She wakes up before the morning walkers of the locality; she can cook Italian to Chinese dish, North Indian to South Indian cuisine. She manages to attend the meeting with a business suit and a family wedding with a beautiful traditional saree and gajra on her hair. We all know ‘her’, the superwoman of the family who converts a ‘house’ into ‘home’ and yet does not let her professional career discontinue.
Women are the backbone of every society. The representation of women in labor force has been consistently increasing over the time, but at the same time, the expectations of the society from a woman as a prescribed gender role remains the same, as it used to be few decades back.
Usually structural barriers and cultural restrictions are the two major factors that contribute to this gender gap.
Though in the recent years, there is an increase in women pursuing higher education globally, a gender gap in employment rate remains the same among the highly educated women and men in few countries. An unpaid caregiving responsibilities can prevent a paid employment opportunity, and this work disproportionately falls on women. Therefore, women who are determined to have a work-life are doubly jeopardized. Whether to be conventional to the gender role and be a favourite daughter-in-law or to be ambitious and work for that promotion, is the kind of conflict working women face every day.
Women play an important role in the economic development of the country and her contribution is as equal to as her male counterparts. Without an active participation of a woman in various national, social, economic and political activities, the progress of any country would be stagnant. However, women at large, continue to face noteworthy worries. The rate of malnutrition is very high among adolescent girls and pregnant and lactating women in India, with repercussions for children's health. Violence against women, especially domestic violence, has been on the rise in India. National data collection agencies accept that statistics seriously understate women's contribution as workers.
Conventionally, Indian women have been only excellent homemakers, but in 21st century, because of higher education, better awareness of themselves and the increasing financial expectations of the family, women also have started to go out and choose careers. Though Indian women have also started working outside their homes, there are still several issues and challenges that working women face today. Today, the working and social scenario out there is far different from what it used to be some 25-30 years ago. Advances in technology, evolving work opportunities and role of family for women in India have changed her contribution to the business environment of 21st century. The financial demands and expectations for Indian families are rising day by day. Higher cost of living, increasing expenses on education of children, increasing cost of housing properties in India force every family member to look for ways and means of increasing household income. As a result, women in India, who were known as homemakers, most of the times, are forced to go for jobs and take the challenges that were considered only suitable for men such as working in night shifts in call centres or BPOs.
Indian women : excellent contributors
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