India to attain growth trajectory of double digit growth require an important role to played by its women. There is a lot of work that needs to be be done in this direction. Also, there are some important developments that had been made in the month of March 2017 that also had 8th of March as the International women day with the theme this year- #beboldforchange.
To begin with, most of us know that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has mandated as per second proviso to sub-section (1) of section 149 of the Companies Act, 2013 that prescribes specific class of companies to have at least one women director. As per Rule 3 of Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules 2014, every listed company and every other public company having paid up share capital of Rs.100 crore or more or having turnover of Rs.300 crore or more is required to appoint at least one woman director.
Here, Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Minister of Women & Child Development informed the upper house recently that out of a total of 7849 listed companies, 5807 companies have appointed women Directors as on 28.03.2016. Another important update that make women in India more confident is the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 passed in the Parliament that seeks to increase maternity leave available to working women from the current 12 weeks to 26 weeks for the first two children.
More importantly the first citizen of India the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of International Women’s Day lead by example and awarded 33 women the national award, the Nari Shakti Puruskar. “The discourse in our country on women’s empowerment started even before India became a Republic. Our Constitution and the Directive Principles enshrined therein have given our Governments clear guidelines for policy and planning. Our successes have helped our society to evolve in its unique way. Women are no longer seen as mere recipients of welfare benefits but are recognized as holders of equal rights, equal partners and agents of change in the social, economic, cultural and political processes of the country,” President of India said in special address.
“In the political arena, women have made great strides, contributing effectively to lowering of social and economic inequities and selflessly working for the goals of development and nation building. In the realm of local self governance, more than a million women in rural India – far beyond the stipulated 33%, have efficiently taken up positions of authority and are discharging their responsibilities efficiently and with commendable outcomes. In challenging domains like the defence services, police and security forces, in sports, academics, space research and innovation, in taking up the cause of the vulnerable and the exploited, in community outreach and mass healthcare initiatives, women are indispensable for good team work and success. It is often not easy – we must admit that they are frequently subjected to unfounded biases and discrimination. Yet, the fact that they are able to overcome these and inspire esteem and respect is commendable indeed,” he added.
Likewise, the Prime Minister of India on the international women day met up with women playing active role in Panchayati Raj system. In fact, even in his popular radio programme Modi added “महिला, वो शक्ति है, सशक्त है, वो भारत की नारी है, न ज़्यादा में, न कम में, वो सब में बराबर की अधिकारी है I”Textiles Minister announced Kamaladevi Chattopadhya National Awards, specially for women weavers and women artisans and launched a special campaign to provide MUDRA Loans to women handloom weavers all across the country.
The NITI Aayog presented the 2nd edition of Women Transforming India – celebrating women who are breaking the glass ceiling on this occasion. Minister for Information & Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu urged DD and AIR should help women find their wings by informing them of their rights.
Here, Jyoti Mayal, Founder, RedHat Communications, Socialite, Council Member-TAAI, CII, PHD believes that the real women of substance, those who have made dreams turn into reality, have come of a age. “The modern women of substance is driven by aspirations. The women today are equipped to play important role in the society. Its important to make every women live her dream and make it big!,” Jyoti said at the inaugural session of The Sikh Chamber of Commerce T.S.C.C.’s maiden women’s conclave, “The W.O.W. Conclave” at Le Meridien, New Delhi on the international women day. The said inaugural session was graced by presence of Inni Kaur, Author, Artist, CEO, SIkhri; Jasmine Kalra, Co-Founder, ICREON among other dignitaries.
The key is the attitude and an apt illustration is asking Jyoti if at some point in time she would like to lead the 3000-odd members travel trade association-TAAI? She is firm and polite in explaining that its not the title of the post but the spirit of doing the job that matters. “At any point if need be, or my members repose that responsibility on me, I’ll not shy away! As of now am content and determined to bring a substantive change in the life of the travel agents through our association and with my team,” said Jyoti. She also advises young girls to dream and become women of substance and never in life give up!
The event also made entrepreneur-woman share the nuances of business and had presence of Supriya Paul, Founder, Josh Talks; Kanika Tekriwal, Founder Jet Set Go; Pooja Bhayana, Co-Founder, Lets Barter India; Puneet Sikha, Artist cum founder, Arteree and Harvinder Kaur, Owner, GIE Education Consultants.
Another meaningful session in the course of W.O.W conclave dealt on the sheer perseverance women have within to pursue its dreams. This sessions had Suparna Sarkar and engineer turned full time super biker; Suman Manuja, Behavioural Coach and Suman Sharma, Defence & Aerospace Journalist, who had flown fighter jets and lived in glaciers.
Good Health was one of the top priority of these women of substance at the W.O.W. conclave, who unanimously agree that women in quest of her dreams and managing the work-life balance and otherwise need to be fit in true holistic manner. They also agree that parenting requires parents to lead from the front and deliver on the values they will like to sow in their kids!