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The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are eight goals with assessable targets and clear deadlines for improving the lives of the poorest people. To meet these goals and eliminate poverty, leaders of 189 countries signed the historic millennium declaration at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000. One of the eight goals that has received a lot of effort for achieving it, is: To promote gender equality and empower women, especially in LEDS countries like India. This particular country struggles with an issue of gender inequality that goes beyond of fair economic growth and equal access to educational resource opportunities.
The burden of poverty weights on the women more than on the opposite sex. In the workplaces women receive 34% less wages than their male colleagues for the same work.
This graph above shows how women in both rural and urban areas work more and put more hours for unpaid work than men. Women in India struggle not only economically but also socially. A huge number of them receive a lot of abuse on their side.
Last year a survey of 1,000 households across the central-Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh convey that people thought it was acceptable to criticise and beat women if they slipped up while carrying out unpaid care work.
This graph shows how the women’s unpaid work leads to gender -based violence. In turn, violence continuously sets women back economically. It’s a vicious cycle. In many rural areas of the country, at their young age, little girls marry grown men against their will.
This is a result of poverty, because as it is a LEDC country many people aren’t able to sustain their families or many of them also try to make connections, whiling to get a better social, economic or political position. All of these problems that occurred because of gender inequality issue, convinced the 189 countries to take actions.
ICT such as social media has played a major role in helping to solve the issue of gender inequality and promote the empowerment of women in India. It has proven ability for attracting attention and accountability to women’s rights, challenging discrimination and stereotypes. Social media is able to promote connection between a huge number of people around the world, that helps to spread the issues, perspectives and different points of view of differnt people. Platforms such as YouTube, Facebook or Twitter have allowed activists around the world to convey events live to a broad online audience The local issues became global problems, local activists became connected to the world citizens, more people are aware and concerned about these issues. Women’s rights movements also quickly benefited from unprecedented political activity on social networks. After a gang rape of young woman in India( Delhi) in 2012. The hashtag campaign has drawn attention to the scale of gender-based violence in India. The hashtag campaign supported public street mobilization, which saw the government introduce specific anti-rape provisions in the Criminal code (Sharma, 2014).
This image is an example of one of the most popular and influential trends in social media, about women empowerment.
Social media has proved that it is one of the most effective ways for promoting gender equality in India, although it has been facing some challenges. Full use of social networks for political protection is limited for many women by illiteracy and the digital divide in infrastructure between rural and urban areas. These factors affect in particular rural and indigenous women’s online propaganda and opportunities to connect with other activists. To overcome this specific challenges activists around the world try to make sure that as many women as possible could get access to social media and overcome the digital divide. The activists are continuously trying to connect with different organizations and the government of the country, so that they can provide internet connection for the rural areas through the use of Power lines (PLT and PLC) and satellite communications offer new possibilities of universal access to the Internet.
In conclusion the investigation showed that the social media is an effective tool that is able to promote gender equality and empower women in India, by assisting connection between a huge number of people around the world and allowing the global activists to re transmit events live to a broad online audience which also includes the politicians. Although it has faced different challenges like digital divide between the urban and rural areas , which made the progress less effective than it could be, still the use of social media for empowering women stays as one of the best ways.
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