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.
  • Trafficking of women.
  • Lack of awareness about government schemes.

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.
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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 :-

  • 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.
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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.

Conclusion :-

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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?"

  8. 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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