A society is believed to be developed if its varied strata are on the path of growth and prosperity. No society can succeed if half of its population is neglected or troubled. According to statistics collected by the World Bank in 2015, female population in India is more than 48%. If such a large chunk is not looked after and facilitated for growth and development, then the country’s future is in distress. Hence, the Government has implemented various laws and regulations for the safety and growth of women in India. These laws do not just facilitate their growth but also escalate the development of the country.
To fight patriarchy
India has been a male dominated country for centuries. There have been many acts, laws, enactments and practices to end the social evil. Nonetheless, patriarchy still exists and at an enormous scale. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2006 was drafted on the very basis that males should not overpower or harass women in emotional, physical or mental ways. Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, Dowry Prohibition Act, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act have all worked for decades to overcome patriarchy and bring women at par with men in the society. The governmental laws have aided in women empowerment and have made women aware of their rights and how to exercise them but at a very slow growth rate. However, there has been a significant improvement in the number of cases reported every year, women empowerment movements and employment of women at higher roles in corporates which was not the case few years back.
To fight for rights
Rights for women have been enforced in the country for decades. There exist not just legal rights but also the constitutional rights for their safety and growth. Article 39(d) in the Indian Constitution specifically states that equal pay shall be awarded for equal work irrespective of gender. Moreover, there are various organizations that work for women’s rights in India viz. Actionaid India, Commit2change, Sayfty, Women on Wings, Apne Aap etc. These organizations teach self-defense, provide educational opportunities, create jobs opportunities and fight sex-trafficking etc. which facilitate women empowerment and bring gender equality in the country. The Delhi gang rape in 2012 shook the country to its core and it gave wave to a landmark movement in the country. It was by far one of the largest fights by the nation for women’s rights. The Supreme Court’s judgement on the brutal case and the changes in the criminal and penal code has made remarkable improvement in protecting women and their rights.
Women as leaders
One would not believe but Amul, Dabbawala in Mumbai, Lijjat Papad and SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association) are founded by Women Entrepreneurs. India has realised its huge potential in this demographic and various laws have imposed reservations for women at higher level management; 33% seats of Lok Sabha and all Legislative Assemblies is reserved for women, Companies Act, 2013 mandates the appointment of women in the Board of Directors etc. So, women leading change, is going to be the norm in the future of the country and the government is trying its best to bring its women forward. A decade ago, women were rarely seen in many fields like army, mining, governments etc. but now they are flying planes, fighting battles, leading fortune 500 companies and much more. Chitra Ramkrishna, Aarthi Subramanian, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Priya Nair, Rita Teaotia, Shanti Ekambaram are a few examples of powerful businesswomen leading the change in India.
Women as lead change in Sunderban
Numerous researches have proved that Women are better managers and administrators than men. Women stepping up have led to great changes and history enumerates numerous examples of the same. Be it pre-independence or post, Indian Women have led many great national movements viz. Gulabi Gang, Chipko Movement, Anti Liquor Movement in Andhra Pradesh, Jagmati Sangwan’s movement against Khap Panchayats, Nav Nirman Movement etc. It is not hard to see women stepping up in Sunderban realizing their true potential and battling natural calamities with their out of the box thinking. A women-led collective, Durganagar Marine Fisherwomen’s Collective, facilitated by Actionaid India has been growing and flourishing in West Bengal. They fish, farm, knit ropes, cultivate vegetables, and use their skills for diverse activities to earn their livelihood. Furthermore, the nationwide movement for abolishing Triple talaq among Muslim community in India is one brave example of women leading the change.
Women as entrepreneurs
We all know Balaji Telefims and its founder Ekta Kapoor, but only few might notice that she is the perfect example of a Women entrepreneur. She has single handedly created a niche for her in the male centric society. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and MD of Biocon Limited, Rashmi Sinha founder of Slideshare, Sabina Chopra founder of Yatra.com, Swati Bhargava founder of CashKaro, Radhika Aggarwal founder of Shopclues and Shahnaz Husain are few examples of not just women innovators let alone entrepreneur. These women are the inspiration of millions and continue to motivate every girl in the country to realise her worth and lead the change towards a better India. Today’s Indian woman is not just leading forward but creating new waves and taking the road less taken. She has not just proved her mettle but has surpassed everyone’s expectations and broken the shackles of society.
Every change takes time and the effects are never immediate, but slow and steady. Same is the case with women’s rights. These growth boosters and equality parameters are working for the benefit of the society but the growth will take place over time. Statistics show that there has been significant growth of women in labor force, bridging gender inequality, girl education, decrease in rate of population growth and much more. So, these efforts for equality and women’s rights are surely helping women succeed and aiding in the growth of the country but the fight for women’s rights is continuous and it would take a few more years to achieve parity. The society is on the right path towards development and if everyone bears a torch, the nation will experience bliss soon.