Women empowerment refers to giving women the power to make decisions for themselves. In olden times all rights, including the ability to vote, belonged to males. Consequently, women’s liberation came as a breath of fresh air since it made them aware of their rights and encouraged them to stand on their feet rather than rely on a man.
Almost every country has a history of mistreating women, no matter how progressive or how rich the country is. To put it another way, women all over the world have been defiant in order to achieve a place where they are standing today. While Western countries continue to make progress, countries such as ours continue to lag behind.
India is one of the countries where women are most vulnerable. This is due to a variety of reasons. For starters, honour killings constitute a threat to Indian women. People believe that if they bring shame to their family’s legacy, they shall rather die than show their face again.
When half of the population is ignored, no development can take place. As a result, all claims to humanity’s advancement are null. We call ourselves Earth’s superior species, but these situations put a big question mark on that achievement of ours.
Educating a girl child is the first step towards female empowerment. When a woman is educated, it is believed that the entire society is educated. Girls can acquire high-paying occupations if they get a strong education, and wage disparities can be narrowed as a result. Early pregnancy and malnutrition can be avoided with better health awareness. When women have more independence, they can engage in previously uncharted territory such as politics.
However, in order to empower women, society must change. There are many old norms and social stigmas against women in our culture that keep them confined to their homes and prevent them from achieving their goals. Some of the most widely disseminated stigmas against women that still exist in our society are:
Educating girls is a waste of money
In many low-class families and localities, educating a girl child is still frowned upon and considered an act of worthlessness.
Women must obey men
Speaking up about divorce-related issues is considered taboo in many families. As a result, husbands can keep torturing their wives’, while these incidents remain unreported to authorities.
Therefore, we must take a stand and implement measures that will lead to change. We can begin by educating a girl child from primary to secondary school. It will build up their confidence and encourage them to think outside the box. When it comes to women’s issues, they may be hesitant to share them with their family or relatives. To counter this, we can establish women’s counselling centres. They will be able to overcome mental despair, sex-abuse, and receive any counselling they require in this manner.
The majority of rural women strive to make a living by manufacturing handicrafts or investing in small companies. To empower women in rural areas, the government and women’s organisations must provide free skill development training.
Better childcare legislation, health changes, and a more flexible work environment for women is also required. Another key concern is women’s safety. Despite the fact that the #metoo campaign against sexual assaults has gained attraction, more tougher rules against violence and misbehaviour in general are needed. Long-term sustainability requires a culture in which women feel secure and confident.
A consistent effort at all levels is required to address the issue of gender prejudices in a focused manner. It is critical for establishing a proper framework for girls and women who share the same interests at all levels of social status and financial comfort.
It is critical to promote the fulfilment of women’s potential through education, skill development, and business, with a focus on eliminating deprivation, ignorance, and disability among underprivileged people.
University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun (Semester 2)