Shweta Sastri, Managing Director, Canadian International School
The life of a modern woman, whether she is working in the office or at home, married or single, and perhaps a mother, is multi-faceted. While it’s established that women can innovate and lead in impressive ways, we need to #BreakTheBias against women as there is still a long way to go when it comes to empowering women and gender equality. India’s journey towards female empowerment has its own share of highs and lows. It has made gains by ratifying international conventions and formulating domestic policies intended to end gender inequality. Women across the world are actively working as a team to achieve bigger milestones in all spheres of life and are optimistic about a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.
Women in India are now emerging in all sectors, including politics, business, education, medicine, and sports. History was made when two women scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation led the country’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, from its inception to completion in 2019. Female leadership for a huge space mission challenged the traditional narrative that rocket science is a profession reserved for men. Another milestone was reached when the Supreme Court upended the government’s position on women serving as army commanders in 2020. Also, the rise of Indian women to global leadership positions in recent times has proven to be a game changer. It is also notable that the government has also implemented many grass root initiatives that include new schemes, policies and programmes to empower and educate both rural and urban women and girls.
Gender gap: Still a long way to go
Though women continue to encounter gender biased treatment across many multiple sectors, we as a nation need to recognize that these gaps are still substantial and require both strategic planning and implementation from the village classrooms all the way to corporate board rooms.While measures have been taken to improve gender equality, it’s a long road ahead for equal power and opportunities for women across the globe.A more concerted effort is needed to close the urban-rural divide and ensure that women in rural areas enjoy the same access to education, employment, healthcare and decision-making as their urban counterparts. A crucial challenge will be to change attitudes, given that many barriers to women empowerment are attributed to patriarchal and patrilineal traditions that are deeply entrenched in our society.
The Need to #BreakTheBias
While there are ups and downs in the movement for gender equality, there is a need to focus on #BreakingTheBias to empower women in prominent positions across all facets of society – whether it is in law, politics, family, professions or sports. This is not an easy task, but can be achieved by mobilizing different sectors of society who can take up initiatives in the spaces they inhabit. When this comes full circle, society will transition into a well-rounded entity that cares for all regardless of gender. Above all, we, as women, need to continue to support each other for our rights, educate and motivate each other to pursue the passion of choice, and fulfill our individual and collective dreams. One half of the human world, women, lend balance to society and we must do everything possible in our might to #BreakTheBias. In short, as women, all we wish and expect is a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.