As we celebrate the ‘International Family Day’ (May 15), it is imperative that we understand what is family?
Sociologists have concluded that ‘family’ is the main pillar block of a community and I personally wish to enhance this description by adding that ‘the woman’ of a family is the pillar of support for the modern day family – providing social, mental and even financial support in many a cases. Women have shouldered family responsibilities like cooking, cleaning, child rearing and sculpting their personality since time immemorial. Lately, women have also begun to pursue careers, thereby not only instilling the much needed feeling of ‘self-worth’ in themselves, but also providing financial support to their loved ones, financial independence for self and also simultaneously aiding in the economic growth of the nation. For example,according to the Sixth Economic Census, an estimated 13.5 million women owned enterprises are creating direct employment for 27 million people.
So, with women becoming entrepreneurs it is a win-win situation for everyone, after all women empowerment does affect the socio-economic situation of the country in positive ways. Time management skills and a passion to learn; a zeal to work have always been a woman’s strength which help her to walk the line , balancing the personal and professional fronts perfectly. It is pertinent to note that an empowered woman will also raise an empowered child; the foundation for a progressive tomorrow.
How families can help women entrepreneurs?
The success of a woman entrepreneur can be partially attributed to her family as well. As the ‘lady of the house’ steps into the role of an entrepreneur, it is her family which becomes her backup system at home. Whether it be taking care of food, health, banking, children – the family steps in equipped to handle all concerns when needed, in ‘her’ absence due to work related issues. It is noteworthy how families play such a crucial rolein women’s entrepreneurial experiences, not always as a source of restraints, obligations and duties but also as a source of resources and support.
As much I would like to say that if women have potential, they will succeed; this view however, is too idealistic, too optimistic. Statistically, India, unfortunately ranks a distant low at 70 among 77 countries in the Female Entrepreneurship Index by GEDI. ‘She’ supports her family all the time, so its time she received some support from her family while she embarks on her entrepreneurial endeavours. This is how it can be done:-
*To begin with, families should encourage women to dream big and bring their ideas to a consequence.
*Providing the much needed financial support for investing into her enterprise, can be a major hurdle removed from her path.
*Spousal support to erase the fear of imbalance the woman may create within her work and family priorities can work wonders for her confidence level.
* Family concerns can nip many entrepreneurial ideas in the bud and to avoid this, a reliable house help can be arranged or duties can be distributed amongst the family members.
Families can experience the ultimate sense of belonging through the tender care of the ‘lady of the house’; and businesses, economy and societies benefit largely from these women when they step out in all dynamism and capability. Investing in women is good for all, because when you invest in a woman, the profits are for everyone to share.
Undoubtedly, the hands that rock the cradle can indeed rule the world – BUT with their family’s support!