This International Women’s Day, I was invited by an Organization to address its employees (WOMEN only) to empower them. A number of issues cropped up and I reach out to my esteemed readers for their views/ comments on the subject. I believe, discussing them, in a way, keeps us in ‘awareness’ and consciously we don’t do things which go to perpetrate these issues/ atrocities against women.
The United Nations in its Women’s Empowerment Principles seek to point the way to best practice by elaborating the gender dimension of corporate responsibility. It acts an a useful guide for business, the Principles seek to inform other stakeholders, including governments, in their engagement with business.
- Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.
- Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work- respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination.
- Principle 3: Ensure the health, safety and well being of all women and men workers.
- Principle 4: Promote education, training and professional development for women.
- Principle 5: Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.
- Principle 6: Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
- Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.
I suppose these Principles are very good at the Policy makers level, if and when implemented. At least they give them a direction. But at the grass roots, I would like to elaborate Women Empowerment as to increase and improve the social, economic, political and legal strength of the women, to ensure equal-right to women, and to make them confident enough to claim their rights, such as:
- Freely live their life with a sense of self-worth, respect and dignity.
- Have complete control of their life, both within and outside of their home and workplace.
- To make their own choices and decisions.
- Have equal rights to participate in social, religious and public activities.
- Have equal social status in the society.
- Have equal rights for social and economic justice.
- Determine financial and economic choices.
- Get equal opportunity for education.
- Get equal employment opportunity without any gender bias.
- Get safe and comfortable working environment.
I strongly believe Women have the right to get their voices heard. I, at times wonder, is this asking for too much? A level playing field, which is fair, just and treats all humans as equals without any bias irrespective of gender.
I’ve acquired certain skill sets during my 25 years in the Uniform. I share these survival skills with women under my WOSAF (WOmen SAFety) sessions with special focus on SITCON (SITuation CONtrol) measures. How to come out a winner from such situations? How can I, my body, my mind react when faced with adversity? How can I use my daily things/ items to protect me? Where do I strike to have maximum impact? and all such queries. Now my question is, Women Safety is centrally about MEN, and conveniently, they are out of the discussion. They are not part of the conversation. Any women safety issue and men excuse themselves. Not only as perpetrators of the crime, even to defend the honour of your mother/sister/wife/daughter/GF, you need to know the basics of WOSAF.
How would you like to initiate a social change in order to see your daughter walk with her head held high, safe, across our Country? There are much talk happening, addressing these issues. Let each one of us, contribute in our small little way to make it a safer world for our Mothers/ Sisters/Wives/Daughters.
p.s. Mind you, I avoid the usage of Self Defence. The moment you use the word ‘Defence’, you go into a shell, a defensive mind set. 25 years has ingrained in me: Offence is the ONLY defence.