SAFETY AND WOMEN
EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
PRINCIPLES OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
EDUCATION FOR WOMEN
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
CARE & WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY
The empowerment of women refers to providing the necessary rights and
responsibilities to women in order to make them self-reliant. Traditionally, Indian
women have been brought to become workers or servants to serve the man –
dominating world. Even in mythology, there is no gender equity and women were
deprived of their legal rights, to get property, education privacy, social status and they
were never treated as participants in any developmental works. Empowerment is the
process of building capacities of women, creating an atmosphere which will enable
people to fully utilize their creative potentials. Empowerment gives women, the
capacity to influence decision making process, planning, implementation and
evaluation. The status of women empowerment in India using various indicators like
women’s household decision making power, financial autonomy, freedom of
movement, political participation, acceptance of unequal gender role, exposure to
media, access to education, experience of domestic violence etc based on data from
different sources. Gender gap exists regarding access to education and employment.
Household decision-making power and freedom of movement of women vary
considerably with their age, education and employment status.
Empowerment strategies are varied and refer to those strategies which enable women to realize
their full potentials. They consist of greater access to knowledge and resources, greater
autonomy in decision making, greater ability to plan their lives, greater control over the
circumstances that influence their lives and finally factors which would free them from the
shackles of custom beliefs and practices. Unless they themselves become conscious of the
oppression meted out to them and show initiative to push forward it would not be possible to
change their status much.
Women’s Empowerment Principles in
1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.
2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support
human rights and nondiscrimination.
3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and
4. Promote education, training and professional development
5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and
practices that empower women.
6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender
WOMEN'S EDUCATION IN INDIA
Although in the Vedic period women had access to education in India, they had gradually
lost this right. However, in the British period there was revival of interest in women's
education in India. However women's education got a fillup after the country got
independence and the government has taken various measures to provide education to all
Indian women. As a result women's literacy rate has grown over the 3 decades and the
growth of female literacy has in fact been higher than that of male literacy rate. While in
1971 only 22% of Indian women were literate, by the end of 2001 54.16% female were
literate. The growth of female literacy rate is 14.87% as compared to 11.72 % of that of
male literacy rate. Gender discrimination still persists in India and lot more needs to be
done in the field of women's education in India. The gap in the male-female literacy rate is
just a simple indicator. While the male literary rate is more than 75% according to the 2001
census, the female literacy rate is just 54.16%.
All Central and State Ministries will draw up time bound Action Plans for
translating the Policy into a set of concrete actions, through a
participatory process of consultation with Centre/State Departments of
Women and Child Development and National /State Commissions for
Women. The Plans will specifically including the following: -
i) Measurable goals to be achieved by 2020.
ii) Identification and commitment of resources.
iii) Responsibilities for implementation of action points.
iv) Structures and mechanisms to ensure efficient monitoring, review and
gender impact assessment of action points and policies.
v) Introduction of a gender perspective in the budgeting process.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
1. Growing economic participation
2. Improvements in social
3. Access to technology, including
Growing economic participation
Economic empowerment constitutes one of the fundamental building blocks in
efforts towards the overall empowerment of women. Participation in formal economic
activities on terms and conditions which reflect the productive capacity of women,
and their control over their own incomes, are some of the important dimensions of
Although the increasing work participation of women has been viewed as part of the
general employment boom created by the export-led economic expansion, female
labour-force participation rates have tended to increase more than those for men in the
Asian and Pacific region, suggesting that women's economic participation has been a
critical feature of the region's quest for the economic empowerment of women
Fertility rates have declined in the region, even though the total fertility rate and
the average number of children per woman remain high (over four) in several
countries in the region. The fertility rates on average remain high in those
countries of Asia where female literacy is low and opportunities for outside work
participation are limited. It is therefore increasingly accepted that, in addition to
reflecting general conditions of economic growth and the availability of both
health care and birth control facilities, fertility rates also serve as a proxy for
women's general empowerment. This is because these rates are closely linked to
the literacy and educational status of women, age at marriage, and other
important features of women's status.
Access to technology
Promoting access to productive resources and social support systems
constitutes one of the fundamental building blocks in efforts to empower
women in the region. Access to productive resources such as credit,
technology, infrastructure, marketing links and networking facilities can
significantly enlarge opportunities for women to engage in formal
economic activities and improve their social status. In that regard,
promoting access to new and emerging technologies, including
information and communication technology, has become a powerful tool
for women's empowerment.
CARE and Women’s Empowerment
CARE has always worked with women and girls alongside men and boys in our poverty-
fighting programs. But over time, we have shifted from understanding poverty as a phenomenon
of unclaimed rights as well as of unmet needs, and now have a greater appreciation of the
humanmade, structural elements that underlie the poverty of entire groups of people.
Individuals change: Poor women become actors for change, able to analyze their own lives,
make their own decisions and take their own actions. Women (and men) gain ability to act by
building awareness, skills, knowledge, confidence and experience. and
Structures change: Women and men, individually and collectively, challenge the
routines, conventions, laws, family forms, kinship structures and taken-for-granted behaviors
that shape their lives – the accepted forms of power and how these are perpetuated. and
Relations change: Women and men form new relations with other social actors, form
coalitions and develop mutual support in order to negotiate,be agents of change, alter structures
and so realize rights, dignity and livelihood security.
Violence against women
All forms of violence against women, physical and mental, whether at domestic
or societal levels, including those arising from customs, traditions or accepted
practices shall be dealt with effectively with a view to eliminate its incidence.
Institutions and mechanisms/schemes for assistance will be created and
strengthened for prevention of such violence , including sexual harassment at
work place and customs like dowry; for the rehabilitation of the victims of
violence and for taking effective action against the perpetrators of such violence.
A special emphasis will also be laid on programmes and measures to deal with
trafficking in women and girls.
If we’re going to talk about women’s empowerment, we have to talk
about the problem of sexual violence. It’s great if the head of the
community development committee is a woman. But if she’s going home
and getting raped every night by her brother-inlaw, is she empowered?
Kassie McIlvaine, CARE’s
Director in Burundi
Exemplery punishment to juveniles(those below 18 years of age)involved in heinuos
crimes,such as rape and murder,by amending the juvenile justice(care and protection
of children)act 2000.The JJ act should not be understood as a piece of legislaton that
protect men alone.It applies equally to women also.Before 2000,boys aged under 16
years were provided protection under the act.The age for boys was raised to 18 after
deep deliberation.Therefore,in my view,there is no need to thinker with the
“When women move forward the family moves, the village moves and the nation
moves”. It is essential as their thought & their value systems lead the development of
a good family, good society & ultimately a good nation”. Indian government has
taken several steps towards empowering women. Empowerment of women also
requires participation and co-operation of men as they benefit by having educated
mothers, wives, daughters and sisters. The economic empowerment will allow raising
women's self awareness, skill development, creative decision making and it may also
lead to produce better citizens and a new and modern India.
IFAD/OE. 2000. The Republic of India: Tamil Nadu Women's
Development Project: Completion Evaluation, Report 340-IN.