Success of a nation at higher end is more than the success of few individuals, or organizations and cities. A nation’s success in real sense is encompassing more, may be all these together and it should be viewed in 360 degrees. As a fact, a nation is not defined by its borders or boundaries of land mass, rather it epitomizes citizens and hence the success of a nation relies on the wellbeing of its citizens especially the women. In nutshell, women empowerment is a perquisite for making a nation successful.
As rightly said by Swami Vivekananda, “There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved, It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing. ” To achieve the status of a developed country, no doubt India needs to transform its colossal women force into an effective human resource and this can be made possible only through the empowerment of women. This is one dimension of the change, where equal opportunity in education, employment and social status to women is becoming crucial for the development of a nation.
Further, as a follow-up, the second dimension of change is, permitting women to take the front seat in the journey towards development, leading the organizations and institutions, and providing chances in the upper ladder of socio political positions. This will enable them to play crucial leadership and execution roles. This type of change will definitely act further as a catalyst and empower women still more and pave a path way for a more promising and sustainable growth of a nation.
As the first dimension of change is more fundamental and bigger in scope and in some sense encompass all of women population in a country, the second dimension of change is more pivotal, comparing smaller in volume but will have an affluent impact. A women’s way of thinking is different and is inclusive of many factors; progress over prosperity, next generation centric, passion in caring for the needed puts them all together to drive a nation towards success.
At a broader perspective, the first dimension of change can be thought of a fundamental tactic and the later as strategic. The fundamental change needs to be systemic and the broad domains where women need typical improvement are Education, Financial independence (via employment and entrepreneurship), Legal equality and Decision making opportunities.
Women Education is paramount at the root and the education here is not meant the mere transition of a Bachelor’s or a master’s degree. As education is the spine of any empowerment, it should completely be reframed where students will not just learn books but are to be educated to live a great life and to be noble citizens of the Country.
Education should not be treated as a way to get better marriage proposals, but as tool to lead the economic independence of women. In this high-tech era, we see that women all over the world are challenging and changing gender inequalities by occupying key managerial positions.
The legal equality and decision opportunity are yet other important aspects on women empowerment. The decision making opportunity has again two components; the first one is about how well the opportunity is given to women and the second is on how well the women are being prepared to exercise this opportunity successfully. While the first goes with the legality in some sense, the second is more on motivational and value based education.
It’s high time that we should stop the portrayal of women as objects for lust and pleasure and for the service of man community. The women in complete sense should be treated with respect and dignity. They should be given total independence of their own life inside their home and also outside at their work.
Finally coming to the more visible change, where women take leadership roles in India. According to a recent study, women in Indian corporate boards contribute a mere 12% compare to that of 15% across globe. However, the good news here is that, this has been increased from 4.7% to this level in just a couple of years.
Being in a board or the CEO of a corporate or startup certainly provides the framework to execute; to make decisions and in certain sense have a wider impact on decisions. The advanced countries like US have higher percentage of women in key leadership roles and in top 500 companies, women hold 19.9% of board seats. Again, Norway, France and Sweden lead the way globally, with about 46%, 34% and 33% of board members being Women.
Women being in front seat driving all-encompassing growth and development is not just a vision, or a dream. It is the reality across the globe and more and more success stories are emerging in these days. To name a few unsung heroines, Shireen Santosham, Chief Innovation Officer, city of San Jose California has been succeeded in effectively shaping it as one of the pioneering smart city model for the world. CEO and Cofounder of Connecthings, is another example of woman power influencing the success of a nation through technological advancement by facilitating smarter inter-device communications.
We cannot deny the fact that women have a unique contribution in the economy of our country even with unfavorable “women-men” ratio in the upper governing positions. Finally, the women empowerment that fuels the nation’s success is not merely accomplished by women education alone; rather the men need to be equally educated on the same virtues and values. I would urge here strongly that, we the educationalists should remould the culture and curriculum of books which take knowledge beyond the classrooms, practice integrity and responsibility and make them as living examples of moral ethics and values.
As India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said “When women move forward, the family moves, the villages moves, and ultimately the nation moves towards success”
About the Author
Dr Pushpa Rani, an effervescent educationalist serves as a Professor and Chairperson in the department of Computer Science, Mother Teresa Women’s University, India for more than two decades. She is a vivid researcher in Computer Science. She has been bestowed with a number of prestigious awards; three International; ‘Glory of India’, ‘Distinguished woman in Science’ and ‘Research Innovation Award’ and at national level, with seven including Best Scientist and Dr Abdhul Kalam Life time achievement awards. She is entrusted with many responsible Positions such as University Syndicate Member, Academic Council member, Dean of Science and IQAC Co-ordinator to the University.