To sustain any level of empowerment, women have to be educated, to be aware of their rights and privileges in modern society. In this post, we have written a powerful essay on the Empowerment of Women in India.
Empowerment of Women in India
The empowerment of women in India For a very long time now, women have in general been forced to occupy a secondary place in the world in relation to men, a position comparable in many ways with that of racial minorities. Women have been relegated to the margins in spite of the fact that they numerically constitute at least half of the human race today. This has resulted in women being unable to take a place of human dignity as a free and independent entity, associated with men on a plane of intellectual and professional equality.
If, however, we pay some thought to the situation, we can see how detrimental to progress it is to restrict women to specified roles and subordinate them to men. Even to raise children in today’s environments to make them fit to face the challenges of a competitive future, a woman needs to be fully aware of what is going on and develop the ability to choose and decide. If she lacks the power to equip herself to do this, the future would be the loser.
The need for empowerment of women in India is felt of the subordinate status they have been accorded since the beginning. However mere realization of the error does not set things moving in the right direction. There is a need to redefine the status of women in society.
To an extent, a change in women’s position can be brought about through the constitution and legislation. The constitution of India gives women status equal to men. There have been attempts to reserve seats for women in political bodies. This is, no doubt, a step in the right direction. Forced to contemplate a situation and decide upon it could gradually inculcate a situation in the women the ability to judge and decide wisely. True, at least in the initial stages, they might just toe the line set by the husbands, the brothers, the fathers, and the fathers-in-law; but experience brings self-confidence and at some point, these very women tend to show the ability to judge for themselves.
Indeed, research studies of Panchayati Raj with women on the panels confirm this view. However, merely allowing for reservation of women in Panchayats and legislative bodies without each woman being liberated individually, falls short of actual emancipation. Women have been excluded from centers of power, as a result of systematic ‘conspiracy’ by patriarchal thought which has relegated women to an allotted and confined space. A reorientation of our attitudes towards women has to be carefully guided for their real emancipation from the patriarchal norms.
The impoverished and illiterate status of most women in society is due to their inability to attain sufficient levels of economic power. To sustain any level of empowerment, women have to be educated, to be aware of their rights and privileges in modern society. It is only when they become aware of their status in society that they will be able to take full advantage of the concessions offered to them as a corrective measure.
The empowerment of women in India has to be begun with women’s participation. Michel Foucault, one of the foremost French thinkers of the twentieth century writes that women have always been man’s dependants and the two sexes have never shared the world inequality. Man-the- sovereign would provide woman-the-liege with material protection, but she must accept the moral constraints of confinement. According to Foucault, women’s empowerment consists in refusing these constraints of male confinement.
Unless women throw off the shackles which ignore their talent, their skill, and their spirit, women cannot be empowered. And unless they are empowered to take a decisive part in the social, political, and economic life of the country, the very development of the country may be adversely affected. Thus, the need is to empower women.
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