Source- The post is based on the article “A sustainable model for women’s leadership” published in “The Hindu” on 16th March 2023.
Syllabus: GS2- Social empowerment
Relevance– Issues related to women
News– Today the world is home to a transformative generation of 900 million adolescent girlsand young women. They would become the largest segment of women leaders, change makers, entrepreneurs, and innovators in history if provided with resources and opportunities.
What are the issues faced by women?
Adolescent girls face many socioeconomic barriers from their earliest years.
The World Bank notes that over 43% of Indian STEM (science, technology, engineering andmathematics) graduates are women. However, they areunder-represented in the workforceand tech leadership.
There are prevailing stereotypes that characterise STEM as a traditionally masculine domain.
Gender norms disproportionately allocate domestic and care responsibilities to women.
The public perception of men as leaders of STEM, finance, and entrepreneurship is another barrier to women empowerment.
Institutional mechanisms for women are weak. They face the barriers of inadequate maternity leave, few flexible work arrangements, lack of childcare facilities in the workplace.
What is the way forward for women empowerment?
A multipronged approach is needed for women empowerment. Nurturing girls’ leadership abilities is our collective first step towards reducing barriers for growth of women.
ICT solutions– Women at all levels of society must have inclusion in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT). EdTech can bridge the accessibility gap in education through hybrid learning models,
There is a need to build and scale up solutions customised to the language, cultural nuances. Internet accessibility can give girls equal access to knowledge through digital inclusion.
Educational empowerment- There is a need to counter the stereotypes against girls. It can be done by inclusion of grade appropriate STEM, financial education, and entrepreneurship syllabi into the educational curriculum for girls.
Elements like Olympiads, innovation labs, bootcamps and competitions should be included in the educational curriculum for girls.
Bodily autonomy and safety– Women need to be empowered to make decisions about their bodies. They should have freedom to decide about their sexual choices. They also need to be free from all forms of violence and harassment.
Participation in sports– The inclusion of women in sports is necessary. It can build their self-confidence. It will promote leadership in women, strengthen their self-belief, and teach them the importance of teamwork.
Economic empowerment– It is crucial for us to recognise, reduce and redistribute unpaid care and domestic work. They should have shared responsibility within the household, and equal participation in decision making spaces.
Policies that provide services, social protection and basic infrastructure to women and create more paid jobs in the care Economy are urgently needed.