INTRODUCTION The empowerment of women refers to providing the necessary rights andresponsibilities to women in order to make them self-reliant. Traditionally, Indian women have been brought to become workers or servantsto serve the man – dominating world. Empowerment is the process of building capacities of women, creating anatmosphere which will enable people to fully utilize their creative potentials. Empowerment gives women, the capacity to influence decision making process,planning, implementation and evaluation. Gender gap exists regarding access to education and employment. Household decision-making power and freedom of movement of women varyconsiderably with their age, education and employment status.
Atrocities on women Male violence against women is a worldwide phenomenon. Although not every woman has experienced it, and many expect not to, fearof violence is an important factor in the lives of most women. It determines what they do, when they do it, where they do it, and withwhom. Fear of violence is a cause of womens lack of participation in activitiesbeyond the home, as well as inside it.
Brutalities- A Statistical Chronicle Another danger in India is that, Indian law does not differentiate betweenmajor and minor rape. In every ten-rape case, six are of minor girls. In every seven minutes acrime is committed against women in India. Every 26 minutes a woman is molested. Every 34 minutes a rape takes place. Every 42 minutes a sexualharassment incident occurs. Every 43 minutes a woman is kidnapped. And every 93 minutes a woman isburnt to death over dowry. One-quarter of the reported rapes involve girls under the age of 16 but thevast majority are never reported. Although the penalty is severe, convictions are rare.
Women in the filed of Agriculture The women are the backbone of agricultural workforcebut worldwide her hard work has mostly been unpaid. She does the most tedious and back-breaking tasks inagriculture, animal husbandry and homes. The research efforts at the ICAR institutes have been triedto relieve her of the drudgery by providing time andlabour saving tools. Her enlightenment will change the face of rural India. Several programmes started at the National Centre forWomen in Agriculture and Krishi Vigyan Kendras, are theright steps in this direction.
Women Empowerment In India –Milestones & Challenges Empowerment is now increasingly seen as a process by which the oneswithout power gain greater control over their lives. This means control over material assets, intellectual resources andideology. It involves power to, power with and power within. Some define empowerment as a process of awareness andconscientization, of capacity building leading to greater participation,effective decision-making power and control leading to transformativeaction. This involves ability to get what one wants and to influence others onour concerns. With reference to women the power relation that has to be involvedincludes their lives at multiple levels, family, community, market andthe state.
The Cairo Conference-Women’sParticipation in Society Importantly it involves at the psychological level womens ability to assert themselves and thisis constructed by the gender roles assigned to her specially in a cultural which resists changelike India. The questions surrounding womens empowerment the condition and position of women havenow become critical to the human rights based approaches to development. The Cairo conference in 1994 organized by UN on Population and Development called attentionto womens empowerment as a central focus and UNDP developed the Gender Empowermentmeasure (GEM) which focuses on the three variables that reflect womens participation insociety – political power or decision-making, education and health. 1995 UNDP report was devoted to womens empowerment and it declared that if humandevelopment is not engendered it is endangered a declaration which almost become a leimotif for further development measuring and policy planning. Equality, sustainability and empowerment were emphasized and the stress was, that womensemancipation does not depend on national income but is an engaged political process.
CONCLUSION "When women move forward the family moves, the village moves andthe nation moves". It is essential as their thought & their value systems lead thedevelopment of a good family, good society & ultimately a goodnation". Indian government has taken several steps towards empoweringwomen. Empowerment of women also requires participation and co-operationof men as they benefit by having educated mothers, wives, daughtersand sisters. The economic empowerment will allow raising womens self awareness,skill development, creative decision making and it may also lead toproduce better citizens and a new and modern India.