Providing equal rights to women in the social, economic, and political spheres is the ultimate aim of woman empowerment. Women themselves must take the lead in implementing ideas aimed at women’s well-being. The participation of women is essential for the implementation of ideas aimed at women’s empowerment or women’s welfare. The most important element of women’s empowerment is to eliminate the misery of women and establish well-being. Women’s voices and participation will be strengthened when freedom and power are achieved. This will help eliminate inequality and increase the status of women in society. The most important factor leading to women’s empowerment is economic empowerment. At the same time, raising our voice against dowry, oppression of women, and elimination of anti-woman activities and thoughts are also part of women’s empowerment. Women who have become mere commodities are the result of a male-dominated system dominated by sportsmanship, product procurement, and ownership.
What is the meaning of Woman Empowerment?
Woman empowerment means empowering women. Women are not slaves to anyone and they have the same freedom of expression as men. The power and control of her life must be in her hands. Empowering her to do that is empowerment. Her self-esteem is not to be subjugated to anyone. In short, the power and control of every woman’s life must be in their own hands, as well as having the power and authority to make their own decisions. That is what is meant by women’s empowerment. Men and women are two eyes of the same face, of equal importance to both. So, they do not want to play a secondary role only. They want to contribute to the economic, social, and political development of society. A vision of women as equal partners with men is the essence of women’s empowerment. Women have long been labeled the weaker sex; this has been the case for a very long time. As a result of this label, they were subjected to the tyranny of the male and given a subordinate role in society. Nevertheless, women were given an honorable place in India in the past. In Rigveda, a woman was considered a companion of a man rather than his servant or subordinate. In Indian tradition, women are held in high esteem and are respected. When the Muslim rule in India came into being, the position of women changed; the condition deteriorated further during British rule.
Objectives of woman empowerment
The goal of woman empowerment is to provide women with equal rights in the social, economic, and political spheres. Peace is another goal of woman empowerment. It also aims to draw the attention of the general public to efforts to improve the status of women. We live in a world dominated by men, so women feel they are denied their just and rightful place in society. Women in this age of equality and liberty seek to end sex discrimination that has prevented their progress and development. As a result, they have raised their voice against this oppression. In addition to seeking equality with men and equal rights and privileges in all walks of life, they are also fighting for a change in the status quo. It also aims to eliminate various forms of violence against women. To achieve a developed and ever-progressing society, we must do everything we can to bring women on par with men.
Violence against women
Despite our progress, we still do not learn to treat our women with the dignity and respect they deserve. It has been the patriarchal structure that has dominated our socio-economic and politico-religious structures since time immemorial and is still dominant even today as can be seen in the rising number of crimes against women. Each instance of violence against women leaves a physical and mental scar. Women are victims of several crimes against them, including, child marriage, molestation, acid throwing, bigamy, fraudulent marriage, adultery, child abduction and kidnapping, rape, harassment at workplaces, domestic violence, and dowry torture. Cybercrime is one of the new forms of crimes emerging with the advances in technology, making the situation murkier for our women. Societies must understand that crimes against women endanger the future of their societies and bring more harm long-term.
How can we empower women?
The next thing to think about is how to empower women. Various methods can be used to achieve this goal. Many positive initiatives have been taken by the government to ensure the welfare schemes in the fields of health education and employment to further empower our women. Although such strategies have been successful, society still has a long way to go for the desired outcomes.
- Give women a leadership position whether it is in politics, in an institution, or at home.
- The increase in the number of women in leadership positions gives confidence to other women as well.
- Give them the right to make their own decisions.
- Women should have more jobs.
- We need to create new jobs for women that are timely.
- Fifty percent reservation should be made for women in any field of employment.
- Invest in women’s entrepreneurship ideas.
- Encourage others to do the same.
- Provide interest-free loans to women entrepreneurs.
- Strict action should be taken against unpaid work.
- Those who suffer day and night in the kitchen should be able to get paid.
- Kitchen work is one of the most difficult jobs.
- Its dignity and value must be protected.
- Do not let a single woman’s hands be empty.
- She needs to ensure her own income.
- They need to be counseled professionally and personally.
Why women’s empowerment is important?
Globally, half of the total population is comprised of women who continue to be subject to sociocultural discrimination, and the situation is no different here in India. The development of a society that denigrates its women is impossible, as someone once noted.
Women have long been considered to belong to the home, where they should do the cooking and also only be suited for producing and raising children. Male dominance and gender segregation were also evident in the family structure. A woman who was a member of the working class was still an unpaid slave to do housework here. A change from the usual refrain of the mothers that they were melting in the kitchen twenty-four hours a day.
Domestic violence, rape, and sexual abuse are forms of exploitation of women that occur all over the world, including in advanced and developed countries. This is why women’s plight has become an international concern and a concern of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
The international initiatives aimed at improving the rights of women have, however, led to the creation of a framework to achieve legal equality in all spheres. It is the mission of UN bodies to bring about equality by raising public awareness and by committing to changing long-accepted traditions and attitudes that prolong discrimination.
Public awareness must be raised and traditions must be transcended
It is high time that we as a nation realize that every woman is an equal citizen, deserving of the same respect and recognition for her contribution to society, rather than a commodity to be mistreated and wrongly treated. For women’s dignity to be protected, there needs to be a strong national campaign to raise awareness about the core values. The awareness and hesitation of men on this issue are crucial. Those who turn a blind eye to such brutal acts in their own neighborhoods, communities, and families are just as responsible as those who perpetrate them. If the community is unwilling to change its attitudes, courts and police actions will not suffice. The sad thing is that while awareness and advancements have increased, the number of rape and dowry death cases has been steadily increasing.
Are women weak?
Are women weak? Is that why they need reservation and empowerment? There are many answers to those who ask such questions. An essential quality of womanliness is her innate ability to love and care for others. Her multifaceted role includes mother, daughter, wife, friend, sister, guide, nurturer, and partner. She is strong and soft, but at the same time, she is still delicate. Maybe because of this the plight of women is pitiable, and their status has been deteriorating and diminishing day by day. This is not only a problem confined to any one country, but it is an international issue as well. Luckily now she is at the forefront of emerging agitations and anti-fascist struggles. We need to hold her hand for a better tomorrow, let her fly.
Biased attitudes towards women
The truth is that discrimination against girls starts in their own homes. When families hear that the baby girl was born, they get worried, and thus her birth brings ill-fortune and anguish to the family. Families are still patrifocal and limit their daughters’ education to a certain point as long as they cannot find equally or more educated husbands to match their daughters. Moreover, earning ability of girls has not substituted for dowry, which must still be given at marriage. It is quite common for would-be in-laws to insist a working girl should give up her job and take care of the household. It is expected that the woman subordinates her prospects to the man when it comes to work, promotion, etc. The male-dominated society still refers to married women by their husbands’ names, and a woman’s identity is generally defined in terms of her relationship with a man; as a daughter, as a wife, etc. Another tragic discrimination is that all the advances and developments in the position and status of women have benefited only urban women. It is still more or less the same for rural women as it was in feudal medieval society.
Kudumbashree system in Kerala
When it comes to women’s empowerment, it is impossible not to mention Kudumbashree. Kudumbashree brings millions of women from the kitchen to the stage and it is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Eighty-five lakh women have become entrepreneurs, employers, and savers in the shadow of Kudumbashree. Kudumbashree was formed on May 17, 1998. In the state of Kerala, there is no other alternative to poverty alleviation and women empowerment. Kudumbashree was the result of the idea of an innovative way to eradicate poverty. The custom of usurers coming to the house to buy interest was common once. It was Kudumbashree who saved the houses from them. This house yard bank was able to lend money to those needy at nominal interest through weekly deposits. The situation changed where women had to rely on others in order to get money for personal use or to start a small business.
The truth is that Kudumbashree has become Kerala’s own brand within a quarter of a century. Women have proven that everything from pickles, bakery, and vegetables to IT is safe in their hands. Kudumbashree’s products are guaranteed better markets and prices everywhere. The women’s group has also established itself in the field of online marketing under the name of kudumbashreebazaar.com along with a wide range of marketing fairs. They are not far behind in agriculture and animal husbandry also. Regarded as one of the largest women’s movements in the world, Kudumbashree is also an important turning point in the social history of the country. Kudumbashree aims to eradicate poverty through economic empowerment.
Some woman empowerment quotes
“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then the woman is immeasurably man’s superior”- Mahatma Gandhi
“Women’s freedom is the sign of social freedom.” -Rosa Luxemburg
“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai
“Girls should never be afraid to be smart.” ― Emma Watson
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey
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