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Once upon a time, in a world where gender equality was still a distant dream, there existed a day dedicated to celebrating women’s strength, resilience, and brilliance everywhere. It was International Women’s Day when the world came together to honor the incredible contributions of women who inspire, empower, and make a difference daily.

As the sun rose on this special day, people from all walks of life gathered to recognize women’s invaluable role in shaping our societies and driving progress. From leaders in politics and business to everyday heroes in our communities, women were celebrated for their unwavering commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable world.

According to a Deloitte report, women in India held 18.3% of board seats in 2023, up from 13.8% in 2018 and 17.1% in 2021. However, this figure remains lower than the global average of 23.3%. The report also highlights a gradual global increase, aiming for gender parity by 2038, seven years earlier than previously projected.

M Square Media MSM Unify surveyed 1,256+ students and 250+ education consultants to understand women’s education trends in India. Results showed that 71% of women surveyed were exploring study-abroad opportunities, with 41% citing career enhancement as a top motivator. Financial concerns hindered some from pursuing their goals.

In India, where the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation thrives, numerous initiatives aim to empower women to fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams. One such initiative is Startup India, a government program designed to support and nurture budding entrepreneurs across the country.

Under Startup India, there existed a platform known as the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), a beacon of hope for aspiring women entrepreneurs. WEP provides a plethora of resources and services tailored specifically to the needs of women, including networking opportunities, funding assistance, mentorship programs, and marketing support. It was a place where women could unite, share their ideas, and embark on their entrepreneurial journey confidently and determinedly.

But WEP was just one piece of the puzzle. Other schemes and programs aimed at empowering women in different sectors and industries also existed. The Mahila Coir Yojana, Training and Employment Programme, Women Scientists Scheme, And Mudra Yojana for Women.

But despite these commendable efforts, the road to gender equality was fraught with challenges and obstacles. A global report launched by UN Women and UNDP revealed that no country had achieved full gender parity, with women still facing barriers to their full potential.

In the workplace, women continued to grapple with issues of gender inequality, pay disparity, and work-life balance. The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently ranked India at 135 out of 146 countries in its Global Gender Gap (GGG) Index for 2022. According to the World Inequality Report 2022 estimates, men earn 82 percent of the labor income in India, whereas women earn 18 percent.

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Last year, in a study by HelpAge India, it was highlighted that of the 7,911 elderly female respondents between 60 and 89 years from across the country, nearly 16% (1,276) said that they had faced some kind of abuse ranging from physical to emotional, with 40% (510) citing the son to be the primary perpetrator.

However, amidst these challenges, there were stories of resilience and determination. Elderly women who had faced abuse and discrimination throughout their lives were finding their voices and demanding their rights. Organizations like the Agewell Foundation were working tirelessly to raise awareness about the plight of elderly women and provide them with the support they needed to live with dignity and respect.

The report showed that women’s participation in the workforce grew to 37% in the 2022-23 financial year, representing a 13.7 percentage point increase in 2023 compared to 23.3% in 2018. In India, around 25.6 crore women are employed out of a total female population of over 69.2 crore.


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