BENGALURU: Karnataka is one of the four states in the country which collectively contribute to 51.9 per cent women-owned businesses, but the number may be much more than is listed, said National Commission for Women [NCW] chairperson Lalitha Kumaramanagalam.
Speaking at the ThinkBig 2016 Summit organized for women entrepreneurs on Monday, she said, “No statistics in the country adequately reflect the contribution women make to the Indian economy as most of it is informal. Investing in women is a necessity as 80 per cent of the work force and 90 per cent of the informal sector is constituted by women, particularly in agriculture. But women own only 2 per cent of assets as they do not inherit property and because of this banks refuse loans as there is no security.”
ThinkBig 2016 is a two-day entrepreneurship summit organized by WEConnect International, an organization that promotes women-owned businesses on a global platform, and the government of Karnataka.
“The women in this conference are not representative of the average Indian woman because she is undernourished, underrepresented and underpaid,” Lalitha said.
She expressed alarm at the dearth of basic needs for working women citing the example of NCW’s creche set up under her tenure, the first since its inception in 1992.
"Basic things like a creche at a workplace is not a favour but a right. The amount of money and time that is wasted on training someone new, inexperienced and incompetent is much greater than what companies invest in setting up a creche at a workplace. If women cannot bring their infants to the workplace they cannot breastfeed them and will be away from work. Why replace them and hire someone new?” she said.
The three other states that jointly contribute to women entrepreneurs in India are Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.