KB 99 Women’s Self Empowerment

KNOWLEDGE

ISSUE NO 99 | OCTOBER 2016 BEANS

from previous page | TETE-E-TETE : PERSPECTIVES ONWOMEN EMPOWERMENT

6. What kind of a balancing act was required to be performed by you professionally and personally? I believe that being a woman is a gift from God as she is strongest in all terms. She can multitask, thereby achieve whatever she chooses. The chemistry, composition and the disposition of a woman make her stand out. Balancing the time was difficult for me, but fortunately, the support from family made my professional and personal life manageable. 7. Any message/tip for women to feel truly self-empowered? Today’s young generation are quite smart and determined to win. The women have become competitive and are able to fend for themselves. Still, there are many grey areas that require being focussed on. The self empowered women of today’s generation should take up empowering other women.

There were only two ladies including me who practiced criminal law. The attitude, body language of the men was quite demeaning to us.This instilled confidence and spark within me to prove that we are no less than men and can do far better than what they can do. 3. Do women really need a support system to get empowered? A support system is definitely needed for women to get empowered.The topmost is the education. Education makes one stand-up to their conviction. It gives you a platform to put forth your views confidently. Currently, we are mentoring the municipal corporation girls who are prone to child marriage. Secondly, economic empowerment is important for a woman to be independent. Thirdly, safety and security of women need to be ensured. A woman should have the zeal to go ahead. Unless the push that is required at the inception is not given, it would not help a woman further to make her own path in a male-dominated world. To achieve true self empowerment, a girl’s proper upbringing at home and in school is crucial. 4. What do you think is the true role of a woman in nation building? The nation itself defines the true role of a woman. We are almost fifty percent of the population. Very aptly expressed by our great leaders like Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Phule, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, that if the nation neglects fifty percent of the population, there is no development economically as well as socially. The GDP would not scale up and the value addition to the nation would remain stagnant. 5. Today, in many organizations, the concept of glass ceiling effect exists. This disables a woman tomuster courage and overcome the presumptions that the organization has about her. What are your thoughts on this?

Today, maximum women are stepping in the corporate world. Everyone in the organization must support and respect each other, but certainly, a man’s ego does not allow him to come to terms with a woman in the leadership position.This creates stressful scenarios, thereby forcing a woman to step back at times, avoiding unpleasant situations. This effect is predominant when the woman returns post marriage or post child delivery breaks and she is viewed as a redundant employee. OD ENTHUSIAST’S ORATE WOMEN’S SELF EMPOWERMENT Shanaaz Preena is a Director in an organization in Sri Lanka which is world’s most recognized design to delivery solution provider in the realm of apparel and textile manufacturing. She is responsible for championing Women’s Empowerment in the local, regional and global apparel industry. She is a distinguished alumni of University of Colombo, Concordia University and McGill University, Canada and the National University of Singapore. Having over thirty years of diverse experience in academia, airline and apparel sectors, Shanaaz has a proven track record in HRMD and service delivery besides many awards for her achievements.

The organization which I am associated with continues to lead the way in women’s empowerment in the apparel industry. It has eighty three thousand associates of which seventy percent are women. Since its inception in 2003, our flagship initiative“Women Go Beyond”(WGB) has grown from strength to strength seeing more women becoming economically empowered and advancing in their career, whilst fulfilling their family expectations and becoming inspirational role models through their success stories of change. WGB has expanded its network nationally and internationally, engaging employees through non work related skill development, educational and awareness programmes to increase their self confidence, self reliance and decision making capability. While supporting and providing opportunities for women to performwell, they are given tangible and intangible moral support to create a balanced family life.

This programme developed a process to encourage gender equality at all levels of the organization and promote a conducive work environment, facilitating group wide implementation of policies on harassment and discrimination. It has created opportunities for the women work force to think beyond self and job. Many women have gone on to advance themselves and nurture stronger families and contribute exceptionally to their communities. next page

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