The theme of ‘International Women’s Day 2022’ is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” This can be attained only when the challenges faced by women in today’s society are solved – one of them being financially independent.
According to Catalyst, women’s access to higher education in India is the same as men’s, 27%. However, the labor statistics are much different from the higher education statistics. Catalyst is an international non-governmental organization that works to represent women’s interests in the workplace.
Unfortunately, 68% of women graduates in India today are not in the workforce.
According to World Bank estimates:
India has one of the lowest female labor force participation rates globally. Less than a third of women – defined in the report as 15 or older – are working or actively looking for a job.
The female labor participation rate in India had fallen to 20.3% in 2019 from more than 26% in 2005, compared with 30.5% in neighboring Bangladesh and 33.7% in Sri Lanka.
The start-up ecosystem doesn’t fare much better –
Women represent only 14% of entrepreneurs in India, mostly unfunded
- Women found only 5 out of the 136 unicorns in India
- Female founders raised just 2% of VC money in 2021
- ‘Out of the 10,000 angel investors in India, only 1% are women
The two most crucial and critical challenges that must be paid urgent attention are:
Gender pay gap: The gender pay gap is a measure of the gap in the overall earnings of men and women. It is calculated by considering several parameters applied to the total number of employed members of both genders. As per the Global Gender Gap Report 2021 published by the World Economic Forum, India is ranked at 140 out of 156 countries with a score of 0.625.
Gender roles: Even today, females are continually forced upon false narratives about the gender-divide roles that prevailed in society for decades. They are made to convince that they belong to the traditional roles of child-bearer and should focus on household chores. Pregnant ladies and working mothers are constantly judged and paid less than their counterparts.
With the evolution of technology and digitalization, women have access to the jobs available in the market. There are several women-specific job and skill development portals.
Here is the list of various online platforms that provide women with multiple resources – from online training for upgrading their skills to information on multiple jobs options such as work from home, part-time jobs, full-time jobs, flexible jobs, etc.
It is an online platform for women who want to return after motherhood and rebound back into their careers. Qween helps women reach out to corporate and small businesses. It provides women with training and development opportunities, making a crowdsourcing network available for long-term and short-term projects.
Another online platform for talented women that facilitate selling handmade delicacies, accessories, handcrafted products, and much more. Women through this platform display their skills and creativity and create their own identity by becoming an entrepreneur.
An online job portal offers jobs for people from diverse backgrounds – working to non-working professionals, fresh graduates to retired professionals, and homemakers and mothers. The main aim of this platform is to empower every woman who wants to work and become financially independent.
The job opportunities include work from home, flexible jobs that women can do at their convenience, and full-time jobs for women who want to re-enter the job market after a gap. This platform also helps these women by providing them online training in various fields such as digital marketing, English speaking, entrepreneurship, and many more from the comfort of their homes.
A Mumbai-based NGO working diligently at grassroots levels provides women with essential education and resources to recognize their full potential. empowHER India focuses on making an equitable society where men and women could be equal.
Her Second Innings is an online employment platform that aims to help women become “financially independent, emotionally strong and socially empowered”.
This platform was launched in 2014 by Manjula Dharmalingam, which aims to help women from every socio-economic background. This platform offers various options available for women, such as work from home, temporary and permanent assignments, and different kinds of consultancy assignments with vast scope opportunities for women. This platform work “on collaboration with women professionals” based on a “TRIAD OF TRUST.”