education is not a threat…but it is a blessing to enable a structured future to face up the challenges of 21st century. One study suggests that an extra year of primary school contributes 20% of growth in a girl and also an extra year of secondary school boosts up to 25%. Therefore Education for a girl child is inevitable, she has to come out of the shell and explore the world by right opportunities.
 
The next point is “Labor”. Women represent half of our population however they represent far less than in any social activity openly. Men participate more than women in every corner of the world, this is primarily because of the gender gaps and also the subduing nature of a typical woman who is ready to compromise. “EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK” a debatable issue as women are tend to get stuck for low pay and low status jobs.  They do a good job in an informal sector too, but the flip side of this exposure is unpaid, unprotected work environment and unappreciated by the employers.  Women have the power of multitasking and it is what they are born with. In spite of this the ability to take decisions are curtailed to a larger extent because she is taught to adjust at a young age to maintain a tranquil atmosphere.  I would like to remind one thing is that…women are the great consumers and contribute a lot for the economic growth. They account for 70% of the global spending, therefore it will be an energetic booster if we can empower more women in the work force.  It is not something to do with policies or government, it is the culture, belief and macho mentality that prevails in our mind which separates to accept women in top notch positions.
 
My last bullet in the kitty is about leadership. This is to let the women to rise to the top with her innate abilities and strength. The higher the position is, the lower the participation is!!!! Who is responsible for this? What holds a woman? It is not the competence, it is the lack of confidence. Under qualified and unguided men march forward while more qualified and more knowledgeable ones take a back seat out of fear, doubt their own abilities and also because of family.
 
 Another factor which Indra Nooyi CEO of Pepsico has confessed in the open forum is that, “women cannot have it all, saying you have to cope, because you die with guilt”.  Why do women embrace guilt almost like getting a crown? It is seldom heard from a man that he is guilty for not spending time for the family. Indra was told by her mother that despite being the President of Pepsico, at home she is first the wife, daughter and daughter in law and mother. Therefore if a woman can learn to balance and understand her potentials the world can witness many leaders from this gender. Real change begin from attitudinal change, assertive behavior and a receptive mind set towards women.
 
It is the time to “disco”!!! What are we waiting for??????? Wake up the Indra Nooyi, Kiran Masumdhar Shaw and Sudha Moorthy in you!!!  You have to know your potential and channelize it at the right place. The more we endure wrong, the more we become strong!!!! And the world may be huge…but we women can make it a better place with our blessed capabilities!!

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    Manoj Kumar
    September 10, 2014

    Beautiful Thoughts …. 🙂

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