Women Empowerment has been addressed in Various national and international communities and took various efforts to empower them so as to enhance their social and health status and involve them in development activities. In India national family health survey 1998-1999, provides an opportunity to study women’s empowerment. Women empowerment in political, economic, social, cultural and business activities plays a significant role in today’s life. There are significant divergences in the women’s empowerment across different states and socio economic and cultural settings with in India. Women’s educational levels emerged as an important predictor for all the dimensions of women empowerment. Additionally government self employment training schemes and media exposure have emerged as the important tools for women’s empowerment.
The couple of word “Women-Empowerment” may be defined as a multidimensional social process that helps women in gaining control over their own lives. It fosters capacity in them, for use in their own lives, their community, and in their society by acting on issues that they define as important. It is multidimensional in the sense that it occurs within sociological, psychological, economic and other dimensions. It also occurs at various levels such as individual, group, and community. It is a social process in the sense that it occurs in relationships to others. In many societies of underdeveloped or undeveloped countries women have direct links with the local environment. They work in fields and run household affairs.
They can be seen collecting firewood and forest- food products etc. and carrying drinking water from far off places. Since women depend on natural resources for their survival, they gain through experience, sufficient knowledge about the protection and management of those resources. In spite of all the work and sacrifice they do for the sake of their families and the local environment, women are most neglected and unprivileged in many societies of the world. They have not been given right to speak or take a decision in important matter pertaining to families, societies and environment.
Types of Empowerment:
Economic empowerment is thought to allow women to think beyond immediate daily survival and to exercise greater control over both their resources and life choices. For example, it enables households to make their own decisions around making investments in health and education, and taking risks in order to increase their income. There is also some evidence that economic empowerment can strengthen vulnerable groups’ participation in the decision-making. For example, microfinance programs have been shown to bolster women’s influence within the household and marketplace. The evidence also suggests that economic power is often easily ‘converted’ into increased social status or decision-making power.
The literature on economic empowerment is vast, and a large part of this focuses on the economic empowerment of women – a key strategy in addressing gender inequality. More generally, the discourse on economic empowerment centers around four broad areas: a) the promotion of the assets of poor people; b) transformative forms of social protection; c) microfinance; and d) skills training.
Social empowerment is understood as the process of developing a sense of autonomy and self-confidence, and acting individually and collectively to change social relationships and the institutions and discourses that exclude poor people and keep them in poverty. Poor people’s empowerment, and their ability to hold others to account, is strongly influenced by their individual assets such as land, housing, livestock, savings and capabilities of all types: human (such as good health and education), social (such as social belonging, a sense of identity, leadership relations) and psychological (self-esteem, self-confidence, the ability to imagine and aspire to a better future). Also important are people’s collective assets and capabilities, such as voice, organization, representation and identity.
Political empowerment means empowering women in politics. The Women’s Reservation Bill providing for 33% reservation of seats for women in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies is expected to come up again in the Rajya Sabha soon.
Need For Empowerment:
Today, women share equal status as men. More stress should be laid on empowering rural women and their development. A special focus should be on empowering girls and women, since it will lead to a change in the society which would be sustainable and will be in effect for ages to come. A united approach must be followed while empowering women it is a social cause that requires stewardship and continuous attention from every individual. Society needs to enhance its efforts for women empowerment and to boost the progress being made by women. It is society’s constitutional, moral and social responsibility to confirm women’s progress giving women equal opportunities and rights.
Women today are ruling over the world and making their mark in various fields with the dedication and hard work shown by them to excel in their area of expertise. Women are not treated as an object or slave, rather they have now become independent of unethical societal norms imposed on them. As a result, companies are hiring are women force in more numbers since they have shown excellence in dedication towards their work as well as striking a perfect balance between their social, personal and professional life. Female job seekers were not given much preference earlier but now they are preferred candidates for many jobs.
Way to Empower:
Women hold the key to a future free from hunger and poverty. By supporting women’s education, training them as business leaders, equipping them to become better farmers and aiding those displaced by conflict, the Women’s Empowerment Fund is giving WFP and its supporters a new way to help them do that. Now a day’s there are many schemes organized by government and schemes offered by financial institutions. These day’s education and media are playing a major role in women’s empowerment.
“A hand that swings a cradle, if given power can rule a country.” There are many legends how paved a path for women like Mother Theresa, Indira Gandhi, Kalpana Chawla, Indra Nooyi, Aishwarya Rai and so on. Women has to take these legends as a role model and to move forward for better development of our Nation.
Impact of Empowerment:
It will improve the standards of the women in every walk of life, to take her own decisions regarding her life. With the empowerment of women the family will be enriched and will improve the society and thereby Nation. Educating a male means educating an individual where as educating a women means educating the family. As mother is the first teacher for a child if she is educated she can make a path for her children and take care of entire family.
International women’s day is a day to reflect on the achievements of the women and to celebrate the progress made to women empowerment. Hence we conclude that women empowerment leads the betterment of the Nation.