Am I contributing to GDP?

Am I contributing to GDP?

Commencement of month of March, the last month of the Indian Financial Year makes one suddenly realise how time flies !

The year which started with a bang … New Year Party (usually refers to Dec 31 st bash) i.e. calendar year ; and then suddenly the financial year ends … For few it is accounting of the last quarter of the Indian financial year and hence the close of the financial year as well.

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year – reminding us of women’s rights. For office goers having a celebration for the women work force in office is great ; while managements recognise women achievers. For few women it’s a day of celebrating through snacking and games and probably an outing as well.
On February 28, 1909, Socialist Party of America organised Women’s Day in New York and in 1910 the International Socialist Woman’s Conference suggested a Women’s Day be held annually; and the “parampara” continues….

India , a land with rich heritage; has 33 crore Gods and Goddesses as per Hindu mythology. In Hinduism, the Supreme Reality (Brahman) manifests itself in both male and female forms. Every major God has a Goddess counterpart (or consort); with many Hindus worshipping the Great Goddess exclusively. In Hinduism the feminine is highly active. In fact, the word for “goddess” in Hinduism is shakti, which also means “power” or “energy.”

History of India backs the heritage and has portrayed many valiant women rulers and warriors who are remembered even today. Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar (Queen Kingdom of Malwa & Maratha) Rani Lakshmibhai (Jhasi) and the likes. The contribution of Ranis (Queen or Princess) and rebel Queen, Kittur Chennamma has been well documented of being heard and consulted by the Rajas as rulers.

Not to forget the immense contribution of women in diverse field in early India, to name a few – Capt. Lakshmi Sahgal (INA) , Justice Anna Chandy (first women High Court Judge) , Asima Chatterjee (first women Doctorate of Science from Indian University), Sucheta Kriplani (first women CM), Sarojini Naidu (first women Governor) , Captain Prem Mathur (first women pilot), Savitribai Phule (started Indian first school for girls).

Over last few decades, the position of women in India has witnessed a sea change. In modern India, women have held high public offices as also been in responsible and decision-making positions in the private sector. Their role and presence in the areas of sports, education , business etc has been noteworthy.

So, are women contributors to the GDP of INDIA?

Yes of course, directly and indirectly

As a mother, home maker, sister and daughter; through their functionary role supporting the male counterparts and when in vocation, profession or in business directly – carrying out or aiding economic activities.

Change has happened. The inclination of using upon women’s reservation to secure position and seats is gradually drifting towards capability recognition and incremental accretive contribution. This is emanating due to education, support of parents and family and increased awareness of opportunities. While a larger section of urban women is largely educated or aware and navigates oneself ensuring rightful positioning; what is now needed is upgradation though increased involvement or greater indulgence.

So, what should all women look forward to on Women’s Day ? Not limited to fun and frolic they should pledge to always help another woman. Assistance and help not necessarily monetarily but softly and surely with knowledge sharing and awareness buildup. Make women empowered with knowledge and skill sets so that they contribute more to the GDP. It’s possible as contribution can be direct and indirect.

I have innumerable times noticed even in Urban INDIA, a semi educated lady struggling to work her way out at bank counters, in government offices. They easily fall prey to touts and motivated individuals who fleece them. I can assure you that if such women are handheld and explained the process , procedures etc once and guided through the transaction; believe me the next time no one will be able to mislead the lady. One must not forget that since childhood we have heard our parents say that the girl child is obedient, but the boy sibling is too naughty and is difficult to control.

That same girl child grows up to be a sister , wife and then mother. Always used to hear commands and diligently follow them , hence the orientation is such since childhood that – once explained ; will never tend to forget.

“ A woman coming from lower economic strata becomes empowered when she finds employment. Empowered women will discipline and educate their children, who will in turn have the discipline and desire to build a great nation when they grow up ”

Women’s rights under the Constitution of India mainly includes equality, dignity, and freedom from discrimination and there are statutes governing the rights of women as well , the situation on the ground is dismal.

Urban life has seen glimpses of atrocities on women – sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence, dowry deaths etc while rural India is plagued with honor killings and sex selective abortions etc. Thus, education and awareness build up can only bring about a reform.

All women must be made aware of their contribution to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). If an urbanite woman is in any economic activity , may it be accepted that all things being equal preference of women by a woman should be done. A little boost will kindle lot of action and wheel into motion the cart of empowerment. This in any manner does not mean that I am suggesting that men should not support women . I am only saying that women should make an extra effort to meet this goal and rightly so….

A natural CEO Oops ! a homegrown CEO would be apt.

Recap the life cycle of a girl child since birth. Post toddler stage, the girl child is all the time along the mother in daily chores of the house and sometimes taking care of younger sibling , helping in household duties, cutting vegetables , cooking etc. – all commensurate with age. Diverse functions viz. from fetching a glass of water to drying clothes on the clothes line, from packing tiffin for father/ brother to welcoming guests etc. all this along with studies in school and college etc.

Then with marriage, shift to new household , new people could be a new location – identical to change in job (environment). Adapting and adopting to new rules and regulations of husband’s family and then diligently submerge in home functions, raise a family and with age shoulder higher responsibilities and so on and so forth. All similar to organisational goals and meeting objectives of growth and opportunities.

It’s hard not to accept the qualities that a girl child imbibes from early days – contribution, participation, responding, reconciling, sharing and sacrifice. All these are but distinctively lacking in majority of men folk in the corporate world. So, imagine if the women folk were in large numbers , what an organisation it would be ! I salute the entrepreneurs who have large women employees and I read in articles that the efficiency and productivity is much higher even though women are mostly housewives who have to attend to family emergencies and social commitments.

Having mentioned the above, it is imperative that Women Day need to be seen in much larger canvas and the pledge of “Handhold another woman” should be adopted as a theme for the year 2019-2020.

Women are well aware that when they are referred to, they include the males as well.

Women has MEN, She has HE; Female includes MALE

The notings of Dr. Devi Shetty goes a long way to justify this. He mentions in one of his interviews QUOTE – If I employ a lady , I am confident that she will spend 80 to 90% of her salary on the family and its wellbeing ; this means the next generation in India will see a healthier, educated community of individuals.” UNQUOTE

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