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In today’s modern times Women empowerment is a topic of special discussion about the importance of women in our ancient texts, it has been said that “Yatra Naryastu Pujyante Ramante Tatra Devata” means that where women are worshiped, the gods reside there.
But see the irony, despite having so much power in a woman, there is a great need for her empowerment. The economic empowerment of women means the availability of their economic decisions, income, property, and other things, only after getting these facilities can they raise their social status.
Many programs like Mother’s Day, International Women’s Day, etc. are being run by the government to bring awareness in the society about the importance and rights of women in the development of the nation. Women need development in many fields.
In India, to empower women, it is first necessary to kill all those demonic thinking that kills their rights and values in society, such as – the dowry system, illiteracy, sexual violence, inequality, feticide, domestic violence against women, prostitution, human trafficking, and other such subjects.
There is a high level of gender inequality in our country. Where women are suffering from the bad treatment of their family as well as outside society. In India, the number of illiterate women is at the top.
The real meaning of women’s empowerment will be understood when they will be given a good education in India and they will be capable of making independent decisions in every field.
Meaning of Women Empowerment – Meaning of women empowerment
The woman is considered to be the power of creation, that is, the existence of mankind has been considered by a woman. The meaning of women’s empowerment is to develop and refine the power of this creation and to provide it with social, economic, political justice, freedom of thought, belief, religion and worship, equality of opportunity.
In other words – women empowerment means improving the social and economic status of women. So that they can get equal opportunities for employment, education, economic progress they can get social freedom and progress. This is the way by which women can fulfill their every aspiration like men.
In simple words, women’s empowerment can be defined in such a way that it brings that power to women, from which she can take every decision related to their life on their own and can live well in family and society. Women empowerment is to enable them to achieve their real rights in society.
The need for women empowerment in India – The need for women empowerment in India
There are many reasons for the need for women’s empowerment in India. The respect level for Indian women decreased significantly in the medieval period as compared to the ancient period. The respect that was given to him in ancient times, in medieval times that respect started decreasing.
- In the modern era, many Indian women are posted in many important political and administrative positions, yet ordinary rural women are still forced to live in their homes and they do not have facilities like general health facilities and education.
- In the matter of education also, women in India are far behind men. The education rate of men in India is 81.3 percent, while the education rate of women is only 60.6 percent.
- Women in urban areas of India are more employable than women in rural areas. According to statistics, about 30 percent of women work in the software industry in the cities of India, while about 90 percent of women in rural areas are mainly engaged in agriculture and allied activities. She works as a daily wage laborer in the area.
- Another main reason for the need for women’s empowerment in India is inequality in payments. A study has revealed that women in India are paid 20 percent less than men, despite having similar experience and qualifications.
- Our country is progressing with great speed and enthusiasm, but we can maintain it only when we can remove gender inequality and ensure equal education, progress, and payment for women as men. Can you
- About 50 percent of India’s population is only women, which that means, this half of the population is needed for the development of the whole country, which is still not empowered and bound by many social restrictions. In such a situation, we cannot say that our country will be able to develop in the future without strengthening half of our population.
- The need for women’s empowerment arose because since ancient times there was gender inequality in India and it was a male-dominated society. Women were suppressed by their own family and society for many reasons and they were subjected to many types of violence and discrimination in the family and society, this is visible not only in India but also in other countries.
- To give respect to women in Indian society, there is a tradition of worshiping women goddesses in the form of mother, sister, daughter, wife, but today it has remained only a pretense.
- Socio-political rights (freedom to work, right to education, etc.) by male family members were completely restricted.
- In the last few years, many constitutional and legal rights have been created and implemented by the government to remove gender inequality and bad practices against women. However, to solve such a big issue, there is a need for constant cooperation of everyone including women.
- Modern society is more aware of the rights of women, as a result of which many self-help groups and NGOs, etc. are working in this direction.
- Women are more open-minded and are breaking social shackles to get their rights in all dimensions. However, crime goes along with it.
Hurdles in the implementation of women empowerment in India
Indian society is a society that includes many customs, beliefs, and traditions. Some of these old beliefs and traditions are also such which proven to be a hindrance to women’s empowerment in India. Some of those barriers are as follows –
- Due to old and orthodox ideologies, women are banned from leaving their homes in many areas of India. In such areas, women do not have the freedom to go out of the house for education or employment.
- Due to living in an environment of old and orthodox ideologies, women start to consider themselves less than men and fail to change their present social and economic conditions.
- Exploitation in the workplace is also a major obstacle to women’s empowerment. The private sector such as the service industry, software industry, educational institutions, and hospitals are most affected by this problem.
- Problems arise for women due to the dominance of male dominance in society. Violence against women in the workplace has increased very rapidly in the recent past and has seen an increase of about 170 percent in the last few decades.
- In India, women are still discriminated against at the gender level in the workplace. In many areas, women are not even allowed to go out for education and employment. Along with this, they do not have the freedom to work independently or take decisions related to family and they are always considered less than men in every work.
- Women in India are paid less than their male counterparts and the problem is even worse in the unorganized sector, especially in places with daily wages.
- Despite performing the same work for the same amount of time, women are paid much less than men and such work shows the power disparity between women and men. Women working in the organized sector are paid less than men despite having the same experience and qualifications as their male counterparts.
- Problems like illiteracy and dropping out of studies among women are also major obstacles to women’s empowerment. Although girls in urban areas are at par with boys in terms of education, in rural areas they are far behind.
- The female education rate in India is 64.6 percent, while the male education rate is 80.9 percent. Many rural girls who go to school also drop out in the middle of their studies and are unable to even pass the tenth standard.
- Although the evils like child marriage in India have been reduced to a great extent by the effective decisions taken by the government in the last few decades, a UNICEF report in 2018 shows that there are still about 15 per year in India. Lakhs of girls are married before the age of 18, due to early marriage, women’s development stops, and they are unable to grow up physically and mentally.
- Serious crimes like dowry, honor killing, and trafficking are seen along with much domestic violence against Indian women. However, it is quite strange that women in urban areas are more victims of criminal attacks than women in rural areas.
- Working women also do not use public transport late at night given their safety. In the true sense, women’s empowerment can be achieved only when the safety of women can be ensured and like men, they can also come freely anywhere without fear.
- Female feticide or gender-based abortion is one of the biggest obstacles in the way of women’s empowerment in India. Female feticide refers to feticide based on sex, under which abortion is done without the consent of the mother on the detection of the female foetus. Due to female feticide, there has been a huge difference in the sex ratio between women and men in states like Haryana and Jammu, and Kashmir. These claims of our women’s empowerment will not be fulfilled until we will not be able to eradicate the problem of female feticide.
Role of government for women empowerment in India – Role of the government in the implementation of women empowerment in India
Many schemes are run by the government of India for women’s empowerment. Many of these schemes are related to things like employment, agriculture, and health. These schemes have been formed keeping in view the situation of Indian women so that their participation in society can be increased. Some of these main schemes are MGNREGA, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Janani Suraksha Yojana (scheme run to reduce maternal mortality), etc.
The following schemes are being run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development Welfare and the Government of India for the empowerment of Indian women with the hope that one day women in Indian society will get the benefit of every opportunity like
1) Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme –
This scheme has been made keeping in mind female feticide and girl education. Under this, an attempt is being made to change the thinking of the girl child as a burden by planning for the betterment of girls and giving them financial assistance.
2) Women’s Helpline Scheme –
Under this scheme, 24-hour emergency assistance service is provided to women, women can complain of any kind of violence or crime against them on the number prescribed under this scheme. Under this scheme, women can register their complaints by dialing the number 181 across the country.
3) Ujjwala Yojana –
This scheme has been launched to protect women from trafficking and sexual exploitation. Along with this, work is also done for their rehabilitation and welfare under it.
4) Support to Training and Employment Program for Women (Step) –
Under the STEP scheme, the work of improving the skills of women is done so that they can also get employment or they can start their employment. Under this program, women are educated in various fields of work such as agriculture, horticulture, handloom, tailoring, fisheries, etc.
5) Mahila Shakti Kendra –
This scheme focuses on empowering rural women through community participation. Under this, community volunteers like students and professionals provide information to rural women about their rights and welfare schemes.
6) Reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Schemes –
In 2009, the Union Cabinet of India announced 50 percent women’s reservation in Panchayati Raj institutions, an attempt by the government to improve the social status of women in rural areas. Through which a large number of women were elected as Gram Panchayat Presidents in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and Andhra Pradesh as well as in other states.
Some Acts Passed by Parliament for Women Empowerment (Laws made by the Parliament favoring women empowerment)
Some Acts have also been passed by the Parliament to empower women with legal rights. Those Acts are as follows –
- Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956
- Dowry Prohibition Act 1961
- Equal Remuneration Act 1976
- Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1987
- Sex Testing Techniques Act 1994
- Child Marriage Prevention Act 2006
- Sexual Exploitation of Women at Workplace Act 2013
Role of women in nation-building – Role of women in the nation’s progress
With the changing times, the modern age woman is free to read and write. She is aware of her rights and makes her own decisions. Now she comes out of the boundary wall and does special important work for the country. Women constitute almost half of the population of our country. For this reason, the goal of nation-building can be achieved only by keeping the role and contribution of women in the great work of development of the nation fully and in the right perspective.
There is no dearth of such women in India too, who did not let their inner fear of change in society and women’s respect dominate them. One such example became Atiya Sabri of Saharanpur. Atiya is the first Muslim woman who raised her voice against triple talaq.
Varsha Jawalgekar, who fought for justice against acid victims, also tried unsuccessfully to stop the steps, but she did not stop fighting for justice. There are many such examples in our country which are becoming synonymous with women’s empowerment.
Today, efforts are being made to empower women in all respects. The result of this is also being seen. Today the women of the country have become aware. Today’s woman has changed that thinking that she can better handle the responsibility of home and family.
Today’s women working shoulder to shoulder with men are making their important contributions in the biggest field of work. Whether it works for wages or going to space. Women are proving their worth in every field.
Benefits of Women
Empowerment – Without women’s empowerment, women cannot get the place they have always deserved in the country and society. Without women’s empowerment, they cannot take on the age-old traditions and evils. Being free from bondage, she cannot make her own decisions. In the absence of women’s empowerment, she cannot be able to get her freedom and authority over her decisions.
Many changes took place in the lives of women due to women’s empowerment
- Women have started taking an active part in every work.
- Women are making their own decisions related to their lives.
- Women have started fighting for their rights and are slowly becoming self-reliant.
- Men are also now understanding women, giving them their rights.
- Men are now respecting the decisions of women. It is also said that by asking for rights, one has to take away and women have got their rights from men by their ability and unitedly.
Only women’s empowerment can play an important role in getting the opportunity for women’s rights and equality. Women empowerment not only prepares women for alimony but also prepares them to awaken women’s consciousness and get freedom from social atrocities.
The way India has become one of the fastest-growing countries in the world today, shortly, India also needs to focus on achieving the goal of women empowerment. To bring true women empowerment in Indian society, one has to understand and remove the main causes of bad practices against women which is the patriarchal and male-dominated system of society. It is very necessary that we change our old thinking against women and also bring changes in the constitutional and legal provisions.
Even though many Indian women have become presidents, Prime ministers, Administrative Officers, Doctors, Lawyers, etc in today’s society, still many women still need cooperation and help. They still need more support in education, and in working freely, safe travel, safe work, and social freedom. This work of women empowerment is very important because the socio-economic progress of India depends on the socio-economic progress of its women.
Women empowerment provides strength to women, which helps them to fight for their rights. We all should respect women, give them a chance to progress. The twenty-first century is the century of happy possibilities in women’s life. Women are now coming forward in every field. Today’s woman has become awake and active now. Someone has said very well, “When a woman starts breaking the chains and chains imposed on her, then no power in the world will be able to stop her.“ At present, women have started breaking the stereotypes. This is a happy sign. Though people’s thinking is changing, more efforts are needed in this direction.