IGP: Bias against women gets entrenched at early age

She was of the opinion that to an extent, women themselves are responsible for the current scenario.

Bengaluru: Inspector General of Police & Additional Commandant (Home Guards) D. Roopa Moudgil has said that bias against women gets entrenched at an early age.

While delivering the keynote address at a leadership conclave organised by CII- Indian Women Network (IWN) themed ‘Innovation through Inclusion’ here on Friday, she pointed out that even our school textbooks reinforce division of labour based on gender.

“Even in marketing of products we see gender bias. As long as gender roles exist, inequality will exist,” she said.

She was of the opinion that to an extent, women themselves are responsible for the current scenario.

Prescribing self help as the best help, she said that women need to take courageous decision and stand for what is right. From her own experience she said that women are always reminded about their gender at the workplace.

“From a family context, girls are always brought up to be social, careful and to behave well; which may not necessarily apply to boys,” she said. She further advised women to create role models and be mentors and an inspiration to others.

Vanitha Datla, Vice Chairperson, Elico Ltd, said that despite India having a large educated population of women, the contribution of women to the country’s GDP is less than 16%. Citing a recent study among women IIT graduates who passed out between 1990 and 2000, it was found that only less than 3 per cent of women surveyed where working.

She said that India today has the largest educated population of women homemakers in the world.

This, according to her, is due to the fact that women do not engage beyond their places of work and the slightest crisis in the family leads to them giving up their careers.

Vanitha added that policies such as POSH Act against sexual harassment of women in workplace and the Maternity Bill took several years to formulate due to the lack of representation of women in policy making.

This is where women need to unite and make their voices heard. She said that you cannot keep blaming the current setup as a bystander. It is time for women to come forward and be a part of the system.

Sudhakar Pai, Chairman & Managing Director, Kurlon Enterprises Ltd. said that India has a rich culture of honouring women. However this has not transcended into the corporate world. According to him GDP should not be the sole measure of prosperity of a country. India needs a happiness index similar to Bhutan.

Prosperity can only be achieved through inclusion and abandoning rigid principles of gender bias.

Elaborating on the relevance of the conclave, Dr Githa Heggde, Chairwomen, CII IWN Karnataka said that the event was an effort to promote innovation through inclusion, be it diversity in gender, religion, age, language or people with disability.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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