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Bhavish Aggarwal, the co-founder of Ola, announced on Monday that they are setting up an all women Ola electric scooter factory also exclusively run by only women. Cheers to this historic move.
Ola, the biggest Indian startup founded in 2010, has announced that their upcoming factory of Ola electric scooters will be managed and handled completely by women. The plant will be one of the largest all-women factories in the world, as well as the first in the world to manufacture automobiles solely by women.
The plant will be set up in Tamil Nadu soon and is expecting to recruit 10,000 + women. The factory has already hired a batch of women to train in the manufacturing process in order to handle the entire production process.
Bhavish Aggarwal uploaded a video on his social media handles quoting “Atma -nirbhar Bharat requires Atma-nirbhar women”. The move is a massive and attractive one since it will bring 10,000 employment opportunities to women at a time regardless of their gender.
It is no secret that women especially face high levels of discrimination in work fields where stamina is the key, due to the presumption that ‘they are weak and don’t belong in physically demanding jobs’. It is mostly or only male workers who are considered for these job vacancies, especially in factories.
The stereotype that women are incapable of handling physically strenuous work still runs in society’s mindset along with another stereotype that both work and domestic life can not be maintained by women. For this argument, I’ll just point them towards the winning of medals by women at the Tokyo Olympics.
My interpretation of this decision is that it is like injecting confidence into women that their decisions matter, their expertise matters, and they are capable of managing the entire unit of the factory together.
While this admirable decision by Ola is being appreciated by thousands of people, many are also considering it ‘discrimination’ and ‘gender inequality’.
Really? Do these naysayers and men have a concept of how gender unequal the workplace has been historically? This decision is about creating more and better opportunities for women to be financially independent. Women have needed to compete on the basis of their gender (hence unequal) and not on the basis of their abilities, even today. The Ola All-Women factory will bring fair chance to women to compete in terms of their work, since men will be excluded.
The decision brings light on the fact that women face heavy criticism, rejection, sexism, and harassment at workplaces due to the presence of men, which makes them prefer to stay home and avoid chaos. According to a survey, 24% of women feel unsafe at work. Ola is legit announcing to women, “just come to work, we are with you”.
Women will be a great contributor to the GDP of a country, along with their financial strength and expertise, as well as their employment rate, but that is not the thought that is crossing your mind, is it?
What’s troubling you is the fear implemented by patriarchy that women should not come ahead of men. But the fact that female participation in paid work still sits around only 36% does not scare you.
The opposition will come and go; let’s focus on what matters. Ola wants to convey to you that the work of women has value and is therefore worthy of consideration. If Ola can set up an all-women factory, at least you can today consider the application of that woman who has been trying to find a place in your organization.
Bhumika is an English Majors undergraduate at the University Of Delhi and at this moment actively working with an NGO, as a content department associate that works for normalizing menstruation and promotes menstrual hygiene. She read more...
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