Women have always been played a significant part in shaping the nation and still playing their role actively. They form a significant part of India’s demographic dividend. She has always waved their success everywhere.
According to United Nations Women estimates, women make up a significant proportion of all healthcare workers and more than 80% of nurses and midwives.
They also form a significant proportion of the workforce in the education sector in India and the informal sector as well.
The theme for this year’s 2022 women’s international day is ‘gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow. However, females have contributed a lot but she has not been appreciated as it should be.
However, numerous problems are associated with women. Here it comes important for us to know some of the hidden or invisible hurdles faced by women often and it equally becomes necessary to know the ingredients to empower the women in the best possible manner and schemes that helped them to realize their potential in India.
INVISIBLE HURDLES FACED BY WOMEN’S
- CHILD CARE SERVICES: According to a 2016 study by the ILO (International Labor Organisation), a lack of access to quality childcare services forces women workers to leave the labor force is one of the invisible hurdles faced by them.
Setting Child Care Services in each office complex is important to support women in managing their care responsibilities and enabling them to devote sufficient time to paid employment.
However, this model has been tested successfully by the self-employed women association Sangini in some Indian cities.
Recently an appreciable move has been taken by the Ministry for Women and Child Development. The ministry has said that creches will be set up at the district level for women police personnel across the country in a bid to help them overcome challenges they face at work to mark International Women’s Day.
- According to Mobile Gender Gap Report, only 25% of women-owned smartphones compared to 41% of men in India in 2020. This one is the second most important hurdle faced by women. Due to the unavailability of technology they are deprived of education especially when hybrid classes have taken the place. Closing this gap is significant to empower women to realize their potential.
Various state governments have provided smartphones to students through a scheme like UP free smartphone yojana for students, the same thing can be done for women as well in all the states in a bid to help them to overcome the challenges of technologies.
- As per the UNICEF survey, a third of at least one girl had to drop out. The dropouts are either due to domestic work or because of their marriage. Participation of women is necessary to achieve Gender Equality in Education, bridging this gap is the need of the hour.
However, Under the new Saksham Anganwadi scheme of the Women and Child Development Ministry shifts focus on 14 to 18-year-olds to enroll them in schools.
- According to a 2018 study by the ILO (International Labour Organization), more than 95% of India’s working women are informal workers who work in labor-intensive, low-paying, highly precarious jobs with no special protection.
However, a scheme like Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) has tried to also help the informal sector women workforce but a lot remains to be done.
Under this scheme, all the entitled beneficiaries including those in informal sectors are also eligible for a conditional cash (5,000) transfer for the first live birth in the beneficiary’s bank account in three installments for pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above.
It also compensates women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and gives conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.
- Social security laws such as the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, of 2017 do not cover informal sector workers. These benefits are mostly enjoyed by formal sector women workers constituting less than 5% of the workforce.
Here, it becomes necessary to extend the maternity benefits to each woman for the inclusive development of all as she is the main contributor to building up a strong nation.
A Healthy mind will always contribute to a healthy society and finally a healthier or prosperous nation.
Society requires to deconstruct the stereotype of women as limited to household exercises only.
Bridging gaps in education, the gender division of labor, addressing biased attitudes, setting childcare services, and much more is need of the hour. However, the government has been trying to improve the situation of women but a lot of effort is required.