Women Empowerment – Social Perception of Women in India
In early days, women in India were simply regarded as plain housewives. They were not allowed to go outside for work. They were only bound to live in their house to take care of their children and other family members. Women were completely dependents of men socially and economically. In most sectors, women were not well represented and they don’t even have bank accounts.
But now situations of women are improving. In 2001, the government of India has been declared as the year of Women’s Empowerment (Swashakti). Many governments, non- government and many NGOs have started playing active participation in the growth of women. Media is also playing important role for women empowerment and for equal rights given to women. The Indian government has also started schemes for women empowerment, like; Beti Bachao.
Beti Padhao, One Stop Centre, Women helpline and UJJAWALA etc, has increased the participation of women in social advancement of India. These schemes are such a great Support for Training and Employment Program (STEP), among others, to facilitate equal employment opportunities for women. Non-governmental organizations (NGO) are consistently working toward enabling economic as well as social empowerment of women through various initiatives. Many firms, under their corporate social responsibility initiatives, have also started running women empowerment programs in rural and urban areas.
Though women have outshined in every field, they still face discrimination at almost every level of employment. Gender inequality is evident from the lack of workplace promotions to lack of basic sanitation facilities for female drivers in India.
Even though Indian women face numerous hurdles and challenges, it has not deterred their confidence and enthusiasm to bring about a powerful social change. They are creating a new path toward achieving social and economic empowerment.
Kofi Annan, the former secretary-general of the United Nations, once stated: “There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.” Indian women are threading toward empowerment to make conscious, progressive decisions for themselves.