Women entrepreneurship in the limelight –
Women entrepreneurship has recently received attention by the world and has begun to grab the lime-light, particularly because the global economic and social impact of female entrepreneurs is beginning to gain prominence. The number of women entrepreneurs particularly in advanced markets and economies is now growing rapidly. Yet, the growth rate of female entrepreneurship in developing nations is very low. What’s worse is that there exists a very limited literature acknowledging and addressing the challenges that lace the development of female entrepreneurship.
It is noteworthy that female entrepreneurship has received attention not only because it contributes to job creation and economic growth potential of a nation, but also because it presents a form of entrepreneurial diversity in an economy. Historically, women are mainly discriminated for their gender, regardless of culture, race, region, religion, and nationality. Majority of the contemporary societies are latently or manifestly patriarchal with men dominating in social, religious, political, and economic fields. Women are often sidelined and subject to domestic or weaker roles.
Deterrents to women entrepreneurship –
From time immemorial, women have been the silent sufferers of societies worldwide. They are exposed to violence and deprivations which come in many forms for them; such as, social disconnection, debarment on the selection of profession, restrictions on freedom in reproductive health decision-making within a family, and a lesser or no role in entrepreneurship and wealth creation activities. Women’s sufferings range from abuse, molestation, rape, malnutrition, domestic violence, slavery, restriction on free movement, and poverty; and these can nip the entrepreneurial dream of women, whether big or small, right in the bud!
Deleting the deterrents-
Undeniably, violence limits women’s contributions to the socio-economic sphere and aggravates their physical, emotional, and social conditions. Such vulnerabilities tend to increase in the absence of their access to formal claim to education, land and property and even the daily basic necessities. This can harm the shaping of their entrepreneurial dreams. The impact of protection of property rights on women empowerment and reduction in violence against women, will certainly contribute towards a favorable entrepreneurial ecosystem. For example, having property rights which are acknowledged, earns women financial independence which in turn instils confidence in them to give their dreams wings. It also allows them access to the initial funding they might need to launch their business venture.
Understanding silence and erasing violence-
While pervasive, gender-based violence is not inevitable. It can and must be prevented. Stopping this violence starts with paying heed to the silent sufferings of women and believing survivors. Adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes and transforming harmful social norms, to empower women and girls is now imperative. With survivor-centred essential services across policing, justice, health, and social sectors, and sufficient financing for the women’s rights agenda, we can end gender-based violence.
This year’s ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women’, observed on 25th November, 2021, bears the theme, “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”. Orange is our colour to represent a brighter future free of violence against women and girls. This day will also launch 16 days of activism to be concluded on the 10th of December 2020 — the day that commemorates the International Human Rights Day. Come let us all be a part of this movement, more mentally if not physically and give respect to women which they rightfully deserve!