What does it mean to be a woman?
To be a woman means personifying the great feminine essence – being a creator of life.
Unfortunately, with various different interpretations of womanhood, society tends to categorise women; she is traditional, modern, feminist, liberal, conservative, etc. The list goes on and on.
Women are taking plunge in diverse fields nowadays more than ever. They possess the core skills and competencies to enter any domain and successfully own it. You see a lot of women entering fields that were hitherto relegated only to men, such as construction, engineering, sports, politics, entrepreneurship, web platforms, etc. Women are definitely breaking the glass ceiling in every field.
The workplace is unequal, but gender equality is the best it has ever been. Will millennial women leading the charge, one can never predict what another 30 years will bring.
Women cinematographers are a growing tribe in the film industry. Indian Women Cinematographers’ Collective (IWCC) a collective, comprising of Indian women cinematographers have come together to showcase, encourage, celebrate and support their work and vision. This is done in a bid to inspire, encourage and mentor upcoming women cinematographers and support each other. Started as an initiative by senior cinematographer Fowzia Fathima, to create a network of women cinematographers, the collective has evolved into a group of 60 members and continues to add new members every day.
“In the corporate world, it is a fact that women do not get paid equally as men do. This is not only in the Indian context but it is a global issue. In our society, women tend to be perceived as homemaker at first then pursuing a successful career as second priority. Women also seem to accept the fact that they could not demand equal salary as compare to their male colleagues because they have to balance their time between home and office. Personally, I felt that if you are able to work and simultaneously managing the household matter and spending quality time with our children are more precious than fighting for the equal pay. In my last 18 years of career life working in different countries like USA, Singapore, Malaysia and India, I have always been paid as good as my male colleagues, for that, I have to work more harder than the men and doing multitasking and dedicating more than to the office,” said Sylvia Hii, Founder & VP, Digital A Plus Group of Companies.
Women in India earn 25% less than men, proving that gender continues to be a significant parameter in determining salaries in India, according to the Monster Salary Index (MSI) on gender for 2016. While men earned a median gross hourly salary of 345.8 INR, women earned 259.8 INRin 2016. The gap has narrowed by two percentage points from 27.2% in 2015 and is closer to the 24.1% in 2014. About 68.5% women at Indian workplaces also feel that gender parity is still a concern that needs to be addressed.
Coming home, Savita Chauhan a Sarpach at Bas Hariya Village in Manesar expressed keenness to provide safe drinking water at affordable rates. With the help of Maruti Suzuki, a water ATM was set up after the village panchayat sanctioned the land and water connection. Next in the pipeline are initiatives related to healthcare, higher education and employment generation. Savita is confident of working with the government, private sector, community based organisations and volunteers to find locally sustainable solutions.
For a village that is in the heartland of Haryana, where the sex ratio is perhaps the worst and where khap panchayats are notorious for being anti-women, Bas Hariya has shown respect and faith in their leader, who happens to be a woman. The village is already a recipient of the government’s Nirmal gram award. Savita has now set her sight on winning the Adarsh gram award.
The time has come to change societal attitude towards women and practice gender equity. The theme of International Women’s Day as declared by United Nations, this year focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.” Here, the media needs to play a central role. The manner in which women are portrayed in the media influences our mindsets and attitudes.
There is an endless debate whether times are good or bad for women; will never cease to exist. Whatever is the truth, no one deny that it’s one of the most interesting yet challenging times to be a woman in today’s world. Combining style with substance, today’s woman dares to dream big and take steps to achieve it.