Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai famously quoted “I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.”, and that sentiment precisely outlines the basis of new age women empowerment. Discrimination against women is rampant all over the world even in this 21st century. Patriarchal societies in most countries are adept at exploitation as well as victimization of women. Even though about 50% of the world’s population consists of women, but unfortunately most of them are denied basic rights education, freedom of speech, voting power and even independent identity. Crimes directed specifically against women are reported from all over the world. There still remain questions about acceptance of women empowerment in the most advanced of countries, while developing nations and nations under political duress are far from achieving the desired status.
In India, in theory, women enjoy a status of equality with the men as per constitutional and legal provisions. Arguably, our country has taken enormous strides towards inclusion of women with the fairer gender excelling in diverse fields, from literature to astrophysics to finance. But with headlines about dowry killing, female foeticides and domestic violence still making the newspapers, put a silent question mark behind the two words. Here, in this current age, true development and growth can only be achieved by taking successful strides in eliminating deep-rooted ideologies of gender bias and discrimination like the confinement of women to the private domestic realm, restrictions on their mobility, poor access to health services, nutrition, education and employment, and exclusion from the public and political sphere
Meaning of Women Empowerment
If it is to be elucidated beyond the two self-explanatory words, ‘Women Empowerment’ refers to complete emancipation of women from socio-economic shackles of dependency and deprivations. Often made synonymous to gender equality, the term women empowerment encompasses a much larger set of principles that needs whole-hearted attention. The concept of empowerment flows from the word power. Empowerment of women would mean encouraging women to be self-reliant, economically independent, have positive self-esteem, generate confidence to face any difficult situation and incite active participation in various socio-political development endeavors. The growing conscience is to accept women as individuals capable of making rational and educated decisions about them as well as the society, increasing and improving the economic, political and legal strength of the women, to ensure equal-right as men, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for their families and communities. The various facets of women empowerment that needs to be addressed for a rounded out development are listed as:-
Human Rights or Individual Rights: A woman has the right to express her thoughts and opinions freely, without any restriction. Individual empowerment may be achieved by imparting self-confidence to articulate and assert the power of independent decision making. Women should be aware of their rights and social positions that they are entitled to constitutionally.
Social Empowerment of Women: The most critical aspect of social empowerment of women is the promotion of gender equality. Gender equality implies that in society women and men enjoy the same opportunities, outcomes, rights and obligations in all spheres of life.
Educational Empowerment of Women: It means enabling women to grab the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process. Giving preference to the girl child for educational opportunities is a start.
Economic and Occupational Freedom: It means reducing the financial dependence of women on their male counterparts by making them a significant part of the human resource. A better quality of material life, within the family as well as for the overall society, can be achieved through promotion of sustainable livelihoods like cottage industries, small entrepreneurial efforts owned and managed by women.
Empowerment Through Legal Knowledge: Not only does it suggest the provision of an effective legal structure which is supportive of women empowerment, there also is the need to spread awareness among women about their legal rights and laws preventing their exploitation. It means addressing the gaps between what the law prescribes and what actually occurs.
Political Empowerment of Women: The existence of a political system encouraging the participation of women in the political decision-making process and in governance. Indian constitution has provided the bulwarks for gender equality in the country in the following articles:-
Article 14 – Equality before law “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth”
Article 16 (2) – Equal Opportunities “No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect or, any employment or office under the State”.
Article 23 – Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.
Article 39(a) – The citizen, men & women equally have the right to an adequate means of livelihood.
Article 40(after the 73rd Amendment) – 1/3rdof seats in panchayats shall be reserved for women.
Article 42 – State shall make provisions for just and humane working conditions & maternity relief.
Article 51 A (e) – One of the duties of every citizen is to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of woman.
Government Laws and its subsequent amendments have seen larger inclusion of women with respect to their standing in the society. The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005 stating that women get equal share in the ancestral property or the Equal remuneration Act, 1976, has contributed towards a better footing in the society. The Dowry prohibition Act, 1961, Child marriage (prohibition) Act, 1929, The indecent representation of women (prohibition) Act, 1986 and the Hindu marriage Act, 1955, preventing polygamy and bigamy, and their strict enforcements has to a large extent contributed towards lessening women exploitation. Various government schemes like Rastriya Mahila Kosh and STEP (Support to training cum Employment for women) have managed to bring financial development of rural women through self-sustainable employment. The recent Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao scheme as well as the SABLA scheme has been aimed at reducing female infanticide and promoting the importance of educating the girl child. A number of councils and bodies have been established for the well-being of women such as the National Commission for Women, Department of Women and Child Development and the Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women which has reviewed various laws and recommended amendments. The National Policy for Empowerment of Women (2001) is aimed at addressing all forms of violence against women including physical, mental and that arising from customs and traditions.
Why Women Empowerment is Important
A strong patriarchal society with deep- rooted socio-cultural values continues to affect the progress of women’s empowerment in the country. The need of the hour is an egalitarian society, where there should be no place for gender superiority. Aim of Government policies should be to identify and eliminate forces that are directed towards keeping the tradition of male dominance over its female counterpart alive.
Women constitute roughly 50% of the nation’s population and a majority of them remain economically dependent, without employment. Many of them are even unaware of the fact that they are eligible for positions that men enjoy. The result is that the economy of the country is skewed due to underutilization of available human resources. Women are generally considered less competent, both intellectually as well as physically as compared with men. As a result the opportunities extended towards them become biased and obtrusive without actual evaluation of their competencies. While scientific data proclaims women to be more adept at multi-tasking than men, they still remain the second choice for employers in the country.
In major parts of India as well as the world, women are still denied basic education and are never allowed to pursue higher education despite possessing the acumen needed. This colossal waste of talent is definitely holding economies backward.
Women empowerment in its actuality is synonymous with complete development of the society. An educated woman, with knowledge about health, hygiene, cleanliness is capable of creating a better disease-free environment for her family. A self-employed woman is capable of contributing not only to her family’s finances, but also contributes towards increment of the country’s overall GDP. A shared source of income is much more likely to uplift the quality of life than a single income household and more often than not helps the family come out of poverty trap. Women aware of their legal rights are less likely to be victims of domestic violence or other forms of exploitations. Their inherent aptitude towards organization and well-rounded maintenance of home makes them uniquely suited for political and civil leadership roles. The 73rd & 74th Amendments (1993) to the constitution of India have provided some special powers to women – reservation of seats(33%) and the ‘New Panchayati Raj’ – to empower women at least at the village level, is a prime example of the point in discussion. Participation of women in political and social positions of power has seen marked reduction in corruption in those specific areas which adds another advantageous point in favor of women empowerment.
Women empowerment is currently a burning issue on the minds of nation’s policymakers as it commands a lot of media attention and international focus lately. It is a fact that women are built different than men by nature yet this difference cannot be translated to mean inferiority. In the few last decades, India has witnessed some changes in the status and role of women in our society. There has been shift in policy approaches – what was focused on ‘welfare’ in the seventies, ‘development’ in the eighties and ‘growth’ in the nineties, has now been tagged with the contemporary term of ’empowerment’. Empowering women socially, economically, educationally, politically and legally is going to be a Herculean task. It will not be easy changing the deep-rooted perception that women are inferior, dependent and dispensable, resulting in a culture of disregard for women in Indian society. But it does not mean that change is implausible. Time is needed to eradicate the perception. But with the push towards the right direction and a lot of effort directed, this task might just be achievable. All we need is an organized approach from the Government and law enforcement agencies of the country focused in the right direction that would rest only with the liberation of women from all forms of evil.
Women empowerment is to empower women by promoting their participation in all areas and sectors to build stronger economies, improve their quality of life and bring gender equality.
Essay on Women Empowerment
Women empowerment is the empowerment of women which helps them to take their own decisions by breaking all personal limitations of the society and family. Students are generally get this topic to discuss or write some paragraphs or complete essay in their schools. Here we have provided some paragraph and essay on women empowerment to help students. They can select any women empowerment essay given below according to their need and requirement:
Women Empowerment Essay 1 (100 words)
Women empowerment is empowering the women to take their own decisions for their personal dependent. Empowering women is to make them independent in all aspects from mind, thought, rights, decisions, etc by leaving all the social and family limitations. It is to bring equality in the society for both male and female in all areas. Women empowerment is very necessary to make the bright future of the family, society and country. Women need fresh and more capable environment so that they can take their own right decisions in every area whether for themselves, family, society or country. In order to make the country fully developed country, women empowerment is an essential tool to get the goal of development.
Women Empowerment Essay 2 (150 words)
According to the provisions of the Constitution of India, it is a legal point to grant equality to women in the society in all spheres just like male. The Department of Women and Child Development functions well in this field for the proper development of the women and child in India. Women are given a top place in India from the ancient time however they were not given empowerment to participate in all areas. They need to be strong, aware and alert every moment for their growth and development. Empowering women is the main motto of the development department because an empowered mother with child makes the bright future of any nation.
There are many formulating strategies and initiating processes started by the government of India in order to bring women into the mainstream of development. Women constitute half population of the whole country’s population and need to be independent in every area for the holistic development of women and children.
Women Empowerment Essay 3 (200 words)
India is a very famous country known for its cultural heritage, traditions, civilization, religion and geographical features from the ancient time. On the other hand, it is also popular as a male chauvinistic nation. Women are given first priority in India however on the other hand they were badly treated in the family and society. They were limited only for the household chores or understand the responsibility of home and family members. They were kept totally unaware of their rights and own development. People of India used to say this country as “Bharat-Mata” however never realized the true meaning of it. Bharat-Mata means a mother of every Indian whom we have to save and care always.
Women constitute half power of the country so in order to make this country a fully powerful country, women empowerment is very necessary. It is empowering women to understand their rights to be independent in every area for their proper growth and development. Women give birth to the baby means future of the nation so only they can better involve in making the bright future of the nation through the proper growth and development of the children. Women need to be empowered instead of treating as a helpless victim of male chauvinism.
Women Empowerment Essay 4 (250 words)
With the slogan of women empowerment the question arise that “are women become really strong” and “is long term struggle has ended”. Many programmes have been implemented and run by the government such as International Women’s day, mother’s day, etc in order to bring awareness in the society about the true rights and value of the women in the development of the nation. Women need to be progressed in the number of spheres. There is a high level of gender inequality in India where women are ill treated by their family members and outsiders. The percentage of illiterate population in India is mostly covered by the women. The real meaning of the women empowerment is to make them well educated and leave them free so that they can be capable to take their own decisions in any field.
Women in India are always subjected to the honour killings and they never given their basic rights for the proper education and freedom. They are the victims who have face violence and abuse in the male dominated country. According to the National Mission for the Empowerment of women (NMEW) launched by the Indian Government, this step has sown some improvement in the 2011 census. The ratio of female sex and female literacy both has increased. According to the Global Gender Gap Index, India needs to take some advance steps to improve the women position in the society through the proper health, higher education and economic participation. Women empowerment needs to take full speed in right direction instead of being in nascent stage.
Women Empowerment Essay 5 (300 words)
The most famous saying said by the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is “To awaken the people, it is the women who must be awakened. Once she is on the move, the family moves, the village moves, the nation moves”. In India, to empower the women, first it needs to kill all the demons killing women’s rights and values in the society such as dowry system, illiteracy, sexual harassment, inequality, female infanticide, domestic violence against women, rape, prostitution, illegal trafficking and other issues. Gender discrimination in the nation brings cultural, social, economic and educational differences which push country back. The most effective remedy to kill such devils is making women empowered by ensuring the Right to Equality mentioned in the Constitution of India.
Giving priority to the gender equality facilitates women empowerment all over the country. To get the high level goal of women empowerment, it should be promoted from the childhood in each and every family. It needs women to be strong physically, mentally and socially. Since the better education can be started at home from childhood, the upliftment of women needs healthy family to bring a holistic development of the nation. Still in many backward areas, there is a trend of early marriage and childbirth because of the poverty, insecurity and illiteracy of the parents. In order to empower women, various steps have been taken by the government to prevent violence, social separation, gender discrimination and abuse against women.
108th Constitutional Amendment Bill (also called Women’s Reservation Bill) was passed to reserve one-third of the seats for women only in the Lok Sabha to make them actively involved in every area. In other fields also the seats for women have been reserved for their active participation without any limitation and competition. Various mass campaigns need to be organized in the backward rural areas to make them aware about the real values of women and all the facilities available by the government for their bright future. They need to be promoted for the survival and proper education of female child to really bring the dream of women empowerment come true.
Women Empowerment Essay 6 (400 words)
Gender inequality is the main social issue in India in which women are getting back in the male dominated country. Women empowerment needs to take a high speed in this country to equalize the value of both genders. Uplifting of women in all means should be the utmost priority of the nation. Inequalities between men and women in the society generate lots of problems which become a big obstruction in the way to success of nation. It is the birth rights of the women to get equal value to the men in the society. To really bring empowerment, every woman needs to be aware about their rights from their own end. They need to take positive steps and involve in every activities instead of only involving in the household chores and family responsibilities. They should know about all the happenings in their surroundings and country.
Women empowerment has the power to change many things in the society and country. They are much better than men to deal with certain problems in the society. They can better understand the disadvantages of the overpopulation for their family and country. They are fully able to handle the economic conditions of the family and country through proper family planning. Women are capable enough to handle any impulsive violence in comparison to the men whether in the family or society.
Through women empowerment, it can be possible to change the male dominated country into the equally dominated country of rich economy. Empowering women may easily help to grow each and every member of the family without any extra effort. A woman is considered to be responsible for everything in the family so she can better solve all the problems from her own end. Empowerment of the women would automatically bring empowerment of everyone.
Women empowerment is the better treatment of any big or small problems related to human being, economy or environment. In few last years, the advantages of the women empowerment are coming out in front of us. Women are being more conscious about their health, education, career, job and responsibilities towards family, society and country. They are taking part in the every area and showing their great interest in each field. Finally, after long years of hard struggle they are getting their rights to go ahead on the right track.
Women Empowerment Essay 7 (800 words) (Long Essay)
What is Women Empowerment
Women empowerment can be defined in very simple words that it is making women powerful so that they can take their own decisions regarding their lives and well being in the family and society. It is empowering women to make them able to get their real rights in the society.
Why Need of Women Empowerment in India
As we all know that India is a male dominated country where males are dominated in every area and females are forced to be responsible for only family care and live in the home including other many restrictions. Almost 50% of the population in India is covered by the female only so the full development of the country depends on the half population means women, who are not empowered and still restricted by many social taboos. In such condition, we cannot say that our country would be a developed in the future without empowering its half population means women. If we want to make our country a developed country, first of all it is very necessary to empower women by the efforts of men, government, laws and women too.
The need of women empowerment arose because of the gender discrimination and male domination in the Indian society since ancient time. Women are being suppressed by their family members and society for many reasons. They have been targeted for many types of violence and discriminatory practices by the male members in the family and society in India and other countries as well. Wrong and old practices for the women in the society from ancient time have taken the form of well developed customs and traditions. There is a tradition of worshipping many female goddesses in India including giving honour to the women forms in the society like mother, sister, daughter, wife and other female relatives or friends. But, it does not mean that only respecting or honouring women can fulfil the need of development in the country. It needs the empowerment of the rest half population of the country in every walk of life.
India is a famous country proving the common proverb like ‘unity is diversity’, where people of many religious beliefs are in the Indian society. Women have been given a special place in every religion which is working as a big curtain covering the eyes of people and help in the continuation of many ill practices (including physical and mental) against women as a norm since ages. In the ancient Indian society, there was a custom of sati pratha, nagar vadhu system, dowry system, sexual violence, domestic violence, female infanticide, parda pratha, wife burning, sexual harassment at work place, child marriage, child labour, devadashi pratha, etc including other discriminatory practices. All such type of ill practices is because of male superiority complex and patriarchal system of the society.
Socio-political rights (right to work, right to education, right to decide for themselves, etc) for the women were completely restricted by the male members of family. Some of the ill practices against women have been eliminated by the open minded and great Indian people who raise their voices for the discriminatory practices against women. Through the continuous efforts of the Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Britishers were forced to eliminate the ill practice of Sati paratha. Later, other famous social reformers of the India (Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Swami Vivekananda, etc) also had raised their voices and worked hard for the upliftment of women in Indian society. In India, the Widow Remarriage Act, 1856 was initiated by the continuous efforts of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in order to improve the conditions of widows in the country.
In the recent years, various constitutional and legal rights have been implemented by the government of India in order to eliminate ill practices and gender discrimination against women. However, in order to solve such a big issue, the continuous effort of everyone including women is required. Modern society is being more aware about the women rights which results in the increasing number of several self-help groups, NGOs, etc working in this direction. Women are being more open minded and breaking the societal barriers in order to achieve their rights in all dimensions even after crimes are going side by side.
Some of the acts passed by the Parliament are Equal Remuneration Act-1976, Dowry Prohibition Act-1961, Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act-1956, Medical termination of Pregnancy Act-1971, Maternity Benefit Act-1961, Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act-1987, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act-2006, Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act-1994, Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Protection and) Act-2013, etc in order to empower women with legal rights.
In order to provide safety to women and reduce crime against women in India, government has passed another act Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015 (especially after Nirbhaya case when an accused juvenile was released). This act is the replacement earlier Indian juvenile delinquency law of 2000 (Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000) in order to reduce the juvenile age from 18 to 16 years in cases of heinous offenses.
In order to really bring women empowerment in the Indian society, it needs to understand and eliminate the main cause of the ill practices against women which are patriarchal and male dominated system of the society. It needs to be open-minded and change the old mind set against women together with the constitutional and other legal provisions.
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