Women empowerment is the process of empowering women. Empowerment means accepting and allowing people (here it means women) who are on the outside of the decision-making process; into it. Development of a country also depends crucially on its women.
Why do we need Women Empowerment?
Guaranteeing the rights of women and giving them opportunities to reach their full potential is critical not only for attaining gender equality, but also for meeting a wide range of international development goals. Empowered women and girls contribute to the health and productivity of their families, communities, and countries. It has benefits for everyone.
Globally, women and girls perform long hours of unpaid domestic work. In some places, women still lack rights to own land or to inherit property, obtain access to credit, earn income, or to move up in their workplace, free from job discrimination.
Imagine, if almost all the women get empowered, our whole world will move forward and will evolve faster than ever.
Women Empowerment in India
For centuries, women in India have faced discrimination as well as exploitation in many ways. But one important point that we should highlight is that since independence, time has greatly changed a lot and status of women has also therefore greatly improved.
However, in many parts of our country girls are discouraged from going to school and are supposed to be the inferior counterparts to their opposite gender. Some people think that since women will do household chores encouraging them to study is a waste.
If we educate a woman, a number of social evils like female infanticide, dowry, child marriage, domestic violence will simply vanish from our country.
5 ways to bring Women Empowerment in our country?
Two important and main methods for the empowerment of women are:
- Social Empowerment
- Educational Empowerment
- Economic Empowerment
- Political Empowerment, and
- Psychological Empowerment
1. Social Empowerment: Social Empowerment refers to the enabling force that strengthens women’s social relations and their position in social structures. Social empowerment addresses the social discrimination existing in the society based on disability, race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Empowerment as a methodology is often associated with feminism. Broadly put, the term empowerment is defined as “a multi-dimensional social process that helps people gain control over their own lives. It is a process that fosters power in people for use in their own lives, their communities and in their society, by acting on issues they define as important”.
2. Educational Empowerment: “Traditional concepts recognize higher education as an instrument of personal development. It helps in growing an individual’s intellectual horizons, well-being and potential for empowerment”. It is considered as the single most important instrument of sociopolitical and economic transformation. But the picture of women’s educational empowerment is not rosy in India.
Information Technology and media (both electronic and print) are assuming pivotal roles in dissemination of knowledge to the people and bringing the world nearer to one’s reach. In the present day situation it is not possible for any society to think about empowerment without the incorporation and utilization of IT.
3. Economic Empowerment: Economic empowerment is the crying need of this hour. “Wage employment means economic power”. Through employment women earn money and it enables women and girls to become ‘bread earners’, contributing members of households with a strong sense of their own economic independence. “Economic empowerment is a powerful tool against poverty”.
Without economic self-sufficiency other rights and scopes remain meaningless to the people.
4. Political Empowerment: Political empowerment means to create policies that would best support gender equality and agency for women in both the public and private spheres.
Political Empowerment is more than the realm of politics. It can include participation in the household, in schools, and the ability to make one’s own choices.
5. Psychological Empowerment: Through psychological empowerment women not only transgress the traditional and patriarchal taboos and social obligations, they also transform their selves and subjectivities. When women join educational institutions, political parties or decision-making bodies; hold white color jobs, take decisions and travel different places; occupy land and wealth they feel psychologically powered and build their self-confidence, recognize their self-worth and take control of their own income and body.
This joining in any institution and occupation gives them opportunities to see and to know more of the world than those who have stayed behind at home. “This personal growth and exploration has given them self-respect, pride, maturity, and resiliency as they have exerted their independence away from home”.
This also gives them mental strength, and makes them firm, tough and hardworking. They also learn the art of living and how to adjust with the changed circumstances. Further, it gives them satisfaction in various ways relating to work, living, learning, and adjusting in personal and financial situations.