As we celebrate International Women’s Day this month, let’s remember that progress will come when everyone asks themselves what they can do to help

“International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th every year, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for gender parity. Women often face challenges and discrimination when it comes to receiving equal pay, leadership opportunities and access to secondary and higher education levels. The theme for this year is “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.” Women entrepreneurs and the businesses they lead are a powerful force for innovation and economic growth. As someone who nurtures a business magazine, I have come across hundreds of women-owned
businesses and women-centric organisations, with each one being an expert in their respective field. Our entire Business Goa team comprises of women, who bring their own skill-set to the table.
Support for women should never be a battle between groups or organisations’ declaring what is best or right for women. Feminism’s inclusive nature means that all efforts advancing women’s equality are welcome and valid, and should be respected. I believe there is a place and space for everyone. This is what it means to be truly ‘inclusive,’ as everyone can assist in making the world a better place for women. How do we go about achieving all this? Ensure full and effective participation while providing equal opportunities for women, at all levels, be it leadership, and decision-making especially in political, economic and public life. While many programs brought out by the government are effective, the beneficiaries of these are usually those in metropolitan areas. Economic empowerment of women in rural areas is also crucial as these are the ones who often face unique challenges in the areas of education, health care and economic opportunities. In many cases, these women are also responsible for the
majority of the agricultural labor, yet they often have limited control over the resources and decision-making processes that affect their lives. Secondly, undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as ownership and control over land and others forms of property, financial services, inheritance laws and natural resources, in accordance with national laws.
While this is not an issue in Goa, where women are on par with men when it comes to inheritance; our country
as a whole needs to ensure that women benefit in the same way as men, especially in the absence of a male heir.
Thirdly, enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular, information and communications technology,
to promote the empowerment of women. Digital India should not be a mere lip service. Take our weekly local markets that have sprung up in many villages. Our talents lie there, but I feel these talents should be brought to the forefront on a daily basis. How do we do that? With technology! Today when everything is available at the push of a button, why don’t we use this opportunity to promote our local women? There is still a lot to be done to promote our
offerings to the state as a whole. Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion
of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at all levels. Once again, real change
must begin with changing attitudes. We need to put an end to the idea that toughness flows from testosterone, and
that toughness is top. Often, it all boils down to confidence. What holds women back is not competence,  which they usually have; but confidence, which they often lack. I often see that overqualified and over-prepared
women hide in the shadows, doubting their abilities, and holding themselves to an impossible standard of perfection. Companies that are intent on growing and thriving should have policies in place that support women and promote women’s empowerment principles in the workplace. Women make up half of the world’s population, and it is crucial that their talents and contributions are fully utilised in the workforce. While it would be wrong to say that we haven’t made any progress at all when it comes to gender equality, we still have our foot in the door. Along with battling other issues like rampant corruption, preserving our heritage and environment, we should remember that women too are fighting their own battles. We all have to strive to create a world where every woman can fulfill her potential without any barriers and prejudice.”


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