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Pink parking: driving empowerment

Kalpana M Naghnoor, Nov 3 2017, 0:02 IST
Brigade Road is an iconic thoroughfare and has been a shopaholic’s dream for many generations. The road and its surrounding areas have played a central role in every Bengalureans’ life, with some of the best gourmet restaurants attracting tourists.

While the first standalone ice-cream parlour, Lakeview, added exclusivity and the A L Devi & Co photo studio captured memories, making it a road ahead of its times, today, Brigade Road seems to be continuing the tradition with special parking for women. Kudos!

The reserved parking comes as a reprieve for the multi-tasking woman who has surefootedly made her way into the workforce.

There are 1.41 lakh engineers in Bengaluru, making up 40% of that workforce and growing at a steady pace. Among the general workforce, women hold a 39% stake.

While women in Bengaluru have risen much above their counterparts anywhere in the nation, the social scenario remains the same.

Many are still left warming the hearth and a bulk of the household responsibility rests with them. In this sense, parking reservations at Brigade Road seem a starting point of relief offered to the women of Bengaluru.

Plus points

Women are still the mainstay caregivers in our families. Very often, it falls upon her to take care of the health check-ups and medical emergencies of the family members. This is because of the perceptible gender dynamics, where more importance is given to the man’s job over a woman’s. This is an intrafamilial perception and is not likely to go away soon.

Children are largely dependent on the mother. Mothers play the important role of nurturing children and their skills. Moreover, the emphasis that is laid on an abundance of extracurricular activities in schools these days makes education a complicated process.

To support such a progressive education falls on the shoulders of the women, either as a parent or as an educator. The percentage of women teachers is 76% in India.

Women are also expected to resolve most of the family’s financial emergencies. This has been the case for centuries and women have proved themselves capable. The reserved parking slots, thus, will go a long way in further helping the financially independent women to hold the fort.

Liberation

With Bengaluru’s sizeable women’s workforce, it is befitting that parking spaces be reserved for them in certain areas. Brigade Road will be a campaigner of sorts for the country in reservation for women’s carpark.

It is a matter of pride for women to be part of such a great workforce, and credit goes to the Information Technology sector and the endemic nature of the city toward women empowerment.

The parking reservation only highlights this attribute further. While richer countries like Saudi Arabia are only now allowing their women to drive, Indian women seem to have zoomed miles ahead.

The parking slots being built by TenderSure, now a major contractual partner for the BBMP, show the society’s transformation where a woman is finally being given her due.

Social hierarchy between the sexes is still not very kind to her, but that fact that Bengaluru has a high number of licensed female drivers only validates such a move.

The glass ceiling casts its overwhelming shadow on women in the corporate world. While the percentage of women at the entry level is 53%, at the middle management level, it falls to below 46% and then further to less than 25% at the senior-level positions.

Women in India are still not regarded as equals socially, culturally and professionally. While most companies try and retain their women employees because they are more efficient, some also do this because they want to promote themselves under the facade of being fair to the sexes.

Keeping all this in mind, it is evident that women have been enjoying a lesser quality of life, despite shouldering more than 75% of the responsibility.

This small endeavour to reserve car parking slots for women is going to go a long way in addressing an overdue problem, however, small the start it may be.

We welcome the move wholeheartedly and Brigade Road will once again be the forerunner in this initiative, as it has always been!

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