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Women empowerment: A fair play to persistent paradoxes of our times

By Prof.Ramola Kumar, Dean, The Delhi School of Communication | Thursday, 12 Oct 2017, 11:10 IST

Women empowerment is reinforcing the social, economic and educational powers of women, therefore, creating a balanced society. An environment is free of gender bias where women stand equal rights at all level be it community, society or at the workplace. But, patriarchal set up of the society, overindulgence in the domestic responsibilities, limitations to take part in social and economic activities, suppression right from the childhood and physical harassment at home and in the workplace are some of the biggest hurdles in the way of women empowerment. Any progress is impossible until and unless the Government, educational institutions and the society itself find some concrete solutions to overcome these impediments.

In a traditional setup, women are expected to do the domestic chores while the husbands are the bread-earners. Our paradoxical patriarchal-ridden society, needless to say, considers the woman as a walking deity, who is supposed to possess endless energy. It is considered her duty to take care of each family member, emotionally and physically and, it only grows manifold over the period as she enters motherhood. Being a housewife means “being on your toes” as a part of a social role in a typical traditional set-up. Women are so burdened with responsibilities and prioritizing every family member’s needs that they often ignore their own health.

Household management, along with managing an infant remains demarcated exclusively as women’s duty. It does not matter whether she is going through sleepless nights, changing diapers or nursing the little one. The husbands tend to ignore the daily calories that their wives burn during breastfeeding or perhaps they are probably ignorant!

Moreover, even if the women are working professionals, they continue to be liable for the household work and upkeep of children along, with the demands of a profession. This only takes a toll on them, not only mentally but also physically - as they are always living life in a fast-forward mode. So, we again need to change the mindset that household work is a joint responsibility and not an individual responsibility of women.

The biggest change required: equal & fair opportunities in education, business, and politics. And, to make this change possible they need to come forward despite opposition and resistance. In fact, women bring a different viewpoint to problem-solving that enhances the quality of the solution. Women bring a different set of issues to decision-making that enhances the quality of the decision.  These changes are good for women, as they foster growth, and also open up a host of options. It means better decisions, better results. The most successful companies both in the country and globally, are discovering this reality.

Real to the Ideal: Evolving role of women

Today women contribute to approximately 50% of the total population of the world. They stand equal right as men and in every walk of life and society.

Women empowerment would certainly impact the overall economic development; hence, they should be active participants in the economic activities and should also have equal decision-making powers. Empowerment of women would have a positive impact on the whole, both at the micro and macro level of the society.

These days, the participation of women in various verticals is on the rise. They reemployed in good numbers and at senior levels in media banking, hospitality, healthcare, and other sector industries.And, they are certainly making their footprints.

It can be observed, for over a decade that women have started taking their careers more seriously and professionally than ever before. They have realised that if they can successfully control and manage as homemakers, they are equally capable of becoming good managers and can even go ahead to lead and direct an organization. We have very prominent examples today – take the case of women like Chanda Kochar, Indra Nooyi, and NainaLal Kidwai, who represent this paradigm shift. Career success for females is no way different from men, and it signifies the professional-cum-personal growth of an employee, along with the mutual growth of the employer/organisation.

In the end, let’s discuss some solutions. Firstly, more and more women should be encouraged to attain economic independence. Secondly, they must hone their leadership skills: being the focus of household management in the family is solid proof that they are indeed, competent and good leaders. Women have taken over the baton now, and it is being proved that they can naturally lead. Though the situation is complicated and complex, the indomitable spirit of the young and educated women of today can make it possible if governments and families support them. Woman empowerment is a fascinating topic today. This phenomenon of changing roles has been making headway, in recent times. And, today, we see it in action, all around us. Women are now being accepted for what they bring to the table. There is indeed, a revolution at the workplace. The road ahead is not easy, but it has made a significant beginning.

Prof. Ramola Kumar

An academician for over 25 years now. An MBA from Ottawa University, Prof. Kumar headed the IMT, Delhi for over 7 years & thereafter worked with The Times School of Marketing (TSM). In 1995 she co-founded the prestigious The Delhi School of Communication (DSC) where she is currently Dean, DSC.

Prof. Kumar specialises in teaching Marketing, Strategy & Branding to senior executives and students. She has conducted numerous workshops on Communication Management, Time & Stress Management to name a few.

She has also written several articles & has even appeared twice on Doordarshan's popular 'Evening Live Show', counseling individuals on Time & Stress Management.

A proficient poet she has authored more than 8 poetry books, including a crossword in Marketing and Communication. A guru to many of her students, she loves spending time with them as also painting and singing in her free time.

Areas of expertise:

  • Marketing
  • Branding
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Business Games
  • Communication Skills
  • Crisis Management
  • Personality Development & Grooming
  • Public Speaking
  • Business Communication
  • Times and Stress Management
  • Presentation Skills

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