Importance of Women’s Role in Economic Development

Importance of Women’s Role in Economic Development

Horrifying global surge in domestic violence against women as fear of coronavirus has grown: UN chief ‘Antonio Guterres’ {April 2020}

‘If the women participates in workforce in par with man, then Indian economy (GDP) could boost by 27%’ : Ex-chief of IMF ‘Christine Lagarde’

India being in the demographic dividend & women population being about half of total population constitutes an optimum situation for ‘economic development of women‘ & ‘economic development through women‘. But, current scenario does not takes us to this direction, as PLFS report (2017-18) says women workforce participation is 16.5% only. Nevertheless, past achievements & present examples well justify their potential in economic development.

Women’s role in economic development can even be traced back in ancient India, where kings married with princess of other states for peace or establishing better relations, which ultimately leads to stability in trade & businesses. Eg, Akbar married daughters of Rajput kings.

Moving further, even during Indian struggle for independence, women played a major role in every sphere in many ways. For eg, women took part in Swadeshi movement, boycotted foreign goods & themselves involved in hand-weaving business. On similar lines, during world wars, while most of men were killed or were as casualty due to the the global massacre happened, women took the responsibility of economic activity in many countries. It is one of the applausive reference for women role in world history.

As the world survived world wars & many other independence struggles, & came into phase of development of nations, women again played a debut role. Agriculture sector is the one, even today, dominated by women labour force. Though it contributes, around 15% of GDP but accounts for around 50% of employment in India, almost half share of woman.

With transient to manufacturing sector, expanding Self-Help Groups (SHGs) of women for economic activities are well-quoted example. Kalinja Eco Tourism Group, Maharashtra, is one of such example led by local women, taking their presence to service sector too. Today, they are successfully dominating in pink-collared jobs like teacher, nurse, etc.

From pink collared jobs to highest political position in nation, whether it be Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi), President (Pratibha Patil), or anything else, Indian women made sure of their reach. Current politics is too witnessing many gender based political reforms like devolution of power among local levels, giving 33% representation security of women in Panchayati Raj, gender budgeting, etc.

Ongoing race to space development in the world is no more untouched from woman’s significant presence, that too in big numbers. Recent space missions of ISRO applauded working of many women scientists, behind the screen, day & night.

One of the ‘so-called’ masculine sector, defence, is even getting remarkable presence of Indian women. In 2019, Bhawana Kath became the 1st woman fighter pilot to undertake the combat missions. In this way, defencing national interests & security facilitates economic development of a nation.

However, Indian society has not get rid of its patriarchal mentality yet. In many places, especially rural, woman are still not given equitable opportunity to pursue their dreams. They are still not considered eminent member of a family, to be involved in economic decisions.

In India, due to this sickness, India’s women contributes under-potentially to GDP. Moreover, GDP itself do not counts the work of household women. Eg, a waiter in 5-star hotel get its service work involved through the service tax paid by consumers, but the house-maids providing services in homes don’t have such mechanism.

Government need to really work over this & create a healthy environment of equality among society members. With formalisation of economy, count of poor’s work can also be taken care of in GDP. Women centric social schemes are needed to foster their presence in society, in fact women are the key drivers of government schemes implementation, as seen in revolutions like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

We must, together, strive hard to provide enough space to women to nurture women Development, Demography, Demand & Decisiveness (4 Ds), which will shape nation’s future.

‘Just like a bird able to fly only by flipping both its wings, similarly a nation can rise only by equal & joint efforts of both its son & daughter’ : Swami Vivekananda


Pranjay Mishra

Pranjay Mishra

Studying in IIT (BHU), Varanasi {2017-2021}

Pranjay Mishra

Studying in IIT (BHU), Varanasi {2017-2021}

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