The journey of a woman begins from the day she is born into this world as an infant. Her arrival in some places is celebrated with all pomp and show and in some places, she ends up abandoned. The journey of growing up as a girl has many opportunities as well as challenges linked at every stage of life.

The most important and fundamental part of a girl’s life is her Upbringing. The manner in which she is welcomed, heard, understood, and motivated since childhood leaves a deep impact throughout her life. As rightly quoted by Abraham Lincoln, “Teach the child to gracefully lose and enjoy winning when they win”. The most sensitive stage of a person’s life is their childhood, when they are properly nurtured in their initial stages, they can do wonders and become fearless.

The most important trait in a girl when she is growing up is being fearless and herself. Another important stage while growing up is that of a teenager; neither a child nor an adult. The stage when they want everything under their control, and build their own new world and new peers. It is a natural phenomenon, as they are on the verge of getting Puberty. The mixed phase of a teenager is that of puberty, where a tremendous amount of changes take place in their physical and emotional front.

The land of India has been guided by the Constitution since 1950. Deriving sources from different countries’ constitutions, the Indian Constitution is an amalgamation of both rigid and flexible parts. The makers had kept in mind the socio-economic condition of the citizens back then in 1947. As the years passed, many articles came across amendments with the rising need of the hour. When it comes to women’s social status in India, it has seen many crests and troughs with the passage of time.

The Rig Vedic era was the one where both genders were at par, with the passing of time, the medieval era saw a fall in inequality for women and after independence, women could be seen in many top positions like president-ship, prime minister-ship, the speaker in Lok sabha, in the UNGA office, etc. Even though some women get a chance to take their places in the top office, there are many women who face atrocities like rape, acid attack, molestation, etc. on a daily basis.

The condition of women in India has always been a concern. She is in threat from the womb to the tomb. The threat of foeticide when in the womb, the threat of getting abused – mentally, physically at any stage of life till she survives. For the past few years, women have been trying to fight for equal status but are unable to get on par with men; in society, in the workplace, etc.

SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT – the situation of women even in the 21st century has remained derogatory, due to which the biggest international organization had to step in for a way forward. The united nations global compact jotted down a few principles in order to maintain women's empowerment. It is one of the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiatives which aligns companies to work with universal principles on human rights, and labor and to achieve societal goals. In the year 2015, 195 countries agreed to change the world for the better along with the United nations. On the eve of the completion of Millennial development goals in 2015, the Sustainable development goals came into being from 2015-2030. The SDG has 17 goals to achieve, covering almost every aspect of a better world. Ranging from zero hunger to gender equality, the SDGs has motivated every nation to frame policies accordingly.

Here are the seven principles of women empowerment that have been given by joint efforts from the UN global compact, UN Women, and Calvert women’s principles. It is a guide for all businesses who believe in equality means business.

1.  PRINCIPLE 1 – establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality. When women are motivated and appreciated for their work, they tend to contribute to the growth of the company resulting into revenue generation. The first step towards equality is hiring women without any biasness, based on their work experience, talent, and skills. After they are hired, equal pay for equal work should prevail, so that both genders work without any worry and burden.

2.  PRINCIPLE 2 – treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination. When a company is hiring both genders, it should also establish gender-sensitive and gender-neutral laws. The company will flourish when the employees are satisfied and appraised for their work at par. Even the Indian constitution has included this principle in itself. Article 39 of the Indian constitution – along with Fundamental rights, there are a set of duties that the state should follow for the welfare of the citizens. This set of principles is called the Directive principles of state policy. This article covers the importance of having equal pay for equal work. If both the genders are working at the same place giving the same input, there should not be a difference in the pay scale. The work they are delivering is the same, and so should the pay. This makes the workplace and society gender-neutral and promotes women's empowerment. With equal pay range, motivation and desire to work at the same place retain. This initiative has been adopted by countries like Norway awarding equal pay for equal work. In news, the UK has put forth a decision of 4-day work with the same pay.  

3.  PRINCIPLE 3 – Ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of all women and men workers. Nothing can be achieved if health is not in a good condition. A certain set of public holidays, paid leaves, etc. should be included even in the smallest company, start-up, and cottage industry. Article 42 of the Indian constitution has the directive principle of state policy that allows for the provisions to be made by the state for securing just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief. In August 2016, the much-awaited decision and amendment of the Maternity benefit act, of 1961 took place. The amendment extended maternity leaves from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. This paid maternity leave extension provides a sense of relief to the new mother and her infant. With this landmark amendment, the mother does not have to juggle between work and her infant’s care like before. There are offices that offer crèche facilities and work-from-home provisions even after paid maternity leave. It is not universal that both mother and infant remain healthy after the delivery, if any kind of issue arises, the mother has to stay back for recovery even after the maternity leave.

4.  PRINCIPLE 4 – promote education, training, and professional development for women. It is not always necessary that while pursuing education, everyone is provided with practical knowledge and implementation. It becomes the company’s responsibility to provide a proper set of training and rules for the company. It should also include safety measures, workplace ethics, security for women who work 24-hour shifts, etc. This set of principles can help the company grow on the professional front as well as in humanity manner.

5.  PRINCIPLE 5 – Implement enterprise development, supply chain, and marketing practices that empower women. Generally, women have limited to desk jobs because of their physical limitations. We should not forget the landmark judgment of the Government of India in 2020, which granted a permanent commission to women officers in 10 streams of the armed forces. This judgment became an eye-opener to every private and public company, who limited the entry of women due to physical weaknesses. With principle 5, women will not remain limited to just desk jobs, when she will get a chance to interact with the mass and know the market demands, they will put even more effort into policy formation and find ways to revenue generation.

6.  PRINCIPLE 6 – Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy. Development occurs from the grass-root level, when women come to know about their rights and laws, they become more aware and tend to come out of their comfort zone. Many self-help groups and NGOs are working tirelessly in this direction to improve women’s position in society and make them independent.

7.  PRINCIPLE 7 – measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality. There are many reports released every year by reputed international organizations. These reports generate a sense of responsibility, awareness, and duty on the member nations and companies. They tend to take the reports seriously and work towards improving their image. With the release of reports publicly, the companies can formulate laws accordingly, keeping in mind the overall development of both genders.

The ICHHORI website has been women-centric in all areas, health, hygiene, lifestyle, laws, and rights. It has created women's empowerment through its articles. 

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