Women Empowerment in India| Meaning, Importance, Status, and Challenges

Women Empowerment in India | Meaning, Importance, Status, and Challenges

This write-up intends to highlight the status of women empowerment in India. Gender inequality is one of the growing concerns of the country.

It has been imparted significant recognition over time owing to its need. Develop a better and in-depth understanding of the meaning of women empowerment, its importance, and its status.

Alongside, take note of the importance of women empowerment for development, women’s day and the steps taken by the government.

Also, explore the several legislation and acts which the government has enacted for the well-being and empowerment of women of the society.

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What is women empowerment?

The capacity of women to participate and get treated with the same status as men in all fields of society is women empowerment.

Whether it is the social, economic, cultural, or political aspect, equality of status and treatment should not be denied.

Women have been suppressed for generations in every part of the world.

The injustice in equal treatment can be experienced in today’s world as well.

Therefore, in simple words, women empowerment refers to creating a scenario where women are capable of making independent decisions personally as well as professionally.

Women empowerment has often been mistaken in several ways. Various sections of the society have an opinion that it refers to physical equality as well.

However, this does not refer to being masculine or anything with patriarchy. Women empowerment simply signifies that the women should not be suppressed by anyone in anything they take up.

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What is the importance of women empowerment in India?

Swami Vivekananda rightly said, “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.”

In India, women have always been compared to goddesses. However, the treatment prevails just as a pretense. There is a substantial need to empowering the women of society.

The importance of women empowerment is as follows:-

  • Lack of workforce is a significantly prevailing problem in the country. Empowering women would lead t better opportunities for them.  Also, this would eradicate the workforce issues as their potential will be utilized. Alongside, they will have access to potential opportunities based on their skills and capacity.
  • Women have proved their potential in several aspects. They are well-versed and hold an intelligent way of approaching and tackling several problems. This will harness women intelligence and strengthen their position.
  • Economic development cannot be credited only to men. A significant share of the population consists of women. Their contribution to society and various fields would ultimately contribute to economic and social development.
  • Women empowerment would enable women to gain economic independence and live a life of pride.
  • It will make women understand the unacceptable behavior and make them stand and fight against it. It is a great step towards women empowerment and a result of women empowerment.
  • Economic independence of women will lead to economic benefits as a whole. Also, working women members would help in eradicating poverty issues who belong to the weaker sections of the society.
  • Women empowerment will help in national development and realise the beneficial prospects of women over men.

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What are the steps taken by the government for women empowerment?

The Government has taken several initiatives, passed laws, acts, bills and legislations for the betterment and empowerment of women in the society.

Every aspect of women’s empowerment, from age-old injustice to modern discriminatory practices, is being considered.

Legislations

The Government has passed several legislations, acts and bills to strengthen the position of women and eradicate the evil practices against them.

  • Sati Prohibition Act, 1850
  • Cast Disabilities Removal Act, 1850
  • The Special Marriage Act II, 1872
  • The Hindu Widow Remarriage Act, 1856
  • The Child Marriage Act, 1929
  • Married Women’s Property Act, 1874
  • Christian Marriage Act, 1872
  • The Hindu Gains of Earning Act, 1930
  • The Dissolution of the Muslim Marriage Act, 1939
  • The Hindu Women’s Right to Property Act, 1874
  • The Parsee Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936
  • The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961
  • The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
  • The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (Amended in 1995)
  • Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2019
  • The Muslim Women (Protection of Right on Marriage) Act, 2019
  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005

What day is women empowerment day?

International Women’s Day is globally celebrated on March 8 every year.

This brings out, appreciate, and celebrate the economic, social, cultural, and political achievement of every woman across the globe.

What is the status of women in India?

importance of women empowerment in India

Women have been subject to several ill-treatments and injustice for ages.

Traditionally, women are discriminated against in every aspect of society and excluded from important decisions.

Whether it a family concern or a business decision, in most cases, a woman’s opinion not the first one to be considered. Alongside, limited acknowledgment, their rights are limited as well.

In Indian society, since they are born, they are subject to discrimination. On one hand where some celebrate the birth of a girl; a major section of the society considers them as a burden.

As per a report from the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, infant mortality is 61% higher in girls than boys.

This inequality also prevails in education. According to reports, there is a considerable drop in the number of girls than boys in schools.

This owes to the society’s mentality of a girl or woman belonging to the house only. This has marked the women’s literacy rate at 46% in the country.

Although in urban settlements, the condition and status of women are considerably well but inequality and discrimination exist.

There are conditions of the gender pay gap that exists. Even on corporate levels, women are not significantly considered for better opportunities regardless of their capability and performances.

Several reports and surveys conducted across the territory stated that men are not likely to be lead by women.

They do not consider following the instructions or orders of a woman. Also, a well-performing and capable woman is subject to several discriminations in the workplace due to her gender.

India ranks 120 among 131 countries on the female workforce participation. This position stands at only a 25% employment rate of women.

The situation is worse in the rural or semi-urban areas. Domestic violence rates are soaring with only a minute share of official reports.

However, over time, society has started recognizing women’s rights. The government has been undertaking efforts to strengthen its position in every aspect of society.

What are the challenges for women in India?

challanges for women empowerment

There are several challenges which are currently hindering the path of equality in women’s rights in India.

There are several issues faced across the country which contribute to the discriminated situation of women.

Targeting and tackling these issue scan considerably contribute to women empowerment in India.

Poverty

The major population of India lives in rural areas or belongs to the lower-middle-class section of society.

People prefer sending boys to school rather than girls. The patriarchal system judges the capability and caliber of girls of being less than boys.

Therefore, they do not gain access to the resources which are required.

The government has made education compulsory for children. However, most girls are made to drop out of schools after that. Families prefer boys to continue education for supporting the families later on.

Education and career opportunities

The literacy rates of women in significantly less than that of men. Educational opportunities are cured by families and society.

And if well-educated, qualified, and capable women hold reputed position in the corporate world, she is subject to discrimination at various levels.

Women are often not considered for better career opportunities than their male counterparts.

Marriage and Childbirth

The Indian society believes that women hold the responsibility of household after marriage.

They have to push their limits to manage professionals as well as home.

Mostly, women sacrifice their careers after marriage and dedicate themselves to their households.

As per reports, a significant share of women holds or ends their career after childbirth.

This is because the corporates do not prefer imparting long maternal leaves to women.

Violence, attacks and rape

Women empowerment

Another challenge faced by women is domestic violence, acid or physical attacks and rapes.

In several situations, these have been reported when women went against their families or denied something against the will of the “patriarchal system.”

Girls and women are asked to be cautious and considerate about their actions and know about.

This leads to degrading their confidence and morale which ultimately affects them to the core.

Women’s empowerment in India does not stand as a responsibility of the women or government. It demands a contribution from all the elements of society.

Raising the well-being and status of women is not only beneficial for them but the society and economy as a whole.

Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of all the aspects of the same and contribute small to the bigger good for everyone.

Conclusion :-

Women empowerment in India is of great concern and we tried to bring out some issues and importance pertaining to this particular topic. Although this is a vast topic and can’t be covered in a single article.

We furthermore hope that it might compel people of every section to protect the girl child and give them much needed freedom and support to advance in life and as well as carrier.

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