November 25 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Sheatwork promotes creating awareness of non-violence against women, so that they can be encouraged to grow into successful entrepreneurs

Nothing good ever comes of violence, said Martin Luther, the German theologian and religious reformer who was the catalyst of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, many centuries ago. And, it still hold good.

‘Violence’ is centre-stage on November 25. For it highlights elimniation of violence against women on that day. In 1993, November 25 was established by the UN General Assembly to put the focus on this issue. It defines violence against women as an “act of gender-based violence that results in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threat, etc”. We know that violence against women is a worldwide phenomenon. Freedom from the threat of harassment, battering, and sexual assault is a concept that most countries are trying to achieve.

If you look into the traditional past, violence against women is largely woven into the fabric of society. Every day we see images of women violated – in the news, on TV, in the movies, in advertising, and even in our homes and workplaces. It is a fact of life for women of all ages, races, castes, and classes.

We may think that the position of women has changed in our society, especially in metropolitan cities. Unfortunately, this is nothing but a myth. We might have progressed but what’s the point, if it hasn’t taught us to respect the modesty of women?

So, on a day that stands for elimination of violence against women in India, the safety of 21st century women is very important today.

Empowering women specially economically is one of the most impactful sets of development interventions, both in terms of growth and job creation. Women’s Empowerment in India focuses on our rich heritage and enlightened societies of the past, where women were treated as equals. In fact, the concept of India itself evolved quite recently, reflecting its past history. But, the truth is that in modern India, the woman has always been a second grade citizen in work place.

And, since we look at women entrepreneurs here, it is critical that they are protected from violence in their families or society, or in their workplaces in general, so that they can focus on building their own business, which they can keep sustaining.

Taking a look at the status of Indian women today, we notice many points. The cultural set up has a family base, and they often act as per the decisions made by male members. They have a lesser literacy rate and are denied many opportunities. Even among educated women, they may lack communication skills. They may hesitate to take up challenges too.

However, the Women’s Empowerment Principles in Brief establishes a high-level leadership for gender equality, and treats all women and men fairly at work. It also sets to respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination and ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers. It promotes education, training and professional development for women and works towards implementing practices that empower women.

Tracing the growth of women entrepreneurs in the country, it can be seen that harnessing the full potential of women entrepreneurs can promote innovation, economic growth, and job creation. The current situation in India reveals a low rate of female entrepreneurship in the country, and overcoming these barriers is a matter of grit and passion of women themselves.

But, what exactly is the need of the hour? Without a doubt, women need to seize entrepreneurial opportunities and increase their chances of success.

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