WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

GLOBAL EXPERIENCES & DIVINE GUIDANCE

PROF. DR. KHAWAJA AMJAD SAEED
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Nov 19 - 25, 2012

Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) deserves full congratulation for identifying magnificent theme entitled: "Innovative Management Education: For Sustainable Development". It is being globally recognized that 21st century belongs to management education for its productive role through managerial revolution for value creation so that all stakeholders are beneficiaries across the board. While holistic approach of management namely; success at five levels with innovative approach is the crying need, Human Resource Development (HRD) has pronounced importance. These five aspects include: Personnel, Production, Procurement, Finance and Marketing.

In recent times, several topics have emerged for discussion in debate namely; gender inequality, women empowerment, interfaith dialogue, the rise of talent management, inclusive growth, and elimination of poverty in the long run with emphasis on poverty alleviation in the short-run through accelerating socio-economic growth.

Annex - "A" highlights conventional approach to HRD.

Special emphasis on modern approach to HRD is given at Annex - "B".

CONSTITUENTS

The paper consists of the following parts:

PART FOCUS
I Women Empowerment: Global Experiences.
II Divine Guidance for Women Empowerment.
III Suggested Charter for Women Empowerment.

The paper will conclude with a plea that serious attention may be given to points raised for future implementation.

PART I: WOMEN EMPOWERMENT: GLOBAL EXPERIENCE

Top Powerful Women in the World

Fortune published list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in their special issue of October 17, 2011. Indra Nooyi (age55), chairman and CEO, Pepsico was ranked no. 2 most powerful women in the world. An excerpt in respect of citation is quoted (P.70) below:

"On Nooyi's watch, Pepsico has forged further nutrition focused products, a business that the company is trying to grow to $ 30 billion in 2020 from about $ 10 billion in 2010.

India's Superstar Banker, Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank was ranked number five (5) most powerful women in the world. (P.84). Tribute was given to her as "--------is changing the face of business" and her photograph was flashed on the title page of the above issue of Fortune.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE:

Lot of information has been published regarding top performance by women on global basis. Profuse references are available in Time, Business Week, Economist, Financial Time and International Heralad Tribune.

However, we carried out an intensive research of Top Fifty (50) Most Powerful Women in the world in Fortune, October 17, 2011 Issue.

TOP INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMPANIES, 2011

UN_ITC, Geneva, Switzerland has all along been encouraging fuller participation of women with empowerment. In this they have contributed in several dimensions. Forum is a regular publication of UN-ITC. In their special issue of 2 of 2012, twelve articles with focus on women Empowerment have been published. Their details are included in selected bibliography and readers are encouraged to benefit from these.

Top International Business Companies for 2011 in which most powerful women in the world were serving are listed below:

1. Kraft Foods.

2. Pepsi Cola.

3. Dupont.

4. Well Point

5. Avon Products.

6. Zerox.

7. Hewlett-Packard.

8. Johnson & Johnson.

9. Oracle.

10. Face Book.

11. Procter & Gamble.

12. Disney/ABC Television Group.

13. TJX Cos.

14. Mcdonalds.

15. Blackrocks.

16. GE Homes & Business Solutions.

17. Campbell Soup.

18. Walmart Stores.

19. JP Morgans Chase.

20. Glaxo SmithKline.

21. Lockheed.

22. Google.

23. United Health Care Group.

24. Personal Investing.

25. Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios.

26. Frontier Communications.

27. IBM.

28. A & E Television Networks.

29. Corn Products.

30. Entertainment and Digital Networks and Integrated Media.

31. BJ's Wholesale Club.

32. Sempra Energy.

33. Best Buy.

34. Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

35. Key Corp.

36. Sony Picture Entertainment.

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED

An analysis of the above companies shows that major segments in which top fifty (50) powerful women were working are as under:

1. Food

2. Electronics

3. Computers-------Internet

4. Beauty and Health Care

5. Logistics

6. Entertainment

7. Clothing

8. Shopping Malls (Wall Mart, Best Buy)

9. Financial (Banks and Insurance Cos.)

10. Medicines

11. Personal Investing

12. Energy

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

Mean : 52 years
Range : 25 years (48% of mean)
Highest Age : 61 years: Cable Entertainment
Lowest Age : 36 years: Google, Vice President
Top Rank No. 1 : Irene Rosefeld
Drop out from Berkley, California, USA.
Married with two children
Owner of Kraft Food
India : Indra Noovey
Pepsico.
Chanda Kochhar: a Super Star Banker

PART II: DIVINE GUIDANCE FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

DIVINE GUIDANCE

Al-Quran is the last book revealed by God ( Allah) for the guidance of mankind.

There are several verses contained in Al-Quran regarding women and their empowerment. However, we have concentrated on four areas and our research has concluded that God (Allah), in his infinite wisdom has empowered women for delivering the goods in a befitting manner. In this respect twelve (12) verses have been identified by us in respect of the above topic. Excerpts from various verses from Al-Quran have been extracted which, together brief commentary, are quoted below in the following areas:

1. ORGANIZATIONAL ASPECT

"And let there be (arising) from you a nation inviting to (all that is) good enjoying what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful". (Al-Quran: 3:104) Aale-Imran

God (Allah) has guided that for delivery of goods in a magnificent manner, the first step is to set up an organization with clear-cut objectives as are mentioned above. Women are encouraged, as part of their empowerment through Divine guidance, to set up business houses and run trade, business, profession or vocational activities for contributing to the good of mankind across the board.

2. STRATEGIC RELATIONS:

FREEDOM OF RELIGION

"There shall be no compulsion in (acceptance of) the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Tagut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is hearing and knowing". (Al-Quran: 2:256) Al-Baqra

STRATEGY

"And hold of firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you-when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided". (Al-Quran: 3-103) Aale-Imran

VALUES

"Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded". (Al-Quran: 16:90) An-Nahl

FREEDOM OF WORK

"After prayer disburse within the land and seek the bounty of Allah". (Al-Quran: 62:10) Al-jumu'a

OBJECTIVE OF CREATION OF MANKIND

"Mankind is created for toils and struggle". (Al-Quran: 90:04) Al-Balad

There are three dimensions of sound management namely; strategic management, tactical management and operational management. In this respect, divine guidance is very comprehensive for empowerment of women.

The above verses will give emphasis on freedom of religion, exercise of development of strategy, implementation of divine value system, freedom of work, and objectives of creation of mankind (males and females).

Accordingly, enough guidance is available on strategic relations by God (Allah) with the mankind, including women.

3. REWARDS

REMUNERATION FOR MEN AND WOMEN

"And do not wish for that by which Allah has made some of you exceed others. For men is a share of what they have earned, and for women is a share of what they have earned. And ask Allah of His bounty. Indeed Allah is ever, of all things, knowing". (Al-Quran: 4:32) An-Nisaa

UNINTERRUPTED REWARDS

"Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds-for them is a reward uninterrupted". (Al-Quran: 41:8) Ha-Mim

REWARD COMMENSURATE TO EFFORT

"And that there is not mankind except that (good) for which he/she strives". (Al-Quran: 53:39) Al-Najam

Divine Guidance is with clarity in the areas of remuneration for men and women, uninterrupted rewards and rewards commensurate to effort. Therefore, women are fully empowered through Divine guidance to put in their best and to be compensated commensurate to their effort, as is crystal clear from the foregoing verses.

4. ETHICS

BEST NATION-A GIFT OF GOD

"You are the best nation produced (as an example) for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the people of the scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient". (Al-Quran: 3:110) Aale-Imran

PROHIBITION OF UNETHICAL ACTS

"O you who have believed, do not consume one another's wealth unjustly but only (in lawful) business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourself (or one another), Allah is to you ever merciful". (Al-Quran: 4:29) Al-Ankabut

HONOUR FOR ADAM AND HIS CHILDREN

"And we have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what we have created, with (definite) preference". (Al-Quran: 17:70) Al-Isra

Implementing best ethics in business is the crying need on global basis. Efforts have been made by various stakeholders to develop sound ethical practices on neat and clean business operational activities. Accordingly, there is no compromise in this respect as implementing sound ethics is beneficial in the interest of all stakeholders.

The foregoing three verses from Al-Quran provide sound guidance in this respect.

PART III: SUGGESTED CHARTER FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

An independent research is the call of the day for empowering women so that their contribution is duly recorded, recognized and acknowledged. However, some strategic areas in which support is needed together with their suggested roles are as under:

1. RECOGNIZING CONTRIBUTION IN GDP

Lot of women, particularly in developing countries, render very useful services in agriculture, at home, and in various other sectors of the economy, but their contribution is not reflected in the GDP of the respective countries. It is high time that policy-makers should develop a system of quantifying their contribution and reflect the same in GDP so that the excellent work done by them is duly recognized and they feel that their role has been acknowledged and this will pave the way for their empowerment.

2. GOVERNMENT LEVELS

The governments at all levels namely; federal / union, provincial / state, division, district, tehsil and union council should develop national policies which should give a clear-cut support to empowerment of women in greater number and they they should be associated in decision-making in at all government roles i.e. administrative, executive, judicial, legislative etc.

3. SOCIETY

Anti-empowerment women factors should be identified in the society and there is a need to educate social set ups for developing pro-empowerment of women mind-set. This will also include: positive roles of parents, social organizations, civil society, in-laws, NGOs, CBOs and other social organizations.

4. INITIATIVE BY WOMEN

Apart from biological difference, men and women should forget about gender inequality while delivering goods in real life situation. Each one of them is a professional contributing in all the three segments of the economy of a country namely; agriculture, industry and infrastructure. This change in mind-set ought to be the agenda of today and one should extend contribution rather than keeping gender inequality at the back of one's mind.

5. INSTITUTIONALIZED APPROACH FOR REDUCING GENDER INEQUALITY

Institutionalized approach should be used thereby women are encouraged to work in all sectors of the economy of the country. Special incentives should be given to them to make their contribution at all levels of their education, subsequent employment and even developing the spirit of entrepreneurship in them. The world is seeing the change because women are at present working in all walks of life now.

6. THE ROLE OF BUSINESS SCHOOLS

All business schools are encouraged to motivate women to pursue professional careers, motivate them for self-employment to achieve a quantum jump in socio-economic development and see the fruits of their efforts as dividend to society across the board. Curricula may be revised and special emphasis should be given on the rise of entrepreneurship in women so that sound foundations are built for empowering them.

CONCLUSION

HRD should be given special focus with emphasis on women empowerment. All stakeholders are encouraged to give thoughts to six points as suggested in the foregoing Charter so that the objectives for which AIMS Conference is being held are achieved and benefits are spread to the society across the board. This goal is achievable and the task is doable. Let us all get committed and embark upon the mission so that with concerted and dedicated efforts, HRD efforts are accelerated with special focus on women empowerment.

TERMINOLOGY

1) AIMS

:

All India Management Schools.

2) CBOs

:

Community Based Organizations.

3) GDP

:

Gross Domestic Product.

4) HRD

:

Human Resource Development.

5) IBM

:

International Business Machine.

6) NGOs

:

Non-Government Organizations.

7) USA

:

United States of America.

8) UNITC

:

United Nation International Trade Centre.