Women Empowerment in India

Need for women empowerment :-

  • Even in this 21st century Gender inequality still exists.
  • There are so many women, who are silently baring the harassment of their life partners because of the lack of education, lack of legal awareness and lack of empowerment.
  • When women are empowered, whole society benefits.
  • Educating women about health care promotes healthier families.
  • Even though a woman works 24/7 to raise her children and to maintain her family, she is not getting recognition for the work.
  • “There is no chance of the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on one wing.”- Swami Vivekananda.

Facts :-

  • Year ‘2001’ was declared as the “women’s empowerment year”.

Challenges :-

  • Female Foeticide.
  • Dowry.
  • Restriction on widow remarriage.
  • Gender Bias.
  • Neglect during childhood.
  • Childhood marriages.
  • Gender specific specialization at work.
  • Cultural definition of appropriate gender roles.
  • Belief in the inherent superiority of males.
  • Families are considered as a private sphere and stays under male control.
  • Limited access to cash and credit.
  • Limited employment opportunities.
  • Limited access to education.
  • Female infanticide.
  • Poverty effects women more than men.
  • India’s maternal mortality is highest in South Asia.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Crimes against women.
  • Honor killings – Family honor is associated with women in general, which is an extra burden on women.
  • Trafficking of women.
  • Lack of awareness about government schemes.
  • Still, status of women in India is inferior to status of men.

Constitutional provisions :-

  • Article 14 – Equality before law – Provides equal legal protection for women.
  • Article 15(3) – Special provisions for women.
  • Article 16 – Equal opportunities for all citizens in public employment irrespective of caste, sex, religion.
  • Article 23 – Prohibits traffic in human beings & forced labour.
  • Article 39 – The citizen, men & women equally have the right to an adequate means of livelihood.
  • Article 40 – 1/3 rd of seats in panchayats shall be reserved for women.
  • Article 42 – State shall make provisions for just and humane working conditions & maternity relief.
  • Article 44 – Uniform civil code for the citizens throughout the territory of India to safeguard women from laws of religion.
  • Article 51 A (e) – One of the duties of every citizen is to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of woman.

Government Acts :-

  • Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act 1956 – Property of a female Hindu to be her absolute property.
  • Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005 – Women get equal share in the ancestral property.
  • Dowry prohibition Act, 1961.
  • Contract Labor Act, 1970 & Factories Act, 1948 – Women can’t be employed in the night between 9pm to 6am. – Women cannot be required to work for more than 9hrs.
  • Equal remuneration Act, 1976.
  • The indecent representation of women (prohibition) Act, 1986.
  • Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987.
  • Protection of women from domestic violence Act, 2005.
  • Maternity Benefits Act, 1961.
  • Child marriage (prohibition) Act, 1929.
  • Hindu marriage Act, 1955 – This act was passed to stop polygamy and bigamy.

Government Schemes and Programs :-

  • Beti Bachao Beti Bachao :- To eliminate female foeticide and to promote education for girl children.
  • STEP (Support to training cum Employment for women) – To increase the self-reliance and autonomy of women by enhancing their productivity & enabling them to take up income generation activity.
  • SSA (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) – For girl child education. It lead to increase in the Gender Parity Index (GPI).
  • The National literacy Mission or Saakshar Bharat – Literacy of women. Literacy is the critical instrument of women’s empowerment.
  • National Rural Health Mission – Educating women on health care. It has resulted in the decline in fertility rates, Maternal mortality rates (MMR), Infant mortality rates (IMR).
  • SHG (Self Help Groups) – For economic development in women by giving micro finances.
  • GB (Gender budgeting) – Identifying the felt needs of women and re-prioritizing and increasing expenditure to meet these needs.
  • NMEW (National Mission for Empowerment of Women) – To ensure economic & social empowerment of women.
  • Swayamsidha scheme – To ensures total development of women.
  • Swadhar scheme – Basic necessities to marginalized women & girls.
  • Kishori Shakti Yojana – Empowerment of adolscent girls.
  • Mahila Samridhi Yojana – For women empowerment.
  • Maternity Benefit Scheme – Payment of Rs.500/- to pregnant women for the first two births only if the woman belongs to BPL (Below Poverty Line) category.
  • Rastriya Mahila Kosh – To provide micro loans for women.
  • Scheme for working women hostel – To promote availability of safe & conveniently located accommodation fro working women.
  • Development of women & children in Rural Areas (DWCRA)– Creation of groups of women for income generating activities on self sustaining basis.
  • SABLA – Empowerment of adolescent girls.

How can we take part :-

  • First of all, woman must have the will to be independent & to be the best of herself, then rest of everything follows.
  • Creating legal awareness among women about their rights.
  • Educating women. Education makes them independent.
  • Providing health facilities & economic security.
  • Skill development programs.
  • Forming groups. Unity gives strength to everyone.
  • And many more little things which makes significant difference and leads to the great future.

Best practices worldwide :-

  • “The Women, Business and the Law, 2012” is a law in Switzerland, specifically targeting the future prospects of women seeking jobs and promotions as entrepreneurs and business workers impeding the economic involvement of their husbands.
  • Canadian Women’s Foundation is an initiative taken by the citizens of Canada which involves educating girls on the grounds of science and technology, critical thinking skills, leadership tasks etc.
  • Equality Pay Act – United Kingdom: is an act which focuses on trimming down the difference between a man and a woman’s average pay earned annually. This ensures gender equality by paying them as per the working hours.
  • UN Women: is the UN organization entitled for the growth of women across every little corner of the world. This mainly aims at accelerating the women empowerment and helping them follow their dreams and aspirations.

Conclusion :-

We have come so far in women empowerment. Now many women are working in diverse careers and are financially independent. But still we have a long way to go. We need to totally eliminate gender inequality. The Government and we, the people have responsibility towards women empowerment. And we can achieve this ‘Millennium Development Goal’ definitely. One day will come, when gender inequality will only be present in the history books.

Afterwords :- What is your opinion on this topic? Express your thoughts in the comment section below.


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26 comments ✍

  1. I think we should remove gender discrimination out of purvue of nation. Everyone to be treated same, no biasness to be entertained at any cause(whether at that moment whether that could be he/she).

    1. That’s a progressive thought! But sometimes we really need positive discrimination like reservation for women in colleges and in politics etc. to attain equal status for men and women.

  2. According to ur point of view, where women should be allowed to work till late night is absolutely correct. There is law established by government for the same. Any organization which has more than 8 employee should have a complaint and welfare comittee within the organization who will be solely responsible for the security of the women employee.

  3. I believe that Girls are second to none. If girls are given proper education than they can lead the society, state, nation or the world. Women are considered the pillars of the society and play the roles of mother, wife, sister & daughter.If we, the people give the equal chance them then then can beat even men also in every field like medical, management, engineering, analyst, research & development etc. The only problem is with the our society.Their mindsets are different , some places are such as women aren’t given entry to the temple in her period time , they have to veil in front of father in law, can’t work due to she is female? these are the questions that people have to change their mindsets with the increasing generation . Now we live in the technology generation and it doesn’t require any orthodoxy traditions. Therefore, let bygones be bygones and move towards new step i.e. to increase general awareness about laws and legal acts to improve the condition of women . By self realizing and self employed female can help in greater economy of the nation. With the mix of these two powers the nation will be called Developed Country actually.

  4. I think doing this will lead to increase in the tension of parents. Not all parents are same. It was one incidence and not applicable on all. Doing such thing will lead to insult of god like parents.

  5. This is about the recent case took place in Haryana (Sirsa). A girl child of 4 was brutally hit by her grandmother. The heartless grandma burnt her private area just because she was a girl child not the boy. She was youngest of the 3 sisters. She was rescued by the child protection committee & was admitted to hospital for treatment.

    I want to share an idea with Govt. that whenever a child takes birth (especially a girl child), it should be a law that her parents/guardians give her health/life welfare/her well being report on quarterly/half yearly basis to the Govt. or any NGO atleast till the age of 15.

    If by chance any tragedy happens with the child, the guardians should have a clear proof about it and it should be their duty to inform the related NGO or Govt.

    This is just an idea. I want this to reach the higher authorities.

  6. This is really very awesome information that u give me.. It is really useful for my presentation. . Thank u so much..:)

  7. This covered all aspects regarding to topic.
    One more thing which we can do is respect of women in society and stopping humiliations.

  8. this is really a awesome information that u have given me it was really useful for my speech in the school. i was really very inspired by the information that u have given me.

  9. The most important issue that i want to highlight is that india is facing poverty and unemployment today the reason behind this issue is that we are not giving equal priorty to men and women.This is creating imbalance in the society.if men works till late night then women sholud also work.A bill should be passed to provide securtiy to women workers who works till late night.its somewhat like harnessing the power from two machines will leads to more amount of work completion.In the same way if we harness the power from WOMEN+MEN then it will help a lot by transforming india into a well developed country and free from poverty and unemployment.
    secondly,child marraige should be prohibited.we should give some platform to the under 18 girls to present their talent infront of the nation rather making them follow the child marraige law prepared by the society.

  10. It is widely accepted that cinema and silver screen do impact mindset a big time. I think women must not be portrayed weak on screen. To empower them we must portray them powerful. This will create a sense of power and confidence in women. Then they may overcome their fear.

  11. Without women we cannot expect a fully welfared country.we should put some effort in legal awareness.men and women should given equal opportunities in every field of this world.women should not bare the harassment silently by his life partner instead of that they should report it to the police station.
    Thanks.

  12. Great information shared!

    We at PRADAN believe that women are the most important and central part of any society/community.

    The Gender Equality project is a pilot that PRADAN is implementing in nine project locations with 80,000 women. The Gender Equality project aspires for larger social and political empowerment led by women.We also begin our engagement in most new villages by promoting women’s Self-Help Groups (SHGs). The SHGs start out as thrift and credit associations of poor women who share similar social and economic contexts. PRADAN helps SHG members decide the rules of business and pool their savings for small loans, and trains them in playing a “public” role while giving them the experience of working together.

    Please visit http://www.pradan.net for more information

  13. this is great information provided here
    think we should discuss on topic"should we give beggary to baggers or not if not why and if we should why?"
    thanks

  14. Thank you for sharing this information. Women empowerment in India is a long chased dream, but not an impossible one. There are many women who have not only fought for themselves but also for others. Some have been silenced forever, some have been made prisoners in their own abodes while some have been able to break the shackles. Hats off to them for fighting it out in this male dominated society. Vivel Active Fair has come up with a unique award called the Choo Lo Aasmaan award for women like this. If you know of anyone please do nominate her for the award at: https://www.facebook.com/itcvivel.

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