March 8 marks the return of International Women’s Day, and with it, a global focus on the celebration and equality of women. A day that celebrates women, highlights their achievements and pushes for gender equity and equality. This year’s theme is #EachforEqual, which focuses on a gender-equal and empowered world. It is a day when you don’t just find women coming together to celebrate, but it’s a day when everyone comes together to encourage men and governments to pay heed to initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion and to make an equal space for everyone, regardless of gender.
Women are known to contribute significantly to economics in the form of business, entrepreneurial work, or unpaid labor. There has been an increase in the adoption of pro-women initiatives by corporates, public bodies, social inclusions, and this change is just setting in and the journey has just begun.
The life of a modern woman, whether she is working or single, a mother or a wife or a daughter, is multi-faceted. There are several other responsibilities that women take on, which are often overlooked and not accounted for, like managing her work life, household chores, maintaining the house, grocery shopping taking care of the children and family, cooking dinner etc. Women deserve to be empowered and deserve an equal footing because they certainly aren’t the weaker sex. Empowerment begins with small yet meaningful steps that bring about a positive change.
Ms. Anjali Malhotra, Chief Customer, Marketing, Digital & IT Officer, Aviva India suggests some easy ways to help empower women all around.
- Boost self esteem
Empowerment comes from within and you must acknowledge that you are empowered in life to maintain healthy self-esteem. The first crucial step to take as a woman is to build self-esteem by boosting your self-confidence, knowing your worth and taking care of and respecting yourself. Developing healthy self-esteem also encompasses recognizing how powerful your internal voice is and learning to rewire your brain by developing more effective thinking patterns. It’s about developing trust in yourself and learning skills to become more assertive.
- Invest in Education
Education is one of the most important means of empowering yourself and other women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process. Education empowers women to make choices that can improve their welfare, health, education of their children and leads to substantiable families. Also, education can increase women’s awareness of their rights, boost their self-esteem, and provide them the opportunity to assert their rights.
- Financial Planning
In today’s fast-paced world, it important for women to proactively take steps towards financial planning for a secured future. Women work fewer years than men, and therefore have a fewer saving / investment years. Being insured and investing is crucial for them to feel respected, valued and secure. Solid planning by the woman of the house of her own finances will make the family’s financial plan stronger to meet important life goals like buying a dream home, planning for the higher education of children etc. Financial planning is also critical for women to meet their own personal and professional aspirations, without depending on anyone. Life insurance is the first fundamental block of good financial planning. A term insurance plan is extremely affordable yet provides comprehensive security to the insured. They should also consider investing in child insurance, health insurance plans, mutual funds etc. for an insured future.
- Stay Healthy and fit
For women to lead an empowered life, addressing needs such as women’s health, hygiene and well being is an important aspect. Poor health & hygiene of women is directly linked with a majority of issues such as school dropouts, gender inequality, lower participation in nation building, higher graph of health risks and many more. Thus it is essential to concentrate on having a balanced diet and regular workouts and exercises, leading to a healthy lifestyle.
- Know your rights
Several crimes go unnoticed and unreported because women are not aware of their rights. To fight against the increasing number of crimes, it is imperative to be thorough with your legal rights. The Indian Constitution provides several rights to women like Maternity Benefits Act, The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence, The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act etc. As a parent, wife, daughter, employee and a woman, these are rights set in place to protect you and it is important for you to know your rights.
While one day will be not enough to truly champion the cause of women, Women’s Day is just a reminder that we can all begin somewhere to empower women. As we celebrate this International Women’s Day with the theme #EachforEqual, women must be given equal opportunities in every field, irrespective of gender.