Empowerment is the process by which the disempowered or powerless people can change their circumstances and begin to have control over their lives. It results in a change in the balance of power, in the living conditions, and in the relationships. Women empowerment may mean equal status to women, opportunity, and freedom to develop themselves. The concept of empowerment flows from the power.
Empowerment of women would mean equipping women to be economically independent, self-reliant, and having positive esteem to enable them to face any difficult situation. The empowered women should be able to participate in the process of decision-making.
How to Empower Women: Ideas for Female Empowerment in India
Idea 1- Political Empowerment of Women:
In India, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD-1985) and the National Commission for Women (NCW) have been working to safeguard the rights and legal entitlement of women. The 73rd and 74th Amendments (1993) to the Constitution of India have provided some special powers to women for reservation of seats (33%), whereas the report HRD as March 2002, shows that the legislatures with the highest percentage of women are, Sweden 42.7%, Denmark 38%, Finland 36%, and Iceland 34.9%. In India
‘The New Panchayati Raj’ is the part of the effort to empower women at least at the village level. The government of India has ratified various international conventions and human rights instruments committing to secure equal rights to women. These are CEDAW (1993), the Mexico Plan of Action (1975), the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies (1985), the Beijing Declaration, as well as the platform for Action (1995), and other such instruments. The year of 2001 was observed as the year of women’s empowerment.
During the year, a landmark document has been adopted, ‘the National Policy for the empowerment of women.’ For the beneficiaries of the women, the government has been adopted different schemes and programs, i.e., the National Credit Fund for Women (1993), Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), Information and Mass Education (IME), etc. The most positive development during the last few years has been the growing involvement of women in the Panchayati Raj institutions. There are many elected women representatives at the village council level.
At the central and state levels too women are progressively making a difference. Today, we have seen women chief ministers, women president, different political parties leaders, well established businesswomen, etc. The most notable amongst these are Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Sheila Dixit, Mayawati, Sonia Gandhi, Brinda Karat, Najma Heptulla, Indira Nooyi (Pepsico), Sushma Swaraj, ‘Narmada Bachao’ leader Medha Patkar, etc.
Idea 2 – Social Empowerment of Women:
Women’s empowerment in India is heavily dependent on many different variables that include geographical location (urban/rural), educational status, social status (caste and class), and age. Policies on women’s empowerment exist at the national, state, and local (Panchayat) levels in many sectors, including health, education, economic opportunities, gender-based violence, and political participation.
However, there are significant gaps between policy advancements and actual practice at the community level. One key factor for the gap in implementation of laws and policies to address discrimination, economic disadvantages, and violence against women at the community level is the largely patriarchal structure that governs the community and households in much of India. As such, women and girls have restricted mobility, access to education, access to health facilities, and lower decision-making power, and experience higher rates of violence.
Political participation is also hindered at the Panchayat (local governing bodies) level and at the state and national levels, despite existing reservations for women. The impact of the patriarchal structure can be seen in rural and urban India, although women’s empowerment in rural India is much less visible than in urban areas. This is of particular concern, since much of India is rural despite the high rate of urbanisation and expansion of cities.
Rural women, as opposed to women in urban settings, face inequality at much higher rates, and in all spheres of life. Urban women and, in particular, urban educated women enjoy relatively higher access to economic opportunities, health and education, and experience less domestic violence. Women (both urban and rural) who have some level of education have higher decision-making power in the household and the community. Furthermore, the level of women’s education also has a direct implication on maternal mortality rates, and nutrition and health indicators among children.
Among rural women, there are further divisions that hinder women’s empowerment. The most notable ones are education levels and caste and class divisions. Women from lower castes (the scheduled castes, other backward castes, and tribal communities) are particularly vulnerable to maternal mortality and infant mortality. They are often unable to access health and educational services, lack decision-making power, and face higher levels of violence. Among women of lower caste and class, some level of education has shown to have a positive impact on women’s empowerment indicators.
Social divisions among urban women also have a similar impact on empowerment indicators. Upper class and educated women have better access to health, education, and economic opportunities, whereas lower class, less educated women in urban settings enjoy these rights significantly less. Women and children in slums are among the most vulnerable to violence and abuse, and are deprived of their basic human rights.
As a result of a vibrant women’s movement in the last 50 years, policies to advance human rights for women in India are substantial and forward-thinking, such as the Domestic Violence Act (2005), and the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution that provide reservations for women to enter politics at the Panchayat level.
There are multiple national and state level governmental and non-governmental mechanisms such as the Women’s Commission to advance these policies, and the implementation of these policies is decentralised to state and district-level authorities and organisations that include local non-governmental organisations. Financial corruption hinders the government’s ability to invest in social capital, including initiatives to advance women’s empowerment.
Since the 1990s, India has put in place processes and legislative acts such as the Right to Information Act (2005) for information disclosure to increase transparency and hold government officials accountable. Mistrust of political institutions and leaders remains high in the society with corruption and graft allegations often covering media headlines. In addition to corruption and inadequate resources for implementation of initiatives at the community level, women’s empowerment in India is negatively impacted by the pervasive discrimination of women in the family and the community.
Discrimination against women in most parts of India (particularly the north) emerges from the social and religious construct of women’s role and their status. As such, in many parts of India, women are considered to be less than men, occupying a lower status in the family and community, which consequentially restricts equal opportunity in women and girls’ access to education, economic possibilities, and mobility.
Discrimination also limits women’s choices and freedom. These choices are further dependent on structural factors like caste and class. Empowerment for women in India requires a cross-cutting approach and one which addresses the diversity of social structures that govern women’s lives. Access to education is part of a larger structural concern, including the practice of son preference, which creates inherent discriminatory practices.
Education initiatives therefore cannot rely solely on building educational infrastructure, but also need to address some of the root causes of discrimination against women and girls which affect the decisions made by parents. Women’s security, decision-making power, and mobility are three indicators for women’s empowerment. In India, and more so for rural and less educated women, these three indicators are significantly low.
Data from survey on women’s decision-making power shows that only about one-third of the women interviewed took decisions on their own regarding household issues and their health. The survey also found that older married women had more decision-making power than the younger married women. Younger women and girls experience an additional layer of discrimination as a result of their age.
Data on women’s mobility in India indicates the lack of choices women have, and that urban and educated women have more mobility choices than rural women. Mobility restrictions for women are dependent upon how the family and community view women’s rights. They also, however, are intrinsically dependent on the prevailing levels of violence against women in the household and the community.
Abuse and violence towards women is predominantly perpetrated within the household, and marital violence is among the most accepted by both men and women. The gap in policy and practice in women’s empowerment is most visible when it comes to the level and kinds of violence women face in India. Despite the policies, laws, and initiatives by civil society institutions, violence against women in India is widespread and the consequences for perpetrators rarely match the crime.
Enforcement of laws and sentencing of perpetrators are long and arduous processes, and the gaps in these processes are further widened by corruption. Additionally, social stigma and the fear of abandonment by the family play a big role in women and girls’ ability or inability to access laws and policies to address sexual and physical violence.
In general, women in India are restricted in matters of decision-making, freedom of mobility, and access to money, though wide variations exist depending on the socio-demographic context (IIPS and ORC Macro, 2000). Certain periods in a woman’s life like early childhood, adolescence, and old age may be especially vulnerable to discrimination and neglect.
The discrimination against the girl child continues during adolescence and the lack of preparedness in meeting life situations underscores her vulnerability. The median age at first marriage for girls in India is only 16.4 years (IIPS and ORC Macro, 2000). In most states of the country, half the girls marry by the time they complete their teens; in states like Bihar and Rajasthan, the median age at first marriage is only 15 years. However, life skills that could enable them to respond preparedly to their life situations are found to be sorely lacking among adolescent girls (and boys).
Vulnerability during old age sets in due to physical, economic, and psychological dependence, more so for elderly women among whom higher proportions are dependent on others ‘for day-to-day maintenance’ in comparison to elderly males (NSSO, 1998a). This is especially true if a woman has been widowed with little property against her name.
Idea 3- Economic Empowerment of Women:
India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, with women mainly from the middle class increasingly entering the workforce. Urban centres like Delhi and Bengaluru have seen an influx of young women from semi- urban and rural parts of the country, living alone and redefining themselves. However, the story of economic empowerment for women is not a singular narrative; rather it is located in a complex set of caste, class, religious, and ethnic identities.
The Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum in 2009 ranked India 114th out of 134 countries for inequality between men and women in the economy, politics, health, and education. On equal economic opportunities and women’s participation in the labour force, India ranked 127th and 122nd respectively. The number of women in the workforce varies greatly from state to state- 21 % in Delhi; 23% in Punjab; 65% in Manipur; 71% Chhattisgarh; and 76% in Arunachal Pradesh.
The diversity of women’s economic opportunities between states is due to the cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity of each state. Northern states like Delhi and Punjab lag far behind on gender equality measures, including the alarming sex ratio between men and women (due to son preference and sex- selective abortion), low female literacy levels, and high rates of gender-based violence. In rural India, women’s economic opportunities remain restricted by social, cultural, and religious barriers.
Most notably, inheritance laws embedded in Hindu and Shariat civil codes continue to marginalize women in the household and the larger community. Rural women, particularly of lower caste and class, have the lowest literacy rates, and therefore do not have the capacity to negotiate pay or contracts and most often engage in the unorganised sector, self-employment, or in small scale industry.
Self-help groups (SHGs) are a widely practiced model for social and economic mobility by NGOs and the government. SHGs provide women with the opportunity to manage loans and savings that can be used by members for varying needs. SHGs also are used to promote social change among the members and the community at large. Members of SHGs have used their experiences as leverage to enter other local institutions such as the Panchayat Khap. Rural, low caste, and tribal women also make up 70% of domestic workers in India, a sector which is largely unregulated and unorganised.
India’s growing economy has allowed for many upper and middle-class women to enter the workforce, and while poor rural women have little access to education and training, there is a high demand for domestic workers in urban hubs. Domestic workers are mostly illiterate, with little or no negotiating power for wage equity, and are highly vulnerable to exploitation and sexual and physical abuse.
Women are also very visible in the construction sector in India, and like domestic workers are largely unorganised and rely on daily wagers. Women construction workers are mostly poor and illiterate and have little negotiating power. This sector is also unregulated and highly vulnerable to exploitation.
Women workers also earn significantly less than men, although women are the ones who do most of the backbreaking work like carrying bricks and other heavy materials on site. On the other end of the spectrum, while India has one of the highest percentages of professional women in the world, those who occupy managerial positions are under 3%.
Most women work in low administrative positions, and many of the young women migrating to urban centres mostly work in service and retail industries, although more and more women are entering the IT and other technical sectors.
Women are also involved in human development issues of child rearing, education, health, and gender parity. Many of them have gone into the making and marketing of a range of cottage products—pickles, tailoring, embroidery, etc. The economic empowerment of women is being regarded these days as a sine-quo-non of progress for a country; hence, the issue of economic empowerment of women is of paramount importance to political thinkers, social thinkers, and reformers.
List of more ideas on – How to Empower Women in India?
Political Empowerment of Women:
Now here is the gender gap as glaring as in political participation. For over four decades, all the political parties in our country have been denying equality of opportunity for women in contesting elections. It is not surprising therefore that the highest representation of women achieved in the Lok Sabha was only 8.1% with 44 Members (Eighth Lok Sabha).
What is surprising however is that in the Tenth Lok Sabha, women’s representation has dropped to 7%. In the Rajya Sabha also, the ratio of men to women was about 13 to 1 in 1993. The scenario is similar in the State Legislatures.
Women in Panchayats and Local Bodies:
Since the status of a group or individual in society is determined mainly by the extent of power they wield in public life, political power can certainly be expected to pave the way for the emancipation and higher status of women. In this context the Commission notes that the greatest event for women’s empowerment in India since Independence is, undoubtedly, the amendments to the constitution reserving one third seats for women in Panchayats and Nagarpalikas, thereby empowering women to participation in the political process at the grass root level.
The commission took up the preliminary work of studying the impact of Constitutional amendments for women’s quota Panchayat/Municipal elections. The Commission also held consultations with women’s organizations experts and state governments and planned to organise and develop training modules for elected Panchayat members. It is proposed to pursue this further in the coming year.
As a measure to sensitize the political machinery at the village level about the urgent need for improving educational and social status of women and girls the Commission’s Chairperson addressed an appeal to the Sarpanchs of panchayats to implement a two-point programme in their respective villages –
i. To prevent atrocities and violence against women and girls; and
i. To ensure universal education for girls upto the age of 14 years.
The Commission has also approached the organisational structure of Nehru Yuva Kendras to disseminate this appeal to far flung areas.
Improving the Conditions of Women in Political Participation:
Some cosmetic legal steps have been taken by centre and also state governments, not so much to improve the conditions of women but to win their support for election purposes. The 73rd and 74th Amendment Act, 1992 ensure the entry of more than one million women in the Local-Self Governments only but not in State or Central Governments. Though the all major national political parties voiced their support for women’s quotas in state legislatures and parliament and the Women’s Reservation Bill to that effect was introduced in the Parliament in 1996.
The major political parties supported the demand, although they themselves gave less than 15% of their total number of tickets to women. The political parties-raise the issue of reservation of seats for women in Lok Sabha and State Legislatures just to earn the support of women organizations and activists for election purposes. Thus Reservation of seats for women is just an electoral plank.
Although we have raised our voice for women’s reservation as the means of women empowerment, but at the same time it is also true that, the large number of women in legislature will not be the appropriate solution to the problem of Women’s political participation or empowerment. It is foolishness to think that it will solve the entire problems faced by women and bring equality immediately.
But it is just a step to mobilize women into the political arena. Moreover, the agenda of women’s empowerment seems to have lost the kind of moral and political legitimacy what it enjoyed during the freedom movement, as was evident from the ugly scenes in the aftermath of tabling the Women Reservation Bill in Parliament.
All these trends indicate that women’s representation in politics requires special consideration, and cannot be left to the forces that presently dominate our parties and Government. The situation calls for a two-pronged strategy – one to take steps to improve the status of women in the society and the other to ensure effective implementation of the Constitutional Provisions. Political parties and other organizations should encourage women’s participation in politics and in the exercise of political responsibilities. The strategy should be to encourage a still greater number of women in decision-making power.
The present study was an attempt to analyze the nature and extent of participation by women in politics. In every society virtually the higher echelons of power are dominated by men. Despite the prominence of a few women who have gained high political positions in a few countries such as India. Bangladesh, Britain, the political status of women has changed much less than what the individual successes of these countries suggest.
Politically participation is a process of growth of citizenship. The main trust in women’s participation is how far they have assumed the role of citizens beyond their traditional roles and to what extent such a role has been legitimized to the political structure.
Participation of women in politics is so important that modern western movements for women’s right started with the demand for “votes for women”. This right is considered to be an essential pre-condition for entering the male-dominated world of political decision making. The right to vote provides an individual with an important indirect opportunity to be the ruler of his own fate.
In India, the nationalist movement itself had a deep influence on Women’s participation. The role of Mahatma Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu and Annie Besant is worth mentioning in this context. They all put emphasis on bringing women from household bondage to active politics. Gandhi declared himself to be ‘uncompromising’ on the question of women’s rights. Sarojini Naidu urged women to utilize their housekeeping skills to put the ‘national house’ in order.
Women constitute half the society and belong to all classes and all sections. So what is called the “woman’s question” is not the question of one section only. It is ultimately the question of the entire society. On the other hand, it is an integral part of the entire social phenomenon. Human society cannot move forward without stirring half of its body, the women.
Thus it is in the social and national interest to draw womenfolk into the social and political process. In this perspective we can remember a famous quotation of Lenin, he was said: “If we do not draw women into public activity,… into political life,… then it is impossible to secure real freedom, it is impossible even to build democracy, let alone socialism”.
Women in India have made major contribution in various male-dominated professions, including the governmental bureaucracy. In the field of business, medicine, engineering, law, art and culture, women who were given opportunities to acquire the necessary skills and education have proven themselves capable of holding their own, without availing of any special measures to facilitate their entry. But they have failed to gain ground in the field of politics.
Women generally participate in large numbers in voting. But, in other political activities such as attendance at public rallies and membership of social and political organizations, their participation is very low.
Their representation in national and local legislative bodies and their presence at decision making levels is marginal. The few women who succeed in being elected generally come from affluent, urban and educated family backgrounds. However, women participate more in political struggles in the crisis period, in reform movements than in simple game of distributing power.
Social Empowerment of Women:
Under the social empowerment of women steps needs to be taken to improve the health status of women, reduce maternal mortality, especially in the areas which do not have good medical facilities. A programme for checking the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS and infections/communicable diseases, like T.B., need to be launched. Women face high risk of malnutrition, hence focussed attention would have to be given to meet the nutritional needs of women at all stages of their life-cycle.
The problem in the country is serious about the women belonging to disadvantaged groups, who are the most exploited lot. The social activist should keep a vigile on the atrocities committed on women belonging to weaker sections and help them to fight the legal battle for obtaining justice. Schemes need to be introduced for helping women suffering from marital violence and also, who are deserted and force into the quagmire of sex trade.
Awareness programmes need to be organised for creating awareness among women especially belonging to weaker sections about their rights. Government has to be vigilant for ensuring that there is no discrimination against the girl child and her rights are protected. The social stigma like child marriage, female foeticide, child abuse and child prostitution must be eradicated straight off.
Inspite of all efforts there are many social hurdles which do not let women grow and develop even they have the sources and the brains and are very well capable of doing most of the work done by men.
Most of the hurdles to women empowerment and impartiality are deep-seated in the minds of people of some places and areas. Women have accepted it as a fact that they are of a lower class than men because this has been the point of view of many in the society. Many women know that wrong is being done but feel that there is no point in speaking against men. Men, administrators and NGOs are familiar with the good that women empowerment would do to the society they do not want to cause mayhem by changing the present situation and prefer these petty issues that govern their mind come in the way of development.
The introduction of economic reforms and Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) have led to a growing apprehension that women will be adversely affected by the new economic policy. Women’s organisations academicians and experts have expressed the view that the provisions made so far to mitigate the adverse effects of SAP on women are not adequate.
There is a demand from women’s movement in the country that in addition to providing safety nets and reducing hardships caused by the new policy, it is essential to present an alternative approach in which women are at the centre of the policy changes.
The experience in several developing countries shows that the effect of structural adjustment on the poorer sections particularly women is likely to be unfavourable. As producers, many women have lost their jobs in the formal sector. As home managers women have been adversely affected by rise in prices of food and other basic goods, while their role as mothers has been made more difficult by reduced social services.
Impact on Food and Nutrition:
A number of studies have revealed that it is the women and girl children who have to bear the brunt of food scarcity in households. The females in a household generally have low intake of calories and exhibit higher rates of morbidity. The male-female differentials in nutrition status were specially large among the lower socio-economic groups.
These differences were further aggravated by increasing poverty. A study of agricultural labour households in Kerala had noted that when both women and men are employed the women’s shortfall of calories viz-a-viz recommendations was 20% and the men’s 11%. When both are unemployed the shortfalls were 50% and 26% respectively.
Public Distribution System:
In view of the fact that structural adjustments in other developing countries had led to a rise in unemployment, and food prices, higher rates of malnutrition and a fall in real incomes of poorer households, the government of India had revised the public distribution system to counter inflation and in particular to protect the poorer sections of the population form hike in prices and shortage of food. With a view to ensure the reach of food-grains and essential commodities to the poorer and vulnerable sections, the Public Distribution System has been revamped.
Under the revised system 17,000 blocks which had already come under the integrated Tribal Development Projects, Desert Development Programme, Draught Prone Area Programme and Special Hill Area Programmes were covered. Special efforts were made for effective reach of benefits to families below poverty line living in these areas.
Delivery of PDS commodities at the door steps of fair price shops was taken up wherever feasible. Women beneficiaries were associated with supervision and vigilance of the delivery system. Additional commodities such as tea, salt pulses and soap, were included for distribution through PDS and other out-lets in identified areas.
However, a micro study undertaken by the Commission in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kerala revealed that the Public Distribution System does not actually reach to a vast majority of needy families and the delivery system is riddled with too many maladies including corruption inefficiency and inherent shortcomings.
The study was conducted in two blocks each in districts of Udaipur, Cittorgarh and Barmer in Rajasthan and Bastar in Madhya Pradesh. Data were also collected from Trivandrum and Kottayam district of Kerala. The commission recommends that ownership of PDS shops should be given to women on a priority basis.
To examine issues, the Commission together with International Labour Organisation (ILO) organised a National Workshop on the subject in January, 1993. Policy makers representatives from the Government, international agencies, employers and workers organisations NGOs researchers and grass-root level activists participated in the workshop.
The workshop made several constructive recommendations regarding strategies, interventions and action plan to improve access to and quality of women’s employment in the context of the Structural Adjustment Programme.
The workshop deliberated on the main issues in four working groups, viz.:
(i) Data ta Research monitoring of Macro Economic Policies,
(ii) Institutions and Organisations,
(iii) National and International Advocacy and Net Working, and
(iv) Legal Measures to Counter Gender Bias in Adjustment Programmes.
The Working Group on Data Research, Monitoring etc. emphasized the need to compile information and identify data gaps, particularly to have a clear picture of women working in the unorgainsed sector. The secondary data should be broken down gender-wise with the help of time series. The Group emphasized utilisation of the services of grass-root level organisations for generating data.
It also stressed the need for research studies to assess the impact of Structural Adjustment Programme on various sectors of the economy particularly relating to –
(i) Shift of women’s participation from one sector to another, and
(ii) The conditions required for women’s access to better work.
It was necessary to identifying new areas for vocational training marketing system for women to change the current practice of protective markets for goods produced by women was emphasized. The working group also recommended studies on alternative macro-economic policies. In regard to monitoring, the working group emphasised the need for general analysis of Government sponsored programme and the unit of enquiry to be a households and not an individual women.
The Working Group on Institutions and Organisations recommended that other sectors like cooperatives, people’s organisations and NGOs should also come under the liberalisation policy and benefit from the simplification of procedures. The Group advised that there should be a relaxation of RBI rules to allow the establishment of rural women’s banks outside the public sector network and there should be a simplification of procedures for access to credit for women in the informal sector.
The Working Group on National and International advocacy and Networking recommended that the concerned Ministries should be urged to take effective measures to ensure that the women’s interests are not harmed and women’s needs are incorporated in all the structural policies. It also recommended that the National Commission for Women should be involved in formulating polices and drafting legislations relating to SAP and women.
The Working Group on Legal Measures to Counter Gender Bias recommended that the labour laws should be extended and applied more effectively to the informal sector and facilities like creches, rest rooms, toilets etc. should be provided at convenient points for women workers in all the working places.
Economic Empowerment of Women:
Empowerment which means “becoming powerful” is a process by which individuals, groups and communities are able to take control of their circumstances and achieve their goals. It enables them to work towards helping themselves towards empowerment such as educational, economic, psychological, social and political which are all interlinked.
Women’s empowerment begins with the awareness about their rights and capabilities and the understanding as to how the socio-economic and political forces affect them. Empowerment as a concept encompasses their social upliftment, political decision-making and economic independence. Thus, the process of empowerment of women enables them to realize their full potential and empowers them in all spheres of life.
The conservatives define empowerment as women’s capacity to make the best of their own lives. From this point of view, a woman is empowered when she is literate, educated and has productive skills, access to capital, and also has confidence in herself. From the radical point of view, this view of empowerment especially, economic empowerment or self-reliance is woefully limited.
According to this view, empowerment of women is not only concerned with the present society but beyond this. Women’s participation in the developmental process (which is concerned with the process of social change) provides the opportunities for increased empowerment. This entails women increasing their level of control over the allocation of resources by identifying and avoiding the discriminatory practices, which stand in their way.
1. Bhasin (1985):
Women’s empowerment involved the transformation of power relations at six different levels – individual, family, group, organization village, community and society. In order to empower the rural poor, especially women, female development workers must empower themselves.
2. Batiwala (1994):
Batiwala identified three approaches to women’s empowerment – the integrated developmental approach – which focused on women’s survival and livelihood needs; the economic developmental approach, which aimed to strengthen women’s economic position, and through the consciousness approach, which organizes women into collectives gathering and addresses the different sources of oppression.
3. Mayous (1995):
Mayous contrasted to gender and micro enterprises. It develops the market approach, which aims to assist individual women entrepreneurs to increase their income. The employment approach, which aimed not only to increase the income, but also to bargain the power by the poor producers through group activities. The empowerment approach includes the costs in terms of time outside the home and in decision making.
1. Support to Training and Employment Programme (STEP).
2. Training-cum-Production Centers (TPC).
3. Rashtriya Mahila Kask (RMK).
4. India Mahila Yojana (IMY],
5. National Commission for Women (NCW).
6. National Policy for Empowerment of Women (NPEW).
7. Parliamentary Committee for Empowerment of Women (PCEW).
8. Rural Women’s Development and Empowerment Project (RWDEP).
9. Swarnajayanthi Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY).
1. Lack of motivational, managerial and behavioral competences.
2. Absence of mentoring and women role models.
3. Lack of collateral security.
4. Lack of proper training and knowledge.
5. Over dependence on intermediaries.
6. Unable to get competitive prices.
7. Family, lifestyle and role conflict.
Networking of SHGs:
The gap between the movement against the economic aspect and socio-political aspect situation needs to be reduced and the collective efforts should be mobilized.
United Efforts against Atrocities:
Violence against the women in any form has to be abolished with undaunted efforts of this movement.
Education for Emancipation:
Education of female children is given more importance by the SHG members.
Enhancement of Social Mobility:
The concept of widow remarriage is welcome sign and prevalence of child marriage has to be reduced.
Vibrant Training Programmes:
The training programmes based on cultural folklores can enable them to bring out their creativity and competitive skills.
Economic Independence of Women:
Economic independence had given them confidence to manage their family responsibility.
Promotion of Entrepreneurs:
EDP is one of the imperative. It is inevitable to liberate them from the stereotype caste based activities.
Political Involvement and Civic Consciousness:
Self-confidence to vocalize their problems to the officials concerned has groom. Realization of civic responsibilities and eagerness to contest in election has become prominent.
Towards Holistic Empowerment:
In view of integrated approach, family education including men need to be given to bring holistic empowerment of women.
Collective Efforts of NGO’s and GOs:
It is a dire need that many voluntary organizations come forward to work for the people living below the poverty line.
How to Empower Women?
Empowerment of women is a holistic concept. It is multidimensional in approach and involves a basic realisation and awareness of one’s powers and potentials, capacities and competencies and of one’s rights and opportunities for development in important spheres of life.
Such dimensions of development or empowerment may broadly be categorised as legal, political, economic and social. Of all these facets of women’s development their economic independence or economic empowerment occupies an area of utmost significance for a lasting and sustainable development of society.
Economic Empowerment of Women:
Women’s lack of empowerment in various societies emanates, to a large extent, from their relatively low participation in ‘gainful’ activities. It is generally believed that their increased participation in the economic sphere will lead to or at least facilitate their empowerment. A woman’s ability to secure items and services herself is an important measure of her empowerment. Her over-dependence on others is often abused and exploited by those very persons on whom they are dependent.
If women could find enough opportunities to work and be economically free, then their dependence on men for their livelihood would diminish. Only then they would be in a position to participate in decision making process with regard to their marriage, raising and distribution of income, investments and expenditure at all levels both in and outside their households as equal partners in the society.
Even though outside work for women often means a double burden, the empirical evidence supports the notion that access to work increases a woman’s economic independence and with it a greater level of general independence is created.
As Hall (1992) notes, economic subordination must be neutralised for women to be empowered. The economic component of empowerment requires that women be able to engage in a productive activity that will allow them some degree of financial autonomy, no matter how small and hard to obtain at the beginning.
Household wealth is not an important determinant of a woman’s decision-making authority. In fact, women from poorer homes have greater mobility, almost certainly necessitated by their circumstances. It is not poverty, but work outside their homes that assures women a greater share of decision-making and authority within it.
Earning more income and accessing more resources for survival were among the primary concerns of women groups who believed that, “without building their economic strength, women can do nothing”. One may doubt whether women working in poor conditions will be empowered. It is seen that whatever be the job, it contributes to some extent to their empowerment.
Though many poor women work outside the home to support their families and the tasks they perform are exhausting and meagerly rewarded, access to income improves their authority in the home. Working women, regardless of how inferior their position and small their income, have a greater sense of control over resources within the family than non-working women.
Self-reliance is undoubtedly a necessary condition for emancipation. Yet, it is by no means the only one, and certainly not a sufficient condition. Women should be empowered socially and politically. But many think that, in the present circumstances, empowerment of women is possible more effectively through economic empowerment rather than through reservation of some seats in parliament or state legislature. If women make adequate economic contributions to the family, they are bound to be treated at par with men. Employment is considered to be more empowering than education.
Economic empowerment, i.e., empowerment that occurs in a woman, when she starts to earn in the context of an organisation, including self-employed business concern. The elements of empowerment in the context of an organisation have been identified by Nancy Foy as team work, communication, leadership and performance.
The various aspects of these four elements are discussed below:
The process of empowerment is both individual and collective since it is through involvement in groups that people often begin to develop their awareness and ability to organise, to take action and to bring about change.
A pre-requisite to empowerment, therefore necessitates stepping outside the home and participating in some form of collective undertaking that can be successful, thus developing a sense of independence and competence among the women. Whatever the objective, the group activity should be designed so that its process and its goal-attainment foster the development of a sense of self-esteem, competence and autonomy.
Empowerment of women is maximised by collective activities. Hence, organising makes a lot of good sense. Within the context of the organisation, the weakness of members can be reduced by complementation; individually, one woman’s strength could be other’s weakness and vice versa.
The strengths could be put together and the individual weaknesses plugged via the group or the collective. In practical terms, women’s weakness could be plugged by awareness raising, conscientisation, organisation, education and training. A key feature of empowerment is that it elicits the widest possible, community participation and is, in that sense, democratizing.
The term communication is derived from the word, ‘communicare’, which means, ‘to make common, to share, to import, and to transmit’. It is interpreted as making common or sharing of something between two or among several persons or groups of people.
In today’s corporations, hospitals, universities and other institutions, there are too many layers of management. This affects communication. There is a communication theorem that every relay doubles noise and cuts the message into half. Additional relays delay communication.
In an organization it may be very expensive to keep everyone informed Still, certain programmes like weekly executive meetings, weekly briefing, quality circles, formal employee relations including information meetings, meetings with union, company news letter, notice boards etc., and special programmes like sports, social activities, pre-retirement services etc., can increase the level of communication in an organization. Communication within the team, between teams, between superiors and subordinates and between superiors in different levels of management will facilitate the empowerment of everyone concerned.
A person with genuine leadership qualities is able to integrate personal goals and institutional goals in a successful manner. Not only is the role of the leader to integrate institutional and personal goals by development of appropriate skills; it also calls for the development of consciousness or awareness.
Leadership demands the kind of jump in consciousness that sees possibilities beyond the meeting of current needs—a vision of the future that embodies realistic possibilities for both the institution and individuals. Put another way, the leader is the one who is in touch with present realities but has the imaginative capacity to invent tools, create policies and take charge of history in such a way that integral human development can take place.
Dorothy speaks of two leadership styles namely the transactional and transformational. The transactional leader focuses on short term goals and stability, offering rewards for performance. The transformational leader articulates a vision of the firm that can be shared by peers and subordinates, empowers and encourages subordinates, models effective behaviour, shows respect for individual differences among subordinates, and prefers effectiveness over efficiency.
For the transformational leader, quality is more important than speed; and outcomes are more important than following a specific process to achieve them. Recent research has promoted the transformational leader as the more successful model for leadership. Inherent in this model is the need for leaders to act as role models, motivating and empowering followers to become leaders. Recent studies also suggest that female leaders, more than males tend to utilise transformational behaviours.
Aelgesen describes a female leadership style termed the web approach. In her 1990 study, where she found differences in how women executives operated compared to a group of male executives, which was observed by Mintzberg in 1973. Her findings indicated that women leaders tended to place greater value on their relationships, with emphasis on cultivation and nurturance.
Women move toward an integration of personal and professional dimensions of their lives, as contrasted with the compartmentalisation found by Mintzberg. Eschewing the traditional perquisites and privileges, which separate leaders from others in their organisations, female leaders also construct a tie to each individual.
According to Rosener (1990), women often did not have the same access to formal power and, therefore, had to rely on personal power and influence, teamwork and a non-traditional style of leadership to get work accomplished. She termed this style ‘interactive’. Women using this style were characterised as encouraging participation, sharing power and information, enhancing others’ self-worth, and getting others excited about.
Highly interactive leaders will have a greater appreciation of interpersonal and human resource management skills, be more concerned about the welfare of their employees and rate of employee satisfaction as a more important measure of their success. Operational dimensions examined include support obtained, satisfaction with their work, perceived managerial self-efficacy and perceptions about the importance of creativity and innovation in the operation of their business.
Employee ‘performance’ refers to an act of fulfillment of the requirement of a given job, efficiency at work or accomplishment and discharge of duty. Many methods are used by the industrial psychologists for measurement of job performance.
Validity of any one of the measures often depends upon the specific set of circumstances under which a particular measure has been evolved and used. Blum and Naylor (1968) suggested rate of work, quality of work, accidents and breakage, dollars earned, job knowledge, job tenure, absenteeism, rate of advancement etc., as measures of job performance.
Three parameters for the measures of job performance such as:
a) Characteristics or qualities to be appraised,
b) Choice of the appraiser i.e., immediate superior, peers or subordinates and
c) The choice of the measure.
The four most important characteristics approved by a group of 21 managers are:
1) Productivity [quality and quantity of work]
3) Obedience to superiors, and
Many management experts like Taylor, Smith and Ellison have argued that job performance is not a uni-dimensional concept. Attitude of workers towards the organisation, reflecting their job satisfaction are identified as, perception of self-development opportunities, feeling of belongingness and attitude towards working conditions, supervision, financial benefits, employment and security, interaction and communication opportunities, self-esteem and consideration.
Social Empowerment of Women:
The debate over the role of voluntary action in development context raises a lot of issues and problems of these, that which stands at the centre stage is the time honoured issues of the relationship between State and Civil society. According to Noorjahan Bhave, Human wisdom and ingenuity over the centuries have devised certain social orders and structures to regulate the diverse aspects of complex human life, so that the rhythm of civilised life is possible for all; so that a modicum of order, peace and harmony can prevail in society, life liberty and happiness of the individuals can be granted and about all the minimum conditions for the pursuit of creative activities and individual and social development can be maintained.
The basic social orders that the hemisphere have devised for the above purposes include the society (community), State, Market and Associations, through these orders the human life has been sought to be regulated, directed, controlled and guided in the interest of orderly, peaceful, individual and collective existence.
Each one of these orders as Victor Pesloff puts it has its own guiding principles, predominant actors, resources, principle motives and payoffs. The social institutions normally associated with these four social orders are house hold, public (government) agencies, private firms and voluntary associations or non-profit organisations.
The review of its contributions made by the voluntary groups or by social reformers for community welfare, injustice, sufferings by underprivileged and community based services during 19th and 20th centuries has been substantial. We have also seen that voluntary association were primarily motivated by social reformers, who took up the course of reforming unjust social religious system, which affected the quality of life of economically and socially underprivileged segment of the society. Broadly speaking the movement of India’s independence was the result of voluntary association of people for freedom from the colonial rulers in order to retrieve their political, civil and socio-economic rights.
If we agree on the fact that these institutions have been the basis of several political, social, economic theories then Voluntary Bodies cannot merely be considered as instruments of intervention. In that case, conceptually Voluntary Bodies become an integral part of State and community supported instrument institution for achieving the objective of welfare state.
Therefore, “the co-existence of the society, state, market and voluntary association becomes prime requisite of happy, healthy, harmonious, balanced fruitful life, which will lead to a democratic mode of management of social life, governance in the political order, economic system and cultural milieu.”
For all the four types of orders referred to above are inter dependent on one another. Though, it is true, the state is sovereign but it cannot and should not take the place and role of society else it will bring in a totalitarian system non – responsive to social needs. Voluntary associations have emerged as “check force” to prevent such situations. Thus, conceptually voluntary associations emergence and existence is based on its in-built capacity to bring the state and people nearer to achieve the goal of welfare state.
Mahatma Gandhi’s movement for nation in the early part of the twentieth century was rooted in the ideal of social reconstruction, self-help social upliftment of the poorest of the poor the untouchables through voluntary action. The cause for which he started the movement was infact his personal concern for action in which like-minded people joined under his leadership. He visualised the limitations of the governmental system in the areas of bringing the social, religious and cultural reforms without people’s cooperation, and the efforts of local leadership.
However, Gandhiji could not succeed in his efforts, nevertheless, government realised the value of Gandhiji’s vision. The followers of Gandhiji and others who could not or did not wish to join the Government or the ruling party established a number of voluntary organisation to work closely with the governmental prorammes meant for diverse social strata from Harijans (untouchables) and tribals to slum dwellers. Fast growth of cooperative credit societies, educational institutions with governmental support came into being with reasonable level of autonomy and control in their functioning.
All these efforts fall under the broad classification of social and economic development. In fact, development should be seen as a process of advancement in totality. David E. Apter, has identified development being multifarious and multidimensional concept.
Inderjeet kaur is of the view that concept of voluntarism or voluntary action “Stands for social satisfaction, political participation and economic growth complying with the norms of social equity in a healthy atmosphere – both moral and material.”
In its concrete form, a minimum and balanced level of social security, health, education, employment, people’s participation in political process, and economic advancement, manifest the true notion of development, which in precursor to the ultimate aim – the attainment of human dignity, cultural freedom, social justice and democracy.
So development, which is the task of government. It has its limitations in respect of coverage of target groups (community), limited range of services and selective level of social reforms. Even among the community, it targets those who are deprived or are suffering economic deprivation or victims of social inequality and social systems developed over decades.
P. D. Kulkarni has identified the following four sectors in the management of society:
(i) The non-formal sector consisting of family, kith and kin and neighbourhood.
(ii) The market mechanism comprising two sub-sectors, the corporate that is modern organised economy and the traditional unorganised segments of the economy.
(iii) Pubic sector comprising civil and political institutions at local, state and national levels; and
(iv) Community sector, which has mainly three kinds of services, the direct services, the coordinating agencies and the special interest groups. The community sector comprises the bulk of voluntary action.
The development process itself involves three steps:
Aims and objectives of development are laid down, programme is chalked out and an activity is determined.
To execute programmes and undertake an activity in such a way that produces services, which are distributed among people on equitable terms.
To ensure the longitivity and regeneration of services and resources and intensive evaluation of the whole process which is carried out.
The Essentials of successful development process in all the tree steps are collectivity, efficiency, economy, accountability and equity.
Society’s Management & Development:
The world summit was held in New York in 1994. The buzzwords were sustainable development with man being placed in the centre of growth process rather than being made material for growth. World Bank has also realised that “as Gross National Product, so did poverty and their tools of poverty measurement (loan disbursement) was imperfect”.
Gender Participation in the Development Process:
In this context gender participation in the developmental process needs special mention which is the main theme of the present work. In spite of loud pronouncement of women’s liberation and empowerment within the country but world over and at the forum of U.N., a qualitative change is yet to come to reality at macro level.
In the present socio-economic and political scenario, the whole burden of empowerment – socio economic and political is being shouldered by women themselves. The present dilemma with regard to gender sensitivity and economic empowerment of women lies in the absence of attitudinal change commensurating the demand of collectivity in a true democracy.
Legal Empowerment of Women:
Women all over the world are facing a lot of discrimination in every walk of life. Atrocities committed against women are increasing day by day. One of the reasons is that, women are considered the ‘weaker sex’ both by themselves and by the offenders. Hence law alone can protect women amidst the numerous hostilities faced by them.
a. Women in Indian Constitution:
With the grant of constitutional gender-equality in free India, legal support for women came through a series of legislations. While dealing with gender issues, it is important to mention that the Constitution of India has guaranteed equality before law and equal protection of law (Article 14) and prohibits discrimination on the ground of sex alone and it has empowered the State to make special provisions for women and children (Article 15).
It has made provisions to prohibit traffic in human beings and to provide for just and humane conditions of work along with maternity relief (Articles 23 and 42). It is a constitutional duty of every citizen to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women (Article 51 A). In this respect, India’s Constitution has a place of distinction among the comity of nations. The Indian constitution made a deliberate radical departure from the age-old poor social status of women by granting them equal, social and political status.
b. Women-Specific Provisions in the Criminal Law:
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) provides for equal protection to men and women with regard to their personal security, individual freedom, property and dignity. However, after giving due consideration to certain specific physical nature (disadvantages) of women, some special protections are incorporated into the criminal law. Sections 312 to 316 speak about causing a woman with child to miscarry Section 354 is regarding outraging modesty.
Section 366-A and B are about the offence of procuring and the importing of a girl from a foreign country. Sections 375 and 376 deal with sexual offences. Gender-sensitive considerations that a woman victim of rape is entitled to have a different kind of treatment are recognized in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 1983. Sections 493 to 498 are provisions relating to matrimonial offences, including domestic violence. Section 506 provides for criminal intimidation. Section 509 is against eave teasing.
c. Personal Laws:
The personal laws specify laws for women belonging to various religions. For the Hindus, the important laws are the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. These laws are also applicable to the Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. The Acts for Christians includes Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 and Indian Succession Act.
But, recently a new act for Christians was made by repealing the existing Indian Divorce Act 1869, The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872, The Indian and Colonial Divorce Jurisdiction Act, 1926 and 1940 and Cochin Christian Marriage Act, 1945. The laws concerning Muslims are the hanahior Surtni Muslim Law, Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act 1939 and Muslim Women’s Protection of Rights Act, 1986.
Other laws for the protection of women are The Married Women’s Property Act, 1874, Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929, Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, Maternity Benefits Act, 1961, Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, The Kerala Joint Hindu Family System (Abolition) Act, 1975, The Commission of Sati Prevention Act, 1987, Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, Social security and employment welfare laws, National Commission of Women Act, 1990, Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (Regulation of Prevention and Misuse) Act, 1994 and Preconception and pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 2002.
The Building and Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and condition of service) Act, 1996, The Mines Act, 1952, The Interstate Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and condition of Service) Act, 1979, The Plantation Labour Act, 1951, The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, The Employees State Insurances (General) Regulation, 1950 etc., have protective provisions for women.
Apart from these Acts, Acts like Mica Mines labour Welfare Fund Act, 1946, Beedi Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1976, Iron Ore Mines and Chrome ore Mines Labour welfare Fund Act, 1976, Limestone and Dolomite Mines Labour Welfare Fund Act, 1972, etc., make the appointment of a woman member in Advisory Committee and Central Advisory Committee mandatory.
Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 provides for equal pay for men and women doing the same or similar work. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex at the time of recruitment and while in employment. No discrimination is permissible in service conditions except where employment of women is prohibited or restricted by or under any law. The act also prohibits discrimination against women in matters of employment, promotions, training, transfer, etc.,
The Family Court’s Act, 1984 came into force in Kerala state on October 21, 1989. Family courts were established for the areas of the Revenue districts of Trivandrum, Kollam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Kannur, Manjery and Pathanamthitta. Family courts were established with a view to promote conciliation and to secure speedy settlement of disputes relating to marriage and family affairs.
It is essentially a socially beneficent legislation. The draft, protection from Domestic Violence Bill 2001 empowers the state governments to appoint a number of ‘protection officers’ (PO) whose task is to help a woman victim of domestic violence in making application to the magistrate and in availing her other legal rights.
The Convention of the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was ratified by the Government of India on 25th June 1993. This convention, described as the “International bill of rights of women” provides for women’s civil rights and their legal equality in all fields.
National Policy for Empowerment of Women aims at mainstreaming a gender perspective into all laws, regulations, plans, policies, programmes and budgetary allocations. National Resource Centre for Women is acting as the apex body for promoting and incorporating gender perspectives in politics and programmes of Government.
Political Empowerment of Women:
In almost all the countries of the world, women’s advances in political representation have been lagging behind gains in other areas such as education and employment. Political empowerment of women is possible only by increasing the political participation of women.
In many countries including India, women had to fight even for gaining the right to vote. New Zealand was the first country to grant women the right to vote in 1893. In the twentieth century, only 24 women were elected as heads of state or government. Women hold only 10.5 per cent of the seats in the world’s parliaments.
As a result of the increased awareness of the political rights of women, the percentage of female cabinet ministers worldwide Las doubled from 3.4 in 1987 to 6.8 per cent in 1996. Sweden formed the world’s first cabinet to have equal numbers of men and women in 1995. The situation is not better even in the U.N., which advocates gender equality. Of the 185 highest-ranking diplomats to the United Nations, only seven are women.
The low level of political participation of women world-wide. A study on women in public life, carried out by the United Nations Division for the Advancement of women (UNDAW), argues that only a critical mass of women (33.3%) allow female politicians to bring different values to public life. The 73rd and 74th amendments in the Constitution of India passed on April 24, 1994 are laudable steps towards achieving this ‘critical mass’ in India.
The recent amendment in 2008 to enhance the reservation to 50% will go a long way towards empowering women in India. Unfortunately, the implementation of the National Policy for women for one-third reservation of seats for women in the State Assemblies and Parliament (known as 81st amendment), which is an outcome of the UN World Conference for Women 1995, in Beijing, is dragging on endlessly.
The ‘apolitical’ image of women was challenged in the 1970s and 1980s by many feminist political scholars whose research found that women were as likely as men, to participate in political activities. Jean Kirkpatrick, for example, stated that the most important finding of her study of 50 American women state legislators serving in the early 1970s was that political women existed who were very similar to male politicians in social backgrounds and in psychological characteristics.
Only a few women have achieved political positions of any significance. Women are severely excluded from the nation’s policymaking process despite the fact that they constitute half the electorate. It is also frequently found that women assume fewer leadership roles in party organization.
Women assume primary family responsibilities, and the role of homemaker is believed to inhibit political participation. Lack of education and political awareness partly account for deprivation of women. Many people contend that participation of women in politics should be encouraged to cope with the ever-increasing menace of corruption.
An expansion of the Political Reservation system and the introduction of a quota system would provide more political opportunities for women. The development of a nation could be fully realized only if women are involved adequately and meaningfully in the development process.
Women’s Bill and Political Empowerment:
The parliamentary bill for 33 per cent reservation of seats for women in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies has been shelved repeatedly in spite of political promises made to the electorates. The champions of the feminist movement see the provision for providing reservation as a unifying instrument for women, which would enable them to join the political mainstream and usher in an egalitarian society.
It has always been the contention that equality in all spheres is inseparable from active political participation and is integral to the process of women without active and continuous participation of women at all levels of the government, including local party structures, equality in true sense will continue to remain deceptive. The fact that the President of India (Smt. Prathibha Patil) as well as the leader of the ruling party (Smt. Sonia Gandhi) being women, may provide the right climate for making it a reality.
In a polity where there has historically been a fierce contest for national power, with strong, ideological parties, class-based constituencies, and an early extension of universal male suffrage, women were viewed as trespassers in a masculine realm. Even though 86% of women in Kerala are literate, their number in the state assembly is less than in Madhya Pradesh assembly which has very low female literacy.
The 72nd and 73rd Constitutional Amendments on Panchayati Raj and Nagarpalika with 33 per cent reservation for women has created political space for women. But it is criticized that they exercise “proxy” power on behalf of men. In reality women have never been able to get more than ten per cent seats in Parliament or other bodies of decision-making. It is hoped that the Constitutional Amendment for political reservation of women, when passed will go a long way to provide active involvement and participation of women in political bodies.
India has heralded the new millennium by pronouncing the year 2001 as women’s empowerment year. In terms of political empowerment, nearly seven lakh women occupy positions as members and chairpersons of grassroots democratic institutions in India following reservation of one-third seats at village and municipal level for women. Political emancipation and social empowerment will act as the main catalyst in achieving the empowerment of women to a large extent.
Today we have noticed different Acts and Schemes of the central government as well as state government to empower the women of India. But in India women are discriminated and marginalised at every level of the society whether it is social participation, political participation, economic participation, access to education, and also reproductive healthcare. Women are found to be economically very poor all over the India.
On the other hand, it has been observed that women are found to be less literate than men. According to 2001 Census, rate of literacy among men in India is found to be 76% whereas it is only 54% among women. Thus, increasing education among women is of very important in empowering them. It has also noticed that some of the women are too weak to work. They consume less food but work more.
Another problem is that of workplace harassment of women. There are so many cases of rape, kidnapping of girls, dowry harassment, and so on. For these reasons, they require empowerment of all kinds in order to protect themselves and to secure their purity and dignity. To sum up, women empowerment cannot be possible unless women come with help to self-empower themselves. There is a need to formulate reducing feminised poverty, promoting education of women, and prevention and elimination of violence against women.