“I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side.” –
Women have been trying to be on their own side for 170 years, from the start of the Suffrage movement in 1848 to the #MeToo movement today.
From suffrage pioneers, like Susan B Anthony, to current day heavyweights like Sheryl Sandberg, it’s been a long journey for gender equity for women.
Today women can vote, work, and start a family free of societal meddling (well at least we can try). She can be a mother and a leader, a wife and a provider, a grandmother and a startup CEO.
And women today straddle this duality with aplomb. But like everything that has come in the past, the wheels of patriarchy, now forced to be more subtle, have created technicalities specifically designed to contain women, reducing their freedoms to cages within which they can freely move.
Here’s a stat attack for you:
By a 2017 World Bank report, Women make up 42% of the graduate work force in the country, but they only make up 20% of the service and industrial sector workforce.
Furthermore the total participation of women in the work force is only 27%, compared to 65%-70% in China and Brazil. Just to round it up, India has a rank of 120 out of 131 countries for female participation in the work force.
2018 saw a drastic shift in power in the women demographic across the globe as glass ceiling were crackled and rose to positions of power.
A whole new class of disruptive leaders joined the list,
The women now considered as the toughest and smartest leaders are helping solve the world’s biggest problems and making their mark on the board.
In India we saw the upheaval of several power structures and the reduction of many personalities, as companies and organizations across sectors were forced to start taking gender rights more seriously.
With more women vocalizing their challenges and positions of vulnerabilities on various platforms, it has become easier for the community to learn from each other and navigate their careers with more care. Indeed
Diversity has never had more light than now. From the #metoo to #wetoo to the #timesup movements, the mobilization and rise of women to drive change has gained enough momentum to boost 2019 into the year of change.
The time now is to re-craft the rules of power and leadership and write it afresh. The time now is to build forums that discuss the new normal.
One such forum is The Economic Times Women’s Forum. A definitive and diverse gathering of influential women of impact from India and abroad, the forum has been celebrated as a platform of celebration, reflection, ideation, inspiration, and networking for women.
The over-arching intent of the program is to enhance gender equity in India across personal and professional spheres, thereby boosting the nation’s growth. The event will be a full day event in Mumbai on 8 Feb 2019.
© Ruchi Verma
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