Celebrating International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development

International Volunteer Day

Sheatwork looks at how Indian women entrepreneurs are contributing towards economic and social development of the country

International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development is celebrated every year across the globe on 5th of December. This provides an opportunity for all the individual volunteers and organizations of volunteers to show their contributions at international, national and local levels in order to get the Millennium Development Goals.

Tracing back the history of this day, celebrating the International Volunteer Day every year for the Economic and Social Development was first approved by the United Nations General Assembly. It was declared on 17th of December in 1985 that it is to be celebrated on 5th of December every year worldwide. Since then, the International Volunteer Day has been celebrated every year by UN, different country governments, civil society organizations and so on.

In fact, this is a befitting recognition of the sincere efforts and dedication of the volunteers worldwide, as they stood strong during disasters and in times of need by Government and non-government organizations, including various ministries and departments across the world.

Most importantly, entrepreneurship is clearly seen as one of the major factors which contribute to the development of the nation. The economic development is speeded up by the enterprising spirit of the people.  Any contemplation or discussion on the significance of entrepreneurship will be incomplete if the focus on women entrepreneurs is ignored. Women entrepreneurs can definitely be termed as ‘new engines’ of growth or the ‘rising stars’ of the economic development of the developing economies.

A woman entrepreneur is a woman, who may have a team – a group of women, who initiate, organize and operate business enterprises, for their personal gains and success. ‘Woman entrepreneur’ as a concept is related to topics such as women empowerment and emancipation. Today, we find women in varied fields, vis-a-vis  earlier times,  where the activities of the women were limited, as it mostly around the circumference of their domestic work. Interestingly, we find women in today’s times, not only in papad, pickles and powder businesses but also in manufacturing, education, trading, service sector and so on. No doubt, it is taking time, but with a lot of help from especially government schemes and initiatives, women are entering the entrepreneurial field in a big way. And certainly they are creating a visible impact!!

So, it will be proper to say that in the present scenario, women entrepreneurship is very important for economic growth of our country – in fact for any country. It does not only contribute to improve the situation of women in the society, but also helps to improve economic situation of country, at large. Today, we see women wanting to prove themselves, and demanding equality. This is pertinent in a democratic society. Hence, it is critical that women attempt to contribute in all areas like medical, education, business etc. But reality today is that as an entrepreneur, a woman faces many challenges  like low finance, socio-cultural barriers etc. This happens both in rural areas and urban areas.

So, it is fitting on this day, to celebrate women entrepreneurs, who volunteer and make a choice – to  start out on their own!  

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