Why ‘Womenomics’ Needs to Be Part of Your Business Strategy?
There’s a famous parable of a curious girl who questioned a lot. Long ago there lived a girl who was very different and had many questions in her mind. At the age of 10, her mother asked to learn cooking. The girl questioned ‘why’? The mother replied ‘so that you can feed yourself’. The girl accepted happily. When she was 15, her mother wanted her to learn the household chores. The girl again asked why? The mother replied ‘so that you can become self-dependent’. The girl accepted happily. When she was 20, her parents told her that she needs to get married soon. She again asked ‘why’. The mother replied ‘ because every girl should get married at this age’. She did not find the explanation satisfactory so she denied her parents. After talking to her parents, she convinced them that she was right. As the days went by, she began working with her father in her library. She read a lot, learned many hymns and her wisdom grew immensely.
‘Womenomics’: A concept introduced by Japan is fast spreading around the world, but not in India.
One day, the news came from the king that he wanted to make a book that has all the knowledge. For that, he wanted all the great scholars from his various kingdoms across the country. After a lot of discussions, one of the communities selected the girl to represent the community as she was the brightest among all. When she reached the conference hall she was surprised to see that all the scholars were male. She climbed the stage to take her seat. Suddenly, everyone began mocking her. People commented on her clothes, her appearance as they had never seen a woman among scholars. People related this to religion, an act against god’s will and much more. But the girl stood against all odds and her curiosity to question made her win the debate and of course the hearts.
The takeaway message is, you can’t create a parallel world where technology grows immensely and a section of humans stay behind. The more we follow the wait and watch defensive theory not letting the females step up and speak up, it affects all of us as a nation, socially, politically and financially. The fixed mindset approach has kept us from developing all these years. As a sporting nation, India is much dominated by males. In politics, there are almost all male candidates everywhere. IITs have fewer female students. In fact, movies to are male-oriented. We as a nation have been unable to create an atmosphere where both males and females are considered equal. We haven’t given enough opportunities to the women in the country.
A survey shows that more than 70% of the companies across the globe fail to prioritize gender equality in their workplaces. On a positive note, Japan is one such country that has been taking considerable steps for creating gender equality. The nation has introduced the concept of womenomics to increase women’s participation in the country’s growth. This idea has increased the involvement of women by 67% in Japan’s workforce. The United Kingdom too has been a frontrunner in expanding female participation in the country’s growth. To ensure pay equality, the nation has made it compulsory for businesses to report pay data. Companies like KPMG and Deloitte have supportive maternity leave policies and reconnect programs to help new parents support their families as well as their career.
Urban India has been on a rise when it comes to womenomics. There has been a rise in startups, a steady growth in promoting girl’s education. There have been skill development programs. State Police has been involved in training women and girls the art of self-defense. Banks are increasingly attracting women by providing facilities such as attractive rates of interest. The country has witnessed the positive impact of such moves. The market is full of women-centric items. The malls and stores have so much to display.
The challenges are more complex when it comes to rural India. Generations of women have remained uneducated. To grow as a nation one needs the right education. India as a nation has a huge potential. The government has been trying to do away with the myths which have been holding the nation back. There are still some places which have no electricity, no transport and a lack of hospitals and schools. Womenomics is far fetched thing for such places. The change in the mindset would require a lot of resources, planned development, creation of jobs, creating opportunities. There are incredible things we can do as a gender-equal nation. The question remains are we pacing towards an empowered rural India or is it just a hoax that’s being displayed by the paid media?