What do equal rights mean to a modern woman entrepreneur?

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On August 26 – Women’s Equality Day, sheatwork salutes women entrepreneurs, who are working against all odds – to make a difference

On Women’s Equality Day which falls on August 26, 2020 we remember women entrepreneurs, who have shown outstanding courage to step out and impress the world with their independence and business acumen. Against the background of the gender issue that has been in the spotlight, these women indeed need to be applauded.

We know that “Women Entrepreneurship” involves business creation and business ownership that empowers women economically, that not only increases their economic strength but also their position in society. Today, women-entrepreneurs in many sectors have been making a considerable impact on the economy.

The economy of India has been witnessing dramatic changes since mid 1991, with new policies of liberalization, globalization, privatization initiated by Indian Government. The Modi-led government has also launched many pro-women schemes like – Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana loan programme and so on.

So, when you step back and look at the Indian business landscape, it has immense potential for entrepreneurship.

Do women enjoy equal status?

Women entrepreneurship has picked up in last three decades with the increase in number of women enterprises, and a point to be noted is that their contribution to economic growth has also been noticed. It is an accepted fact today, that in this dynamic, fast-moving world, woman entrepreneurs are an important part of not only economic development, but also in progress of society.

Though women played an important role in the society, in India their entrepreneurial ability has not been tapped, mainly due to the lower status given to women in society. Currently, it can be seen that women involvement in economic activities reveals a low work participation rate.

Changing mindset is required

To provide equal rights, as clearly presented in the constitution, there is an urgent need for changing the mindset towards women.  If a woman is empowered, her status in society does climb up. Her immediate family will benefit as her competencies towards decision-making will surely have an impact. And, at a wider level, entrepreneurship is crucial for overall development of any nation. In the recent past, it has gained importance with the growing participation of women, who have been taking that crucial step ahead – and become independent. Thus women when they become more progressive, they play a vital role in fulfilling  their economic needs, and they also move up in social status.

Recalling the point made by our former President  APJ Abdul Kalam, his strong belief was –   “Empowering women is a prerequisite for creating a good nation, when women are empowered, society with stability is assured. Empowerment of women is essential as their thoughts and their value systems lead to development of good family, good society and ultimately good nation”. When women enter the field of entrepreneurship, there are various factors which motivate her, which are – education, desire to be independent, desire to earn money and desire to make their own identity in the society. All of these can turn her life around – to benefit her circle of influence, in a positive way.

The sky is the limit!

Though there have been limitations & obstacles faced by women in the past, women have shown courage and taken a stand. And, society has started to accept that women entrepreneurs, who also contribute greatly to the country’s economy. Today, it is great to see women heading their own companies and becoming hugely successful.  Plus, we see women placed at top levels in prominent companies. Many leading countries also have women leading from the top, and to their credit, these countries’ performance has created waves globally and,. And, even as the world is navigating through the pandemic, they are exhibiting truly exemplary leadership examples.

The seeds of entrepreneurship, one can say, is ingrained in every woman, as she has been managing and steering the family through thick and thin. She also manages to wield the perfect work-home balance, even as the workplace pattern has moved to the new normal – WFM. Of course, suffice it to say that women as business owners – the concept needs to be capitalized even more, on an urgent footing, in countries like India. And then, there’s no stopping them – for the sky is the limit!

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