Indian culture gives women the utmost respect. Many of our gods are female and they have been worshipped as a deity by many faithful people. The goddess of wealth is Laxmi, the goddess of power and strength is Durga and the goddess of wisdom is Saraswati.
Women are the epitome of wealth and power. Women play an important role in society and the whole family is dependent on women for their daily activities. They play the role of mother, wife, homemaker, cook, teacher, friend, and Nurse all at the same time while catering to everybody’s needs.
The women who are in a job have to also fulfill the job responsibilities while managing the home & family. The life of the woman is very hard, but she gets little or no appreciation. There are a lot of women who are extremely talented & multitaskers but have no recognition in society.
As divorce is still a taboo in Indian society many women are suffering from abusive marriages. As they are not empowered, they fear to stand up for their right. If we want to empower women then domestic violence has to be stopped at any cost.
As females were given poor education or no education they are not able to get good jobs. Thus either they have to stay at home or do lesser-paid jobs. Thus the male always remains the bread earner of the family. So women hardly get economic independence.
If we wish to see a nation that develops economically on the global front, then it’s very important to have “Women empowerment”. The actual women empowerment will come by making the women economically independent.
Women and Education
Quality Education is the key to women’s empowerment. Slowly with the increase in literacy level and awareness, society has started giving importance to education. Many parents today want to educate their daughters equally as their son. Many women today are scientists, lecturers, collectors, etc.
Women and Decision Making
Women empowerment also means when society will also accept women as decision-makers for the economic and financial decisions of the family. We shall encourage women from all sections of society to make their own decisions. They need not take permission from men.
The government and several NGOs are making efforts to empower women by creating awareness. The government is running a large no. of projects for the education and skill development of women so that can get economic independence.
Thinking of society is also changing slowly. More and more no. of women are getting a quality education. But the true meaning of women's empowerment will be achieved when gender inequality will be eliminated. We need to give equal opportunities to women for equal pay, and equal respect as equal to men. We look forward to such a nation.
Gender Equality for Development
Gender equality is a human right, but our world faces a persistent gap in access to opportunities and decision-making power for women and men. Globally, women have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, less access to basic and higher education, greater health and safety risks, and less political representation.
Guaranteeing the rights of women and giving them opportunities to reach their full potential is critical not only for attaining gender equality, but also for meeting a wide range of international development goals. Empowered women and girls contribute to the health and productivity of their families, communities, and countries, creating a ripple effect that benefits everyone.
The word gender describes the socially-constructed roles and responsibilities that societies consider appropriate for men and women. Gender equality means that men and women have equal power and equal opportunities for financial independence, education, and personal development. Women's empowerment is a critical aspect of achieving gender equality. It includes increasing a woman's sense of self-worth, her decision-making power, her access to opportunities and resources, her power and control over her own life inside and outside the home, and her ability to effect change. Yet gender issues are not focused on women alone, but on the relationship between men and women in society. The actions and attitudes of men and boys play an essential role in achieving gender equality.
Education is a key area of focus. Although the world is making progress in achieving gender parity in education, girls still make up a higher percentage of out-of-school children than boys. Approximately one quarter of girls in the developing world do not attend school. Typically, families with limited means who cannot afford costs such as school fees, uniforms, and supplies for all of their children will prioritize education for their sons. Families may also rely on girls' labour for household chores, carrying water, and childcare, leaving limited time for schooling. But prioritizing girls' education provides perhaps the single highest return on investment in the developing world. An educated girl is more likely to postpone marriage, raise a smaller family, have healthier children, and send her own children to school. She has more opportunities to earn an income and to participate in political processes, and she is less likely to become infected with HIV.
Women's health and safety is another important area. HIV/AIDS is becoming an increasingly impactful issue for women. This can be related to women having fewer opportunities for health education, unequal power in sexual partnership, or as a result of gender-based violence. Maternal health is also an issue of specific concern. In many countries, women have limited access to prenatal and infant care, and are more likely to experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth. This is a critical concern in countries where girls marry and have children before they are ready; often well before the age of 18. Quality maternal health care can provide an important entry point for information and services that empower mothers as informed decision-makers concerning their own health and the health of their children.
Globally, no country has fully attained gender equality. Scandinavian countries like Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden lead the world in their progress toward closing the gender gap. In these countries, there is relatively equitable distribution of available income, resources, and opportunities for men and women. The greatest gender gaps are identified primarily in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. However, a number of countries in these regions, including Lesotho, South Africa, and Sri Lanka outrank the United States in gender equality
A final area of focus in attaining gender equality is women's economic and political empowerment. Though women comprise more than 50% of the world's population, they only own 1% of the world's wealth. Throughout the world, women and girls perform long hours of unpaid domestic work. In some places, women still lack rights to own land or to inherit property, obtain access to credit, earn income, or to move up in their workplace, free from job discrimination. At all levels, including at home and in the public arena, women are widely underrepresented as decision-makers. In legislatures around the world, women are outnumbered 4 to 1, yet women's political participation is crucial for achieving gender equality and genuine democracy.
“The world has to fight gender inequality together”
We have achieved much in recent history on the path to gender equality, but we have a long way to go to ensure equal endowments, participation, and voice for women.
The stakes are even higher now that the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is ravaging the world, as times of great crisis often put women on the front lines. Women predominate in key roles as nurses, social workers, and caregivers. They are also working as doctors and volunteers, and as political and community leaders making critical decisions about how to address the public health, social, and economic effects of the crisis. Women’s participation will be vital to our success against this shared global threat.
Let us first acknowledge the progress made so far…
Today, we tend to take it for granted that women can vote. But - with the exception of a few frontrunners like New Zealand, Australia, and Finland - universal suffrage became a reality only after World War I. Eventually, voting rights for women were introduced into international law in 1948 by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
Women have also taken advantage of increased opportunities to serve as leaders. In 2019, women held nearly 1 in 4 legislative seats worldwide - more than double their share in 1995. Management positions are also more likely to be held by women now than twenty years ago, though parity is still a long way off.
With greater representation comes improved outcomes. Looking at education, the world has seen enormous progress in reducing gaps between girls and boys across a variety of important areas such as enrollment rates and literacy outcomes.
In health, fewer mothers are dying in childbirth and significant increases in female life expectancy have followed. With few exceptions, women now outlive men in virtually every country.
In terms of labor participation, more women in countries at every level of income have been engaging in economic activities beyond non-market work in the home.
Around the world, many national reforms have been enacted in recent years to improve the status of women in the workplace, in marriage, and especially to protect women from violence.
Yet, there is still a long way to go…
Despite this meaningful progress, important gender gaps remain. These vary in scale from country to country and take different forms - from physical violence and deprivations to unequal opportunities in work or political life.
The World Health Organization estimates that over 1 in 3 women worldwide will experience violence in their lifetime.
Sadly, the risk of being subjected to violence increases in times of distress, such as the outbreak of COVID-19. The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Dubravka Simonovic, warned that it was “very likely that rates of widespread domestic violence will increase, as already suggested by initial police and hotline reports.”
Gender disparities also take shape in unequal opportunities to participate fully in economic life. UN Women found that women are less likely than men to participate in the labor market and more likely to be unemployed.
Women are paid less, earning 77 cents to every dollar earned by a man, and bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care and domestic work (performing 76 percent of total hours of unpaid care work worldwide). In fact, if women’s unpaid work were assigned a monetary value, one study of six countries has suggested that it would constitute between 10 and 39 percent of GDP.
These opportunity gaps suggest that women could be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Women make up a larger share of health and social care workers around the world: 70 percent in 104 countries. Also, early analysis from the World Bank indicates that those in caregiving roles may face an increased burden in the wake of school closures, with working mothers finding themselves even more stretched than usual in trying to juggle home-based work, home-schooling, childcare, and housework.
Inequality of access is also a key concern. Globally, nearly 40 percent of women in wage employment are estimated to lack access to social protection.
Women are less likely than men to have access to financial institutions or to have a bank account. Although women-owned enterprises represent more than 30 percent of registered businesses worldwide, only 10 percent of women entrepreneurs have the capital they need to grow their businesses.
These gender gaps impose real costs on society…
As the World Bank Group’s Women, Business, and the Law 2020 points out, “equality of opportunity is good economics.” Indeed, it is estimated that women’s lagging participation in employment and entrepreneurship cost the world about 15 percent of its GDP.
In considering a “full potential” scenario in which women participated in the economy identically to men, McKinsey concluded that this would add $28 trillion (26 percent) to annual global GDP by 2025 as compared to business as usual.
Yet when girls are allowed to dream and realize their potential, we are all better off…
To quote the famous early 20th-century Armenian novelist and activist, Zabel Yesayan, “a woman is not born into this world to be pleasing. A woman is born to develop her mental, moral, and physical abilities.”
Over the course of history, many women have embarked on a path of self-realization to the benefit of our society. Some are famous, some less so, but each contributed to advancing the world, whether by promoting human rights and peace, forging ahead in science, or serving on the front lines to save human lives and protect public health.
Despite the added burdens, crises present an opportunity to improve gender equality…
Unfortunately, we are likely to see some setbacks in gender equality during the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. The European Institute of Gender Equality has stated that the closure or near-closure of businesses could have a severe effect on women-dominated professions (such as flight attendants, hairdressers, and tour operators), and unpaid care work will continue to increase.
In highlighting the gendered impact of COVID-19, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has stated that “Targeted measures to address the disproportionate impact of the crisis on women and girls are needed.”
The COVID-19 crisis has put unprecedented pressure on governments, development organizations, and communities. While we strive urgently to respond, we should not lose sight of our goal to achieve gender equality. Instead, we should make it part of our overall effort to tackle these unprecedented challenges and come out stronger afterward.
We appreciate the recognition by the G7 and W7 that, notwithstanding the progress made by women in the world, we do not have a single country that has achieved gender equality. So we have a lot of work, and the work is universal: whether we are East, West, North, South, rich or poor, these issues bind all of us as humanity.
If we think, for instance, of the move from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals, one recognition of the Sustainable Development Goals is the universality of the agenda of issues that impact humanity.
In the Sustainable Development Goals, we emphasize the importance of climate change. If you mess up your forest in one part of the world, it will mess up people in another part of the world.
The issue of peace is also universal. If we do not have peace in one part of the world, no one has peace anywhere in the world.
The issue of inequality is universal, between and within countries. The current extent of inequality means that people move around the world looking for means of survival and all of us will have to deal with the issue of inequality.
Gender inequality is a universal issue. Women everywhere in the world want equal pay. Women everywhere in the world want to control and decide what to do with their own bodies. And without women in the workplace, everywhere in the world, all of our economies do not grow to the extent that they need to grow.
Economic justice facilitates economic growth, and inclusive growth requires more women to be in the workplace. So, there are many common issues that women need to discuss, and that makes the issue of gender equality one of the most globalized issues of our time.
Once, the world together fought to end slavery. It was a universal issue. It did not have to be a slave’s fight to end slavery. The world, and the people of goodwill in the world, united to end it. The world fought racism, colonialism, and apartheid together and brought them to an end. It was not just the affected people who fought. The world has to fight gender inequality together. It is not just women who must fight; men and women must fight together for us to achieve the kind of change that we desire. The nice thing is that victory is for all.
McKinsey’s research tells us that if women’s economic participation were to be at the same level as men, by 2025 there is a cool $28 trillion that could be added to the world’s economic growth. It requires all of us to want to do something about that to achieve the change for all of us.
We have just come out of two very meaningful engagements as UN Women. The first is the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, which looked at barriers to women’s economic empowerment and participation, starting from the barriers that are experienced by girls, such as in education, child marriage, and the different violations that girls experience that stop them from realizing their potential.
We have also just finished the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women, where we looked at women in the changing world of work. These two dialogues reached the same conclusions: the importance of macroeconomic policies that recognize the role and the participation of women, starting with issues like gender-responsive budgeting. Those macroeconomic policies recognize that all countries have babies, babies need childcare, and childcare needs to be accessible and affordable, otherwise, millions and millions of women cannot participate effectively politically and economically. The fact that in most countries looking after children is a private matter for women is a barrier to their full economic participation.
Men have to work so hard to become corporate animals and do not have time to be fathers. That stops them from being able to contribute to the care services of the family and in the process, stops women from being able to participate in the labor market. So, this is a change that must happen: more men in the care economy, and more women in the labor market.
We also found, in the work that we did both in the High-Level Panel and in the Commission on the Status of Women, the importance of women controlling their own bodies; of having autonomy without discrimination; having access and respect for their rights, both sexual and reproductive rights, and having access to services. The unmet needs of women, in the area for instance of family planning, are such that many women are having children that they do not want, that they cannot afford, only because we are unable to give them the much-needed lifesaving services that organizations such as UNFPA provide.
We also uncovered in the discussion and the work something that we all know; the importance of equal pay and of the fact that men and women alike want to be paid wages that are equal to the contribution that we make. That is not too much to ask for any worker. Up to now, that right does not exist for women in most parts of the world; this is a great robbery. We are therefore calling for governments, the private sector, and ourselves to mobilize appropriately to change this.
Of course, most women are at the base of the income pyramid, which means that they are underpaid and they are also in work for which there is no minimum wage. Those women caught on what we call the “sticky floors”, cannot rise up, and will always live closer to poverty than prosperity. So, laws and facilitation of minimum wages are critical to moving women past the sticky floors, just as women on boards and women executives play a critical role in making sure that the glass ceiling—and the steel ceiling, for that matter—are removed.
These are some of the examples that are universal, and that we can all work on in every part of the world.
I want to salute all the men who are in the room. The role of men and boys is critical. To the extent that there is historic affirmative action everywhere in the world—which is why they are where they are—we need men to turn the terms around and make sure that there is affirmative action for women and that we can have equality for all. Thank you.
About Dr Pratik Mungekar
1) First Indian to be appointed as the planetary Minister of Sustainable Development of Newly Sustainable Kingdom of Atlantis (a Decentralized Sovereign Kingdom)
2) He is the first youngest Indian whose book Introduction to Sustainable Development Goals (Non-Academic) is now part of the Atlantean Education program.
3) He is the first youngest Indian to receive 250+ Honorary Doctorates from all over the world.
4)He is the first youngest Indian professor who taught more than 8000+ Students & Career guided 4000+ Students to date & the count is still on.
5) He is the first Indian who has 700+ International, National & State Awards at the age of 28 for his contribution to the field of Teaching & Research.
6 ) He is the youngest Indian to receive 125+ Honorary High Degrees across the Globe.
7) He is the first Indian to be appointed by 35+ International organizations in various High-positions at the same time .
8) He is the first youngest Indian to be appointed as an Ambassador by 36 organizations of many countries in almost all disciplines.
9) He is the first Indian youngest professor to start teaching at the age of sixteen, the age of twenty Seven He has completed twelve years of Teaching.
10) He is the first Youngest Indian to receive Royal &Prestigious Titles such as 1)Lectures Magnificus (L.M.), 2) H.R.H. 5* Duke.
11) First Youngest Indian to receive Mendeleev’s Fellowship ( United Kingdom’s Highest Academic Honour).
12)First Indian to receive the distinguished title “Professor Wisdom” from Institución Cultural Colombiana Casa Poética Magia y Plumas , Colombia South America.
Today, the name of Prof. Dr Pratik Rajan Mungekar is no longer common but is emerging as a distinguished Scientist, Professor, World Educationist, Published Writer, Counsellor, Social Worker and an International Speaker