IMPACT: International Journal of Research in
Humanities, Arts and Literature (IMPACT: IJRHAL)
ISSN(E): 2321-8878; ISSN(P): 2347-4564
Vol. 2, Issue 3, Mar 2014, 7-12
' Impact Journals
A REFLECTION OF WOMEN IN THE 21ST CENTURY IN WORKING SECTOR
Research Scholar, CJMC - Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India
Women are the new paradigms of today’s culture beginning from home to working sector. Women work in
three criteria. Women are taking active participation in management, local governance and political fields. Women trend in
working sector has changed with globalization. Women are involved in SNA activities. A survey has also been conducted
about the nature of women work behaviour. A significant part of women are unpaid because they are socially
unrecognised. Women work is rendered invisible because of social perceptions. Women are the resource of our country in
every field. Women have shifted traditional assumptions about their roles and capabilities. Women have basic rights about
decision making. There are facts and figures about women participating in different roles. In this era women have made
comprehensive steps in educational attainment and workforce participation. Women participation in work is one of the
proxy indicators of women in overall status in society and gender empowerment. Women are managing complex interfaces
between domestic and work culture. This is the very power of women in this 21 century.
KEYWORDS: SNA Activities, NSSO Survey, Mercer Survey, Gender Segregation
Women’s empowerment is not a new word in today’s gender literature. Women are becoming more and more self
dependent by accessing to all opportunities which women were denied in the past. Women have possessed the power to
utilise power in every field. The role of women is rooted into eternity. A woman goes under many transitions. It takes time
for women to unfold her into self established person. There are two types of struggling women in the community.
One who has highly established and the other in a struggling society to confine herself into proper designation.
Gone are the days when men overruled women in each sphere and gone are the days when women were denied of freedom
and opportunities. Now women are setting up enterprises and taking up income generated activities maintaining family.
The role of Indian women has ranged from that of a deity from pure to vulgar from being supreme to
downtrodden and also innumerable manifestations of virtue or vice. Indian women have undergone drastic change.
Now this change is due to increase in globalization, impact of technology, impact of media and other cultures, impact of
social, economic and political cross currents of the world, and unforeseen and unanticipated events across the world.
The social cultural context of women growing up remained the same for thousands of years, political ideology and
governance of a nation emerged from the 1940s in India, industrialization took roots and mass education for both women
and men. Women has to play multiple roles sometimes role of wife or mother or role of parents or daughter and
simultaneously in the social setting to play different roles in community and doing this she has to submerge her own
self role and real identity. This is the century of telecom, IT and financial institutions. Women expertise in all the industries
is beginning to emerge and women are emerging as a force to reckon it. The transition will be where women will create
new paradigms. (Parikh, 2005)
Impact Factor(JCC): 1.1783 - This article can be downloaded from www.impactjournals.us 8 Debjani Roy
Conceptual Framework of Women Empowerment
One has to view that empowerment is taking place on different levels and change is very necessary at all levels.
We can relate it on basis of three criteria – on individual, group and societal/ community level and interaction between
them. Individual means the perception of oneself to control herself and identify goal and work till it is reached.
Group deals with collective action and sense of agency that woman experience in a group. Society level deals with political
and social climate its norms and public discourse on what is possible and impossible for women. The three levels are
interconnected and mutually reinforcing.
Globalization has presented new challenges for the realization of the goal of women’s equality, the gender impact
of which has not been systematically evaluated fully. From micro-level there is need for reframing policies for access to
employment and quality of employment. Benefits of growing global economy have been unevenly distributed leading to
wider economic disparities, the feminization of poverty, increased gender inequality through deteriorating working
conditions and unsafe working environment especially in the informal economy and rural areas. Strategies will be designed
to enhance the capacity of women and empower them to meet the negative social and economic impacts which may flow
from the globalization process.
Facts and Figures of Women Employees
A new Mercer survey on women’s leadership development shows about 15% of the respondents were from
Indian organizations, companies must adopt a philosophy encouraging talented women to lead from front.
73% companies don’t have a strategy for developing women in leadership roles.
42% companies do not offer activities targeted to the needs of women leaders.
23% companies offer some activities or programs for women.
9% companies are planning to add programmes and activities in the future.
20% companies are very concerned about retaining women in leadership roles.
20% companies want to have work – life programmes to attract and retain female talent.
81% companies want to help women develop the full range of skills for senior leadership roles.
Many respondents believe that women have the right stuff to be leaders. The public rates women superior to men
according to the survey conducted. 6% of respondents in this survey of 2,250 adults say that women make better leaders
than men. 69% says men and women make equally good leaders. In this era women have made comprehensive steps in
educational attainment and workforce participation. Only few have made to the higher level of political or corporate
leadership. Respondents also said those women’s family responsibilities and their shortage of experience holds them back
from upper level. What respondents did not state is that women lack what it takes to be leaders. Respondents rate women
better than or equal to men.
Half of the respondents said that women are more honest than men and honesty according to respondents is the
most important to leadership of any of the traits measured in the survey. The next important leadership trait in public view
is intelligence where 38% said women are smarter than men while 14% said men are smarter. (DR Nirzar Kulkarni, 2011)
Index Copernicus Value: 3.0 - Articles can be sent to [email protected]
A Reflection of Women in the 21st Century in Working Sector 9
Women in Management
In the words of Kristof and WuDunn (2009): The world is awakening to a powerful truth: women and girls aren’t
the problem, they’re the solution.
Women have increased their participation rates in managerial and professional jobs but they are paid less even
working on the same position compared to men in the levels of management. This is often called gender segregation.
However, it should be noted that there is crisis of statistics and research on certain minority groups with female
management population in 20 countries. There were an increasing proportion of women entrepreneurs and small business
owners in almost all countries but the growth is slow like in Argentina and in most countries these proportions were low
like in Israel and Turkey. (Burke)
Women are the most underutilized natural resource in the world.
In India, UN Women has helped more than 65,000 elected women representatives in village councils in five states
acquire skills and confidence to advocate their priorities. Where women once felt intimated as the men talked they now
speak up. They ask for new services such as systems to ease the burdens of water collection and improve sanitation and
mobilize efforts to prevent child marriage and stop alcohol abuse. (UN Women, 2012-2013)
Women’s Participation in India
There has not been much research on female labour force participation in India but its participation is low
compared to other countries. In 1998 India’s Central Statistical Organization conducted a time use survey in six states for
which household duties were classified as “extended-SNA” activities. The survey showed that urban women spent about
nine hours per week on SNA activities. Analyzing women’s participation decision at the individual level based on a sample
of urban women aged 20 to 59 excluding women who are enrolled in education or unable to work due to disability and
women who are head of their household. Self- employed women are dropped from the sample due to the non-availability
of self-employment earnings data. It is assumed that women’s participation decision is made conditional on men’s so we
do not consider joint utility maximization or bargaining within household. (Pieters, 2012)
There were some tangible signs of progress though uneven and indications of stalling and back-sliding.
More women are now in the workforce. More women are getting the necessary education and experience to equip them for
success in the workforce. The work and life experiences of women in several countries in the developing world indicated
many distressing features. Women worldwide still lack basic rights such as education, freedom from violence,
opportunities to pursue what many of us see as taken for granted options and justice in the workplace and in their societies.
Recent Trends in Patterns of Women’s Work
It is true that compared too many other countries there has been relative stability of aggregate female work
participation rates in India which have remained quite low over time. But there are wide variations and differing trends
across states and rural and urban areas as well as changes in the pattern of work. Meanwhile in rural India self-employment
Impact Factor(JCC): 1.1783 - This article can be downloaded from www.impactjournals.us 10 Debjani Roy
has come to dominate women’s activities even in non-agri