Monday, June 5, 2023

Getting women involved in India’s growth process

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The International Labour Organization says that 95 percent of the women who work in India do so in the informal sector and only 5 percent work in the formal sector. We Indians need to get better at what we do. Women who work in the informal sector don’t have access to a lot of basic things that their counterparts in the formal sector do. Care for mothers, safe places to work, care for children, etc. 

Even women who work in the formal sector don’t have it all. They, too, have to deal with serious problems that hurt the national interest, such as the gender gap, pay gap, lack of maternity care, sexual harassment at work, bias, etc. Formal or not, we need to make a better standard for women to work by. Having said that, I want to draw your attention to the alarming number of women who work in the informal sector. THAT needs to get better first, and at a good speed.

Even though job opportunities for both men and women need to be improved overall, it is important to match the problems with the resources that are available. Technology is one of these tools. The power of technology is the key to solving yet another important problem.

In the past 10 years, people have seen how the internet and cell phones can make lives better by giving people more opportunities and choices. Technology-led or technology-based solutions make lives more meaningful in many ways, such as by giving people access to inspiring products and services, making it easier to get a job and be productive, giving people more freedom, and making it possible for institutions to respond to the needs of their citizens.

The Next Half Billion (NHB) is made up of the bottom 60% of India’s income distribution, which has been underserved and left out in the past. Half of this NHB is made up of women, and they have more problems than men do. If they want to be a full part of India’s growth, it is important to pay attention to their individual needs and goals.

Technology Can Be Used in Two Ways

There are two ways that women use technology in today’s world. As tech users, Indian women can now take advantage of more opportunities. At the same time that people are building tech solutions, there is a rise in women entrepreneurs who are making a difference in the lives of millions of people.

As tech users, women from the NHB have taken advantage of the opportunities that the internet has made possible. There are content and story platforms where most of the 20 million users per month are women. It publishes self-published books in 12 regional languages and gives women from all walks of life a unique place to read and write vernacular content. Most of the sellers and buyers at the recently popular Meesho are women. It has almost nine million women entrepreneurs using its platform, and it helps as many of them as possible take steps towards becoming more financially independent.

While tech is changing the lives of micro and small business owners who are women, the gig economy is a good idea for jobs like nurses, midwives, etc. There aren’t many jobs in these areas, and during the pandemic, there were almost none. With the help of technology, women may be able to move from the informal sector to a more formal one.

Women Entrepreneurs

There are more women starting tech businesses in the U.S. than ever before. As India changes, its entrepreneurs are also starting to look different. No longer is the typical tech entrepreneur a man from an upper-middle-class background who speaks English and went to top schools. Innovators of today are great examples of India’s diversity and hard work. Most of the people in this group are women, and these new female tech entrepreneurs are brave, sure of themselves, and making solutions for the many, not just the few.

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