Women’s empowerment is still an “unfinished business” in India says Jairaj Srinivas of ICEC

Bengaluru March 10: The whole world is celebrating the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY and everyone is shouting at their high pitch about women’s empowerment and the need for gender equality.  Though in the international scenario i.e. the western world gender equality has been achieved to some extent, Largely populated countries like India and China are still catching up.

Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) along with India China Economic and Cultural Council  (ICEC) celebrated the International  Women’s day under the theme of “#BalanceforBetter: Indian Women” at KASSIA Auditorium, Vijayanagar, Bengaluru.

While speaking at the programme Mr Jairaj Srinivas, Head of ICEC mentioned that today we have much to celebrate. India has made impressive progress over the last decade to narrow gender gaps. Today, we have more girls in schools, less Foeticide, less Maternal Mortality Rates and more women in paid employment, Parliaments and many women decision-making bodies. Today the world is a better place for women and girls. The Karnataka has sex ratio is 939 females against 1000 males (2013-15 census).

Various reports in India and across the world reveals that we made very significant progress on supporting gender equality through its operations. There are many such programs by the Government in Union of India which promotes gender equality. The programs like “Beti Bachao- Beti Padao, Direct cash transfers, national identity cards and bank accounts and a number of ongoing programs empowers millions of poor women.

Looking at this theme with an Indian perspective, good progress has been made across the nation to reduce gender disparities. However, the achievements are not spread widely or evenly across entire India. Much more needs to be done to close the remaining gender gaps and improve the lives of ALL the women and girls in India.

However last year a total of 21,053 women have gone missing, Women bureaucrats are not allowed to function independently and are transferred frequently. There are many issues related to women in India. All these incidents take place because there is a gender imbalance in our system and women are still treated as a second level citizen.

The solution for this is to start with people holding high positions in government must replace the old male guards to female guards in the fields of Legislations, Judiciary, Bureaucracy, Security including defence and Economics. One of the first things which Indian policymakers must do is to bring in “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Operational Plan”. The Plan should provide the roadmap that supports gender equality. In line with the Plan, Governments, NGOs, Trade Bodies, Self-help groups must intensify efforts to develop more projects that directly target women and girls to reduce gender gaps and disparities. This is especially needed in areas such as education, access to productive assets, employment and financial services. We must also ensure that our infrastructure operations are designed to meet women’s needs, provide access to essential services and improve their economic opportunities.

His closing statements were “Women are very strong but they don’t want to fight for the battle of their rights because they aren’t united, women are available in scattered groups. It is your fight, no one will do this for you. You have to do it yourselves. Unite and demand your 50% share in the society.”



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