I see six major ways to bridge the gender gap and the efforts of the Indian Government in these areas:
1) Financial incentives and support- India stands to benefit more from women’s economic inclusion than any other nation in the world, and its government recognizes this potential. Financial mechanisms such as cash transfers targeting girls can help to incentivize behavioral changes within families and communities.
Recently, the Indian government has introduced economic reforms that explicitly take gender into account, from how women allocate their time to how they access markets and financial assets. India has also led the way with savings and credit association groups, known as self-help groups (SHGs), which manage and lend accumulated savings to their members. SHGs exist across the country and consist of groups of women lending to one another.
With more than eight million groups across India, the government is now using SHGs as a delivery channel for government services aimed at women. These efforts could be bolstered by initiatives to help women transition from working in the informal economy to leading small- and medium-sized businesses, which have been shown to fuel economic growth.
2) Technology and infrastructure- Investment in physical infrastructure, such as providing sanitation facilities for girls in schools, can reduce the gender gap in education.
Interestingly, education has a direct impact on marriages. The ‘law of unintended consequences’ is at work when the girl is educated, because it simply means less dowry! Urbanization, in many ways, can act as a great equalizer. Proximity to urbanized localities gives girls the opportunity to go to neighborhood centers of learning and when the girl is educated, it translates because in less dowry. Women in business statement.
India’s IT and business-process outsourcing firms are going a step further ahead by providing safe transport for women employees using vehicles with tracking devices. While there has been increased movement towards urban cities, 66% of Indian population still lives in villages. Infrastructure development in villages can leading to diversified income options for most Indian female population living in villages.
3) Creation of economic opportunity- National analyses value women’s contributions to the country’s GDP at only 17 percent and is concentrated in the informal sector. This concentration is not driven by legal barriers, as India has relatively few laws that impede women’s economic participation and Indian women have equal rights to obtain jobs, sign contracts, and open bank accounts.
Instead, cultural barriers and occupational segregation play important roles in limiting women’s economic potential, as women in India tend to be grouped into industries and occupations that have not seen employment or wage growth in recent years. Women’s work should be better counted, and women should also be given more opportunities to contribute to the formal economy.
In job opportunities, special provisions for gender diversity in state and federal jobs can help in this regard. Support for women entrepreneurs in developed nations has been found to be significantly helpful to increase opportunities for women. Opening up avenues for women to engage in productive work and entrepreneurship, and lowering barriers to their moving into positions of responsibility and leadership are areas where the private sector can play a particularly effective role.
4) Capacity Building- Ensuring that girls and women receive education and training can make important contributions to tackling gender inequality.Action to ensure that education systems help to deliver capabilities among girls and women include doing more to equip girls with high-quality education, including in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), ensuring that girls have access to a broad range of life skills and vocational training and that women obtain education on maternal and reproductive health and even financial and digital literacy.
5) Advocacy and shaping attitudes- Attitudes and social norms have a heavy influence on gender equality issues, and these cannot easily be budged. But acting on this front is a priority through, for instance, programs to engage individuals and communities in dialogues; the promotion of role models, support, and peer groups for women; and national awareness efforts using compelling mass and social media campaigns.
Companies can pay increased attention to addressing unconscious biases in both men and women employees, particularly in hiring, retention, and promotion practices in the workforce, and create a supportive corporate culture. Insights into such biases can then be used to have an impact on broader social attitudes through companies’ public relations, marketing, and corporate social responsibility efforts.
One example of such an approach is Procter & Gamble’s SharetheLoad television campaign in India, which seeks to draw attention to the societal belief that laundry is exclusively a woman’s job . Governments and civil societies should support community education programs, centers for community development and social activities that empower women and help to bridge the gender gap.
While the lack of childcare is already a barrier to women pursuing careers, the lack of eldercare has the potential to blow up careers just as women reach the peak of their potential Laws, policies, and regulations- India needs more policies that support women workers and promote investment in services and skills training for informal laborers that would add value to their activities. Women cite persistent cultural barriers and stigma about women’s work as barriers to economic participation.
Government could also take train women, including those presently working in the informal economy, for industries and occupations that are experiencing growth. Private sector companies and nongovernmental organizations, such as Walmart and the IKEA Foundation, attempt to fill many of these gaps for their employees by providing women with skills training and access to savings and credit, health care, and childcare, among other services.
Yet the reach of such programs is limited. Human rights education, know how to take control of their circumstance, help to achieve their own goals, helping themselves, enhancing their quality of life and motivating for lobbying or advocacy can help enable their advancement.
Collaborators such as NGO, NPOs, policy makers, local leaders, health care providers, teachers and family members should help in the social advancement of women. Diversity is important in all parts of the world. As technology changes our world and drives the need for innovation, the participation of women in all aspects of corporate, government and civil society life is more important than ever. As we tackle huge challenges affecting all our lives, we need a continuous process of disagreement, reconciliation and consolidation to get better ideas and solutions.
Closing the global gender gap could give the Indian economy a substantial boost— according to this research, adding potentially 60% in 5 years the growth in gross GDP through contributions by women in the next decade. However, unless gender equality in society is addressed, those large economic benefits are unlikely to be realized. The first challenge is to understand the gender inequality landscape in sufficient detail to be able to prioritize action.
The next is to use that knowledge to engineer change. There is a wealth of untapped talent and brainpower among women in India. The more this can be unleashed, the better for their communities, countries and the world.