Why Women’s Empowerment is Important? | Daughters of India
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Daughters of India

Concept: Women Empowerment in India

What is empowerment?

  • Empowerment is the ability to make choices and transform all those choices into proper outcomes and desired actions.
  • An educated, self-dependent, self-motivated, and decision-making woman is an empowered woman.

Why is women’s empowerment important for society?

  • Empowering women and making them independent needs to be done for humankind to progress.
  • Women should have equal rights and opportunities to participate in education, economics, and politics.
  • Women must understand the value of self-worth.
  • They should influence each other and boost the economic growth of the country.

Few facts regarding the status of women in India:

  • Only 29 % of women serve in the national workforce.
  • Crimes against women are not always reported to the police station.
  • In the villages, many girls suffer from malnutrition.
  • Women also suffer from domestic violence.
  • In many situations, a girl child is not allowed to complete her education.
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Factors that prohibit women empowerment in India:

1. Lack of education:

  • Lack of education among women is more prominent in rural areas than urban areas.
  • In low-income families, parents do not encourage girl children to complete education and be self-dependent.
  • Completing education and getting a good job is a long process, and the parents do not have the patience and time for that.
  • Parents even think investing money for a girl child’s education is a waste; instead, they would spend that money on the girl’s marriage.
  • If a girl child is discouraged from pursuing education, she does not feel interested and loses motivation.
  • Sometimes parents encourage them to go for vocational courses before completing education.
  • These courses may help them earn, but primary and secondary level education is necessary to become self-sufficient.

2. Leaving school without completing education:

  • Many girls leave school before completing their education for various reasons.
  • Sometimes parents are not able to provide education due to financial crises.
  • The lack of a supportive environment may cause students to drop out early.
  • Parents encourage their girl children to provide support in household work because they think that in the future, they will be doing the same.
  • Sometimes female students drop out and start working at various places for minimum wages as they think it can help their family to sustain themselves.
  • In many areas, female students stop going to school because of distance and security reasons.

3. Child marriage:

  • Child marriage is banned in India and is a punishable offence.
  • Each year many girls under the age of eighteen get married in India.
  • According to the law of the land, girls cannot get married until they are twenty-one years old.
  • The reason for child marriage could be different in different localities.
  • In many places in India, child marriage is a social practice, so the parents allow this medieval practice even today.
  • Sometimes parents prefer their girls to get married because of social security.
  • Suppose a family with two or three girls suffers from a financial crisis. In that case, the parents always try to get their girls married instead of saving for education.

4. Child labour:

  • When a female child below fifteen years of age participates in any labour work in return for money, she is considered child labour.
  • There are many causes behind child labour. Most of the time girl students drop out of school and start doing various jobs to earn money and support their families.
  • Families are very poor in rural areas due to the lack of employment opportunities. The parents cannot support their girls' education because of limited earnings and savings.
  • Children grow up in a challenging environment as they see the struggles and hardships around them. So, they consider completing education less important than earning money and supporting the family.
  • Sometimes parents also urge their children to support the family economically.
  • Although child labour is discouraged in India, many girl children work at tea stalls, construction sites, and manufacturing factories at minimum wages.

5. Female foeticide:

  • Female foeticide is very much prevalent in some regions of our country.
  • To destroy or kill an unborn, immature female foetus in the mother’s womb is called female foeticide.
  • Female foeticide is a punishable offence in India.
  • It leads to an imbalance in the number of males and females in society.
  • Since we live in a patriarchal society in India, many parents prefer sons over daughters in their families.
  • They think daughters cannot take care of them when they get old because daughters will be married off to other families.
  • Some believe that only sons can give them social and economic stability.

6. Dowry:

  • Giving dowry is a malpractice prevalent in our society.
  • When the bride’s family gives cash, goods, and other movable properties to the groom’s family as a condition of the marriage, then that is called dowry.
  • When a dowry is not given to the groom’s family, the bride may face many difficulties at her in-law’s place.
  • There are reports that either the groom himself or other family members tortures the newly-wed bride for dowry and money even after marriage.

7. Gender discrimination:

  • When women are not given equal opportunities and resources like men in different spheres of society, that situation is called gender discrimination.
  • In many workplaces, women do not get the chance to be promoted or are not given important roles.
  • Others might overlook a woman’s hard work and dedication.
  • Even for the same job role, women get less paid than their male counterparts.
  • All these instances create a hindrance to women’s empowerment.

8. Women abuse:

  • Women abuse is quite frequent in our society.
  • They are abused both verbally and physically.
  • Any abuse is a punishable offence as it can lead to anxiety and depression.

Factors that encourage women empowerment:

  • Education
  • Job opportunities
  • Participation in politics, defence, sports and games
  • Equal opportunities in society
  • Exposure to media
  • Freedom of expression
  • Freedom of movement
  • Proper nutrition and sanitation
  • Decision-making power
  • Introduction to self-help groups
  • Changes in women’s labour patterns

New Words

Authority: The right to make decisions and to give orders.

Malnutrition: The condition in which proper growth and development of the body do not happen due to the lack of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Vocational: Skill-based training related to an occupation or employment.

Foetus: An unborn baby growing inside the mother’s womb.

Anxiety: An emotion that involves tension and worrying thoughts.

Depression: Feelings of severe sadness.

Patriarchal: Indicating a society controlled by men.

Did You Know?

  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is a scheme launched by the Government of India to reduce female foeticide and encourage parents to support their daughters in education and sports.
  • The concept of widow remarriage was introduced in society by Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
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