Why women need to be empowered? Because women continue to face discrimination on many fronts be it education, workplace or for that matter even being born as a girl. Nita Ambani who is India’s first lady of Indian Business was seen expressing her deep thoughts about women empowerment at Women in the World summit. She was talking about a girl’s situation in India, what challenges women face in India and how she along with her Reliance Foundation, a CSR arm of Reliance Industries is trying to bring change in a man’s world. Millions of women do not have access to basic things like healthcare, water, sanitation and education. Reliance Foundation is providing all these basic things such as healthcare and education along with rural transformation, disaster relief and urban renewal to all the underprivileged people of our society.
On Birth and Education:
As said earlier discrimination against women start even before they are born 700,000 girls are killed inside the womb. About 1 million children below the age of 5 are lost each year, out of which 300,000 die on first day of their birth from which majority are girls. Girls are neglected when unwell and are not given priority for medical treatment in the family as compared to boys, which leads to high infant mortality. Large number of girls’ dropout of the school at puberty, one of the main reasons being lack of toilet facilities for them. Nearly 45% of women get married before the age of 18 in India. Nita Ambani led Reliance Foundation has a scholarship programme named Dhirubhai Ambani Scholarship Programme which grants scholarships in various states across India. They also sponsor the Drishti programme that provides newspapers in Braille for the blind – the Reliance Drishti is India’s first registered Braille newspaper in Hindi.
On Workplace Discrimination:
Nita Ambani continued by saying that in about a decade, India will have the largest number of women in any country in the world. If the number of women who join the workforce in India were to increase to the level of men, it is estimated that India’s GDP would grow by 27 per cent. According to McKinsey, increased women participation in the workforce can add seven hundred billion dollars ($700 billion) to India’s GDP by 2025. Even if some women get the above mentioned things then they are deployed from getting employment but above all of these women don’t have the power to make their own choices. The Indian Census reports that only 25 per cent of Indian women work.
Nita Ambani’s Vision for Women in India:
Nita Ambani has vision for women; she feels that there should be a world which has equal opportunities for both genders. There should be a world where women can make their own choices. The next decade will and must belong to Indian women. But women will also play a decisive role not only in strengthening family units in India but also its welfare and development. This will change how the world perceives Indian women, Indian industry and India itself. India needs women who play an integral role in the transformation of India, who inspire other women who defy tremendous odds, who overcome poverty in their families and lead positive changes in their communities. She has always motivated her daughter Isha Ambani, who is equally involved in Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail. She concluded her speech by giving examples of leading women leaders of India such as Jhansi ki Rani, Indira Gandhi and Mother Teresa by saying that these women has given all of us an inspiration to believe in a world full of possibilities and positivity, we can expect a world were women will get equal opportunities as men and a world which is better not just for women but for everyone.