Advocacy

The Indian government does not adequately recognise educated women as a force for economic growth and development. Public policies focus on destitute and underprivileged women, largely ignoring professionally qualified and competent women who contribute to the Indian economy, through formal, organised sector employment.

TFWW is determined to bring educated women onto the public policy framework.

There is research across the world to demonstrate what holds women back or compels them to drop out of the workforce at an early stage. In most instances, women have given up their opportunity for explicit economic contribution in favour of childcare and elder care. It is also difficult for them to return to the workforce after they have taken a break, in the absence of alternative support systems for domestic responsibilities, and a breakdown of traditional support systems.

While government organisations have been mandated to provide these facilities for decades, they serve only a limited purpose – for reasons of quality and quantity. Further examination of efforts suggests that the larger onus is now being placed on the private sector. There are demands on established corporations to provide crèches at the workplace, flexible working hours, and paternity leave to name a few.

Private sector support is a welcome step. However, data shows that many more jobs are being created through entrepreneurial ventures and in small and medium sized enterprises as compared to large enterprises or directly by the government. What, then, are the options for women who find employment in these growing sectors?

TFWW seeks to examine all possible options to address this reality.

Women, understandably, will work full time when they have dependable, high quality and affordable care for their children and elders. The change in mindsets is a longer- term simultaneous objective – and we believe that high quality support structures will reduce the perceived ‘trade-off’ between family and work – therefore make a beginning with support services. To offer such services is a huge, complex and multi-dimensional exercise. Who can offer these and how? Is there a role for public policy in facilitating this effort and fulfil a woman’s need and desire to work?

TFWW believes yes, there is. In fact, it is at the heart of solving this problem in the interest of men, women and future generations. And we are committed to bringing educated women with the desire to work to the centre-stage of public policy and support frameworks.