Monthly Archives: May 2017

Social Empowerment in Women

The indicators of social empowerment of women include the base of gender inequality, sex ratios, life expectancy rates and fertility rates which shows the general status of women in terms of literacy, economic growth, availability of health care and birth control facilities, educational status of women, age at marriage, literacy rates and participation of women outside the home. Gender inequality is a worldwide phenomenon and leaving aside some Nordic nations, gender inequality base reflects very poorly for almost all major countries in the world. Sex ratio is against women in Asia and even though life expectancy has gone up around the world including in Asia it has not improved the overall status of women in much of the world. Same is the case with fertility rates which have declined in some regions including Asia but the positive impact of this change on women around the world is not as much as that was desired. Glaring gender gap exists in terms of literacy rates though it is narrowing across Asia. The figures for female literacy rates are not at all encouraging in the developing world. Now let’s focus on various issues that are closely associated with the social empowerment of women.

Social empowerment of women: Ending violence against women

Violence against women is a real fact and we need to acknowledge the real tragedy behind this crime. It totally shatters the women from the core psychologically as well as physically. It is time that community development and feminist values are made an integral aspect of empowerment of women. Women need to be educated and made aware of their rights and they should be encouraged to stand united against the biased and discriminating social environment which directly and indirectly affects their psychological and physical self. Education and awareness would be a big step towards the fight against gender based violence. Only through education and awareness we can connect with the vast majority of women living in various parts of the world and prevent them from falling pray to the numerous forms of possible violence in their life. We have to accept the fact that women are constantly under the threat of violence from various sides. The oppressive structures of the society need to be changed and oppression of women need to be stopped but it won’t happen through some quick fix solutions. The change can be only possible through social empowerment of women at the grass root level with education and awareness.

Social empowerment of women: Issues related to social empowerment of women

When we talk of social empowerment of women then we are actually addressing various issues which might be applicable to different parts of the world for improving the overall status of women. Among them the prominent issues relate to education for women, health for women, nutrition for women, drinking water and sanitation for women and their family, housing and shelter for women and their family, environment and the connection with women, participation of women in the field of science and technology, care for women under difficult circumstances, fighting the violence against women and rights of the girl child.

Social empowerment of women: Education for women

We need to accept the fact that gender inequality and discrimination has been the norm of the society and in this regard it touches all aspects of the life of women. Education and training for women is one of the major goals of social empowerment of women which need to be universally made applicable to all parts of the world. This will definitely enhance the awareness in women which in turn will increase her confidence. A confident and well aware woman would be able to tackle inequality and discrimination in a far better way than an ill-equipped and ill-trained woman. But on the other hand we have to accept the fact that women and girls never had equal access to education as men and boys have. Illiteracy is the highest among the female of the population. Women are far behind in terms of having gainful occupation or vocation because of lack of skills and education. There is an enormous gender gap in secondary and higher education. Moreover religious and caste equations have made things worse in many parts of the world. The work has to start at the grass root levels. The educational systems need to be made more accessible to women at grass root levels and they need to be revamped to include gender sensitive educational system which prevents sex stereotyping and discrimination. Social organizations can play a major role in universalizing education at the basic ground level. This can be achieved through increasing the enrollment and retention rates of girl child in the primary schools and offering quality education and skills to them so that they can stand up on their feet and live a dignified life.

Social empowerment of women: Healthcare for women

Coming to the health of women we need to understand that women are facing very difficult times at all stages of their life cycle. It is sad to note that a section of our society is highly prejudiced against the girl child and in fact can be labelled as criminals of the highest order as they practice the heinous crime of female feticide. Then we have the problem of high infant mortality and maternal mortality and one of the major reasons for this being the early child marriages. Quality health care for women is not available in many parts of the world. Women’s right to informed choice regarding her reproductive rights is another area which needs attention. Talking of reproductive rights women even don’t have affordable choice of family planning methods. Education and awareness in this regard is nonexistent and absent. Women are vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases and other endemic, infectious and communicable diseases. HIV/AIDS is another major problem. Women’s traditional knowledge of health care and nutrition, alternative systems of medicine are actually underutilised and not recognized. It is necessary to recognize these alternative systems and integrate them with the main stream health care systems to make it work in tandem. This shall help in providing reasonable and quality health care for women.

Insight into the Emerging Business of Women as Economic Power

1. Introduction

During the last two decades, Indian women have entered the field of entrepreneurship in greatly increasing numbers. With the emergence and growth of their businesses, they have contributed to the global economy and to their surrounding communities. The routes women have followed to take leadership roles in business are varied. Yet, most women business owners have overcome or worked to avoid obstacles and challenges in creating their businesses. The presence of women in the workplace driving small and entrepreneurial organizations creates a tremendous impact on employment and business environments.

Indian women business owners are changing the face of businesses of today, both literally and figuratively. The dynamic growth and expansion of women-owned businesses is one of the defining trends of the past decade, and all indications are that it will continue unabated. For more than a decade, the number of women-owned businesses have grown at one-and-a-half to two times the rate of all businesses. Even more important, the expansion in revenues and employment has far exceeded the growth in numbers.

The result of these trends is that women-owned businesses span the entire range of business life cycle and business success, whether the measuring stick is revenue, employment or longevity. This strengthens the view that all governmental programs and policies should target at strengthening women’s entrepreneurship in their native lands.

Although, many of the earlier obstacles to women’s business success have been removed, yet some still remain. This has initiated the scholars of entrepreneurship and small businesses to study the influences of and the impact on business ownership by women. The number of these research studies are growing steadily.

2. What Are The Characteristics Of Women Entrepreneurs In India?

Indian women of today have taken many strides towards business ownership. The broad classification of women business owners include women who establish, inherit, or acquire a business; women who start businesses with spouses or business partners but are either at the forefront or behind the scenes; and finally, women who start fast-growing or part-time or slow-growing firms. Although earlier researches on women entrepreneurs have suggested that significant differences existed between female and male entrepreneurs. However, more recent studies have shown that there are far more similarities than differences between women and men entrepreneurs in terms of psychological and demographic characteristics. The dominant predictors of success in case of women entrepreneurs are work experience and years of self-employment.

Generally, women view their businesses as a cooperative network of relationships rather than as a distinct profit-generating entity. This network extends beyond the business into the entrepreneur’s relationships with her family and the community. Certain cross-cultural studies on women entrepreneurs have reported that their management styles emphasizes open communication and participative decision-making, and their business goals reflect a concern for the community in which the business operates.

The majority of women business owners operate enterprises in the service sectors, whereas the majority of male business owners operate enterprises in non service sectors, particularly manufacturing. Women are not only achieving economic independence and wealth creation for themselves, but through job creation, they are also providing opportunities for others, particularly for other women.

A series of researches have shown that the workforce of women-owned businesses tend to be more gender balanced than the workforce of men-owned businesses, although women business owners are more likely to hire women. Put simply, an investment in women’s entrepreneurship is an investment in the economic independence and well-being of all women.

In comparison to their women counterparts who established their businesses two decades earlier, women who have started their businesses sometime during the past decade are more likely to have the following:

o a higher level of education, previous professional and managerial experience, as well as executive level experience

o a greater appetite for capital, both credit and equity

o a strong motivation for autonomy and achievement

o a dynamic personality

o a passion for what they do

o creativity to innovate and implement

o independence and self reliance

o high self confidence

o willingness & ability to take risks

o alertness to opportunities

o ability to marshal resources

o ability to respond to market & environment signals

Thus, from the above discussion, we can conclude the following traits of personality of women entrepreneurs:

Risk taker Proactive Opportunist Visionary Inventor Tolerance of ambiguity Commercialiser Desire for independence Trader High energy Innovator Ability to bounce back Flexible Results oriented Need for achievement All rounder Internal control Decisive Self confident Self Motivated Pragmatic Flair

3. Why Do Indian Women Undertake Entrepreneurship?

In spite of the growing number of female entrepreneurs, the share of female entrepreneurs is still significantly low when compared to their participation rate. However, there are several factors responsible for increasing the level of female entrepreneurship in India:

1. Nature of Entrepreneurship: Women enter into entrepreneurial activity because regular employment does not provide them with the flexibility, control or challenge offered by business ownership.

2. Motivation : Several evidences suggest that women do not lack the motivation to enter into business ownership. They are often highly motivated than their male counterparts to overcome the barriers to business start-up.

3. Empowerment : Indian women are becoming more empowered now-a-days. Legislation is being progressively drafted to offer them more opportunities at various levels.

4. Social Conditions : Population growth results in a strong positive relationship on entrepreneurial activity. Across genders, the increase in demand and competition for jobs pushes more people into necessary entrepreneurship. For women, in particular, the relatively high involvement in necessary entrepreneurship indicates that self-employment is used as a way to circumvent institutional and cultural constraints with respect to female employment, as well as a way to provide supplemental family income.

5. Economic Conditions : Auspicious economic conditions favour the participation of women in entrepreneurial activity. The smaller amount of financial capital requirement and higher proportion of available bank loans positively correlates the level of female entrepreneurship to economic conditions. In fact, in a country like India, the relationship between the size of unofficial economy and entrepreneurial activity is positive.

6. Literacy & Education: Increased levels of education has played a crucial role in initiating the process of entrepreneurship. It is not only the illiterate that are starting the businesses but those with education & skills are also exploiting profit opportunities.

4. What Are The Needs Of Women Entrepreneurs In India?

1) More and better access to finance/credit is mentioned very frequently. Give a woman 1000 rupees and she can start a business. Give her another 1000 rupees and she will be able to feed not only for her family, but for her employees as well.

2) Access to business support and information, including better integration of business services.

3) Training on business issues and related issues

4) Better access to local and foreign markets.

5) Day care centres & nurseries for children, and also for the elderly;

6) Positive image-building and change in mentality amongst women, whereby women see themselves as capable achievers and build up confidence.

7) Breaking through traditional patrons and structures that inhibit women’s advancement.

8) Role modelling of women in non-traditional business sectors to break through traditional views on men’s and women’s sectors.

9) More involvement and participation in legislation and decision-making processes.

10) Removing of any legislation which impedes women’s free engagement.

11) Awareness-raising at the governmental as well as private level to truly and really create entrepreneurial opportunities and not just programs that stay on paper.

Guide To Meet Women

A common question I get asked is “Tony, I want to start working on this stuff but I don’t know where the heck to start meeting women.” I totally understand. There isn’t exactly a Google Maps showing where all the hot women in your city congregate. One thing you have to understand is you can meet women anywhere. If you walk down the street or go to the grocery store, there are always opportunities presenting themselves. However, I’ve compiled a massive list of places to meet women. After going through this list, you will have ZERO excuses not to go out and start meeting women.

Before I get into the list, here are a few caveats:

Don’t Be a Creep – Meeting women should be a secondary benefit of going to the places listed on this list. Go to these places for the sake of trying something new, not to hunt for women. For example, go to an art walk with a couple of your friends because it’s cool new thing to do. Don’t be the creepy guy that’s going only to hit on women. That’s weirdo behavior.

Bring a Group of Friends – Always try and gather a group of people to go with. When you meet women, it’s like she’s joining the fun party that’s already going on. However don’t let this stop you if you can’t find anyone to go with. Nothing is wrong with going to the places alone.

Type of Location = Type of Woman – Where you find a woman will directly correlate to the type of women she is. For example, women at hardcore punk rock dive bars will probably be much different from women you’ll meet at a local church. Therefore, have an idea of the type of women you want to date, then go the places they normally frequent. If you don’t know, the be open to trying out everything on the list.

No Order of Importance – There isn’t a particular order of importance of places on this list. Some will pop out more than other to you, but be open to try everything out. There is no one place that is better to meet women than others. You can meet and attract women ANYWHERE if you’re a cool guy.

You Can Meet Women Anywhere – Guys think they have to constantly go to bars or clubs to meet women. In actuality, you don’t have to deviate too far from your existing routine. If you walk down the street or go to the grocery there are always opportunities to meet new women.

1. Social Media Sites (Facebook) – I know many guys who’ve seen ENORMOUS success meeting women through social media sites like Facebook. There’s definitely an art and a science going this route so do your research on how to go about messaging girls without coming off as a creep. However when you have it down, sky’s the limit to the amount of women you can meet.

2. Coffee Shops – Women are ALWAYS at places like Starbucks or Caribou Coffee either grabbing a quick drink, with another cutie friend of theirs or just getting some work done. These are very low-key place to strike up conversation.

3. Local Colleges – If you live by a college, this can be a GOLD mine for young, single and hot women. My recommendation is to go during summer school. There aren’t too many people on campus so girls are ALWAYS looking for new people to hang out with.

4. Book Stores – If a girl is browsing through a book section you know a little bit about, it’s very easy to walk up and start talking about the subject. Tip: Weekend afternoons and weekday evenings is when you’ll find the most women at book stores. Book stores are often times empty otherwise.

5. The Gym – Women who regularly go the gym are definitely the type you want to be hanging around. They take care of their bodies, are self-motivated and often times are extroverted… All GREAT qualities in a girlfriend.

6. Museums & Galleries – I’m not going to lie, museums & galleries won’t be the most target rich places during the weekdays. However, on the weekends these places can be PACKED with women to strike up a conversation about whatever gallery you happen to be in.

7. Laundry Mats – Women are bored out of their minds at laundry mats and because of this, are more willing to talk when a guy such as yourself approaches. This is a golden opportunity because you’ll often have up to 2 hours of time to hang out while you both wait for your clothes to be ready.

8. Local Swimming Pools – Women in bikinis… Hmm, need I say more?!?

9. Beaches – Again, a no-brainer.

10. Pet Shops – Many women who have dogs and cats will go to pet shops regularly to get supplies or food. This is the perfect opportunity to ask a situational opener like “Hey, have you tried this type of dog food? I’m taking care of my buddy’s dog and I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve officially assigned you to help me…”

11. Hardware Stores – Although you may think hardware stores are testosterone driven, many women will frequent these stores for garden supplies and random knick-knacks for the home.

12. Ikea – Not only is this a great place to meet new women, this is one of my favorite places to bring girls out on dates. You can goof around and pretend you are newlyweds shopping for furniture. When meeting women, just go up to them and ask “Hey, I’m looking to get new furniture for my room and I need a woman’s opinion. Can you help me out?”

13. Restaurants – Restaurants are a FILLED with women to meet. Here’s the caveat: Don’t approach women when they’re eating. It’s just rude interrupting someone while their enjoying their meal so approach before she gets her meal or after she’s done eating. Usually there’s a bar in the restaurant you can transition things to.

14. Churches – I’ll be honest with you. Some places (i.e. Night Clubs) are where you’ll tend to find certain type of women to hook up with. Other places (i.e. Churches) are where you’ll find quality women you can settle down for the long-term. Church often times hold social events filled with many quality women to meet.

15. Supermarket – Some guys complain that they never have enough time to meet women. If you go grocery shopping then you have no excuses. I guarantee you’ll find a handful of women to approach at your local grocery store (especially if you live in a big city). Tip: Weekday nights and weekends are the best time to go. Anytime else you’ll find moms or old people.

16. Social Circle – This is the ultra traditional route the majority of guys rely on. Meeting women through a mutual friend is the number one way guys find their girlfriend. You just can’t beat this because a woman thinks so positively of you after a solid introduction from a friend.

17. On The Street – If you live in a city, there are a plethora of women rushing through the streets during the daytime. I lived in Chicago and in the summer, I’d always find more and hotter women walking down the street than I’d see in most night clubs.

18. Fitness Classes – If you’re currently working out alone, start going to fitness classes asap. It’s like killing two birds with one stone. You’re going to work out anyway, so might as well do it alongside a group of women at a spinning or kickboxing class.

19. Dance Classes – If you’ve rarely been physical with a woman, I’d suggest going to dance classes. With styles such as Tango, you’re forced to be up close and personal with your dance partner. It will also teach you first hand how to physically lead women, albeit on the dance floor. My personal favorite is Salsa. There’s usually a lack of guys at Salsa classes, so you’ll have your way with all the women taking turns to dance with you.

20. Tanning Salons – If you’re pale, you need to start tanning. I’m not saying you need to look like the newest member of Jersey Shore, but giving your skin a little color makes you look livelier. Oh and by the way, there are an INORDINATE amount of women at these places.

Women’s Movement and Rights

The women’s suffrage movement began on both sides of the Atlantic with passion and grit. This revolution was the descendant of the Enlightenment ideas placed forth by philosophers during The Age of Reason. The idea of the suffrage movement was founded upon the concept that all human beings are created equal and are born with natural rights that they have a duty and an obligation to exercise. The Women’s Rights Movement was a struggle throughout because of the people in power who opposed it, but the movement was ultimately triumphant because of the men and women who fought devotedly for their beliefs. That fight for the vote now allows women today to freely practice a fundamental right. It took a hundred years for it to come to pass, beginning at the time of Mary Wollstonecraft and the Marquis de Condorcet. The law now permits women to practice the rights and responsibilities that come with citizenship.

The women’s suffrage movement became a struggle to achieve because of the people, who opposed the notion that women had a duty to stand up for their natural-born rights. The movement imposed the principles of equality, liberty, and political justice and these ideas were not advantageous to the people who had power in a divided society. The proletarians were the ones that supported women’s rights, but the prominent, affluent, and powerful were afraid to change a system that worked to their benefit. The socialist and feminist ideas were not appealing to the people who had positions in parliament or government. Henry James, a British politician made a speech in The House of Commons in 1871, that gave reasons to neglect and disregard social equality when it came to matters of the state. He warningly advised the House of the wrongdoings of the opposite sex, “… women would have to make judgments on the basis of information obtained second-hand, and not from practical experience?”

Henry James states that women do not have superior experience when it comes to having an opinion and deciding on political matters. James is part of a political system that gives him power and authority to converse to a group of prominent men and place substantial amount of influence on them. The socialist vision of equality cannot chime with men who wish to gain a higher social standing in a community. A year before this speech, in 1870, the husband of Emmeline Pankhurst, (a women who was the driving force behind the suffragettes) Dr. Richard Pankhurst, drafted the first bill that allowed women to get the right to vote known as the Women’s Disabilities Removal Bill which was later introduced in House of Commons. This proves that the ideas of Henry James are slowly beginning to deteriorate because men and women were on their way to persuading the government that women needed their natural rights. This can be compared to the Industrial Revolution and the dominance the factory owners had over their workers. The factory owners did not want to give up the power that they had over their laborers the way the people of Parliament wouldn’t want to believe that their power might be equal to that of a women’s.

Francesco Crispi, a liberal Italian politician believed that women must not have an opinion when it comes to political arrangements that are made by the government. Women are made for the well being of the man. Crispi regarded women as peacemakers that are made to calm a man after a tiresome and laborious day. In 1883, to the Italian Senate, Crispi authoritatively declared “… the day when women participate in public business, you will find war.” He believed that the suffrage movement would cause social and political disorders in society that would lead to an universal imbalance. He is considered a liberal but his ideas reflect on orthodox and traditional ways of thinking. This “liberal” Italian politician is ignorant of the ideas of the Enlightenment and has taken many steps back because of his ideals. The French philosopher Condorcet said, “Have they all not violated the principle of equality of rights in tranquility depriving one half of the human race of the right of taking part in the formation of laws by the exclusion of women from the rights of citizenship.” Francesco Crispi, the future Prime Minister of Italy, is known as the precursor of Benito Mussolini, a man who was against women’s rights. Crispi is also speaking to the Italian senate and wants to appeal to them, and so his ideas, like that of Henry James are directed to commanding men of government. Many Italian men might be against the concept of social equality of both genders. If involved in government, male authoritarians ascertain that women may neglect their household duties and the peace that they create for the man’s benefit and pleasure will slowly diminish.

Henry James and Francesco Crispi have similar ideologies to that of Count Reventlow. Count Reventlow, a Nazi politician spoke for the Prevention of the Emancipation of Women in 1912. The German man appreciates only a certain kind of women. Reventlow passionately stated to the crowd, “Women want to rule and we don’t want to let them. The German Empire was created with blood and iron. That was man’s work. If women helped… they stood behind their men in battle and fired them on to kill as many enemies as possible.” Count Reventlow believes that men have fought for their rights during wars, and he only appreciates the women who supported their men when they fought for their country, and he looks down on the women who fight for their individual rights. Women are meant to support men and are not meant to make decisions for the man. Reventlow, a German naval officer and Nazi politician enjoys both his national identity and his place in the social hierarchy. Since he is speaking to a group of people who are against the women’s suffrage movement, we can decipher that he is encouraging men & women of wealthy backgrounds who do not need to the right to vote to work against a proletarian cause. Rosa Luxemburg a German revolutionary socialist on the same year (1912), made a speech concerning Women’s Suffrage and Class Struggle.

“In truth, our state is interested in keeping the vote from working women and from them alone. It rightly fears they will threaten the traditional institutions of class rule, for instance militarism (of which no thinking proletarian woman can help being a deadly enemy), monarchy, the systematic robbery of duties and taxes on groceries, etc. Women’s suffrage is a horror and abomination for the present capitalist state because behind it stand millions of women who would strengthen the enemy within, i.e., revolutionary Social Democracy.” Rosa Luxemburg has remembered the ideas of Condorcet and Wollstonecraft and through her words, like Count Reventlow, is trying to influence a specific group of people. Their ideas vary and are at opposite ends of the table. Luxemburg is moving forward with her ideas about equality in gender, and Reventlow makes a proposition to the people of authority to pause and realize that women do not deserve the rights that men have gained over time. However, Count Reventlow has forgotten the times when men and women (proletarians), together fought for individual rights like the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. In these cases, women did not only support the men, but were willing to fight along with them to gain the justice that they deserved.

Because of the rising importance of the suffrage movement, Reventlow wants men and women on his side. The ideas of the socialist women were growing stronger and the ideas of the prominent men were only addressed to the opulent. In 1919, a Speaker for the French Senatorial Commission concurred with the ideas of James, Crispi, and Reventlow, with a degrading and derogatory tone. “Rather than handling the ballot, the hands of women are meant to be kissed… ” The speaker is trying to say that women are given so much love and it is not necessary for them to acquire an unrealistic advantage when they already have been given much. Like the three men before him, this French man has acquired for himself a position of power and comfort in society. Like Count Reventlow, this French man is moving backwards. In the same year of this speech, the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution was submitted to the Congress for ratification. It said, “The United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex.” The world was moving forward in its ways and the French man maintains an archaic understanding of women. Although the speaker, in some ways praises the opposite sex, he negates the fact that their ideas would be necessary from a political standpoint.