I opened the newspaper this morning to disappointing news. A recent study showed that our city in India registered the sharpest decline in worker population for females in the country. Translation? Less women are working in our city in casual labor, regular wage, and self-employed sectors. Less women are actively contributing to the production of goods and services in our city. Less job opportunities for women.
Not the most fun way to start my morning. Need to pour another cup of coffee and think about this...
I remember the moment when I realized that almost everybody working in shops and restaurants were men. No women. The oddest moment. Where were all the women?
The widespread withdrawal and absence from the labour force by women is hard to understand. There are simply just not enough jobs being created in the economy. Another factor is the recession of 2008. Exports from India have suffered greatly because of this recession, and women had been working in the export industry in large numbers. Many of them have lost their jobs. Family pressure to stay at home and take care of housework is another factor in this discussion.
Is India ready to employ its women? I wonder. Take another sip of coffee.
India's women need a skill-based education which will help them get jobs, not just a diploma or degree that leads to nowhere. Women can contribute more to society than simply making flat bread and taking care of the children. India's women are some of the most hard-working people in the world. I know this for a fact.
Social awareness campaigns can help decrease wage disparity and skewed sex ratios. The girl child still needs to be saved. Government incentives will increase social awareness and change systems. For example, when a female child is born in a government hospital in our city, her family gets a check from the government. When a girl passes 8th Standard, she receives a bicycle from the government. Toppers in the class receive tablets. The government often organizes group weddings and provides wedding dowries for poor families. These are all good programs that need to be expanded and promoted more effectively in communities, so that every family knows what is available to them.
Does India want to see more girls live to adulthood, more girls educated, more ladies employed?
We believe the answer is YES. We believe that India is taking steps in the right direction. Tomorrow can be brighter for India's ladies. And we at Dekko are doing our part to see more ladies employed, more ladies empowered. You are helping us make a difference. One scarf at a time. One piece of jewelry at a time. One lady at a time. A brighter tomorrow for her is worth it all.
Photo credit: Brady Black