It is a fact that women in India have made a considerable progress to a great extent, but they still have to struggle against many handicaps and social evils in the male-dominated society. Many evil and masculine forces still exist in the modern Indian society that resists the forward march of its women power.
It is ironical that a country, which prays female goddesses like Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati while praying but when come to interact with the female humans, feel very proud and pleasure to humiliate women in one sense or other.
No doubt, women have been sitting in the important positions in the society, but their true empowerment is still awaited.
Though the nation has developed a lot, but still there are the majority of people here who can’t see the women going ahead. People here still try that the bird should fly using one wing only, and the other wing(the women) are to be kept either idle or should have less effort and contribution.
People seek the welfare of the world having the women ignored, or if given attention, they are done in that way, as if they are something weak or disabled.
Therefore, the inclusion of “Women Empowerment’ is one of the prime goals in the today’s hi-tech and scientific era. Thus, in order to achieve the status of a developed country, India needs to transform its vast women force into an effective human resource and this is possible only through the empowerment of women.
Empowering women to participate fully in economic and social life across all sectors is essential to make stronger economies, compete internationally to attain the agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families, and communities.
What exactly is the women empowerment?
Women empowerment means liberation of women from the fierce and ferocious grips of social, economical, political, caste and gender-based discrimination. It means granting women the freedom to make life choices. Women empowerment does not mean ‘deifying women’ or stooping before them rather it means giving them equal rights and place in the different walks of society. When talking in detail about women empowerment, there come various aspects in our mind which I am trying to discuss here as under:—
Human Rights or Individual Rights: A woman is a living being with functioning senses; creating imagination and thoughts; and not an idle, so she should be able to express freely and independently. Individual empowerment of a woman means to have the self-confidence to articulate and assert the power to negotiate and make decisions.
Educational Aspect of Women Empowerment - Empowering the women with the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence is the most important and the most necessary tool to participate fully in the development process of the nation. It means making women aware of their rights and developing a confidence to claim them.
Legal and Social Aspect of Women Empowerment There must be a provision of an effective legal structure which is supportive of women empowerment. It means that the gaps between the prescribed law practices and what actually occurs need to be monitored and filled up. Gender equality must be monitored intensely because it implies a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, outcomes, rights and obligations in all spheres of life.
Economic and Occupational Aspect of Women Empowerment- It implies that the livelihoods should be owned and managed by women in order to achieve a better quality of material life through sustainable resources. It means reducing the financial dependency of the female on their male counterparts by making them a significant part of the human resource.
What is the Current Scenario on Women Empowerment –
Based on the ideas reformed by our founding fathers for women empowerment, many social, economic and political provisions were incorporated in the Indian Constitution. Women in India now participate in many areas such as education, sports, politics, media, art and culture, service sector and science and technology. But due to the deep- rooted traditional mentality in the Indian society, women are still victimized, humiliated, tortured and exploited. Even after almost seven decades of Independence, women are still subjected to discrimination in the social, economic and educational field.
Though there have been numerous of steps taken by government time to time to protect the rights of women, but the government initiatives are bound and limited against legal or the constitutional boundaries. In general, if not particular the rape, humiliation or exploitation; the women face lots of those types of harassments by the men dominated society, which can’t even be complained. So the need is to change the mindset of the people and the society, how to make the vision about the women.
What are the Challenges in the way of Women Empowerment ?
The most widespread and dehumanizing discrimination against women begin from the birth of a girl child itself. Boys are preferred over girls; hence, female infanticide is known as a common practice in India.
The traditional Indian society is a still a society which is ruled by the diktats of self-proclaimed caste lords who are the guardians of archaic and unjust traditions. They put the burden of traditions, culture, and honor on the shoulders of women and mark their growth.
Still remains the Implementation Gaps Though the government has made lots of programmes to protect the women and their rights like The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technologies Act and various health programmes like Janani Suraksha Yojana and National Rural Health Mission (NHRM), and many others in the last seventy years after independence , but the attention is only on developing and devising new schemes, policies and programmes and have paid less attention to the proper monitoring system and implementation sightedness and that is why, for example, our country has still a skewed sex ratio and a high maternal mortality rate.
Exists some Loopholes in the legal structure Although there are a number of laws to protect women against all sorts of violence yet there has been the significant increase in the episodes of rapes, extortions, acid, attacks etc. This is due to delay in legal procedures and the presence of several loopholes in the functioning of a judicial system.
The male dominance prevails in the society of India and women are forced to remain mute spectators in most of the cases.
What are the Ways ahead to bring the Women Empowerment
Ways start with bridging the deep-rooted biases through sustained reconditioning. It is only possible by promoting the idea of gender equality and uprooting social ideology of male child preferability. This concept of equality should be first developed in each and every household and from there; it should be taken to the society.
Education is the most important and indispensable tool for women empowerment. It makes women aware of their rights and responsibilities. Educational achievements of a woman can have fast flow and ripple effects for the particular family and across generations.
Empowering women socially, economically, educationally, politically and legally is not going to be so easy that the culture of disregard for women will end up in a day or two. This is so deep-rooted in Indian society that it is going to be an exceptional heroic task. But it does not mean that it is implausible and far-fetched. Any reforms take time to be effective; women empowerment is not a one-day revolution, so, will also take its time as well. All we need is a concentrated effort focused in the right direction that would rest only with the liberation of women from all forms of evil.
A small initiative taken by us:
Though a single body can't make the complete change but can give important contribution towards the change. Having the same vision in mind, our trust, the NK Charitable Trust (www.nkcharitabletrust.com) has launched some of the programs for educating and skill development of women and is moving forward continuously to take newer initiatives for the same.