EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
Empowerment of women is the key-device to enable them resurrects their status multifariously in the society and reconcile them to share responsibilities of the fast developing world. It had come out of the consensus arrived at the 40th Session of the UN commission on status of women in New York on March 11, 1996. This device is significant in view of the role that the women can more effectively play in all vital areas where the male factor alone is not capable of any effective and reliable performance in socioeconomic spheres and a partnership is a must throughout the world in these spheres between men and women to ensure the progress in the right direction. Noteworthy is the fact that there exists a wide gap in between the present miserable plight of the women due to the socioeconomic inequalities that have been persistent throughout the world and the new mandates that require a decisive role of women side by side with the men folk. The commission has warned the entire member
states of the UNO that the women concerns be mainstreamed to deal with the impact of the economic and social changes on families Eradications of Poverty, elimination of gender prejudices and discriminations, and providing equal opportunities to women to express their views, are essential to check further drift in the socioeconomically situations in their respective countries. The commission has stressed that this is not just a formality to oblige the women folk with a view of boost their morale or pacify them. But it is an integral part of empowerment of women that they participate in decision making at all levels in all areas oil the critical concerns that were identified in the world women conference held in China in 1995.
By empowerment of women is meant that the conferment of power by means of law in all matters affecting gender interests, related to family-well-being and socioeconomic national affairs, providing for their participation in decision making in all such matters. As a matter of fact, all such matters that were categorically termed as ‘critical concerns’ of the women in the world women conference in Chine in 1995 were required to be mainstreamed to deal with the impact of economic and social changes on families. In eradication of poverty, counter sexism and violence in the global media.
It is not India alone where the plight of women is pitiable and their status has been depleting and losing day by day, but it is an international phenomenon. Because exploitation of women in the forms of domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse, in one form or the other is equally found throughout the world, including the advanced and developed countries of the west. And this is the main reason that the status of women and their plight have grown into an international problem and a concern of the Economic and Social Council of the UN.
Experts of the economy have arrived at the consensus that so far eradication of poverty is concerned, it requires full and equal participation of women in decision-making at all levels for which their empowerment and autonomy are essential prerequisites. It implies legislative and administrative measures to give right to women no inheritance and ownership, to credit and to natural resources and technology. It further necessitates promoting women’s participation in employment and self-employment and ensuring economic and social protection during unemployment, ill-health, maternity, child bearing, widowhood, disability and old-age.
Meanwhile in India, reservation of seats in parliament and state legislatures for women is being actively pursued at the government level to offer a political toast to entertain women. Many important court rulings regarding relating to harassment of women at work, maintenance of wife even if not legally married etc. have made the womenfolk stronger. Many savings and insurance schemes, announced from time to time by the central government and various state governments, have helped women to become economically stronger, resulting in their better social status. The constitutional amendment regarding reservation of one-third seats for women at the level of Panchayat has enabled one million women to participate in the decision-making process, right from the grassroots up to district level.
At the international level, however, the initiatives to improve conditions for the women have resulted in the creation of an international legal framework to achieve legal equality by. UN bodies are also continually striving to bring about equality by raising public awareness and by a commitment to change long-ingrained traditions and attitudes, which prolong discriminations.