Do you know that rigid culture hinders woman empowerment immensely, also do you know that there are countries that are still against women empowerment?
Woman empowerment means the emancipation of woman from the vicious grip of social, economic, political, caste and gender-based discrimination. Women empowerment begins when women are equally being treated as men. Empowering women involves encouraging them to be financially, culturally, and socially independent.
Many influencing factors that affect women empowerment includes beliefs, attitudes and values among the developing countries which don’t commit towards gender equality between men and women.
The full partnership of both men and women are required in productive and reproductive life, including shared responsibilities of the care and nurturing of children, house chores, but in today’s patriarchal society women are expected to mould themselves according to men who are considered to be the “breadwinner” to the family.
This culture is commonly witnessed in developing economies. Women in these countries are being abused and treated recklessly due to the dominance of men. Perhaps they are not allowed to have an individual opinion or an individual identity.
Different beliefs, culture and old traditions prevent empowering women and create gender discrimination. For instance, the frequency of female foeticide killing in India is increasing day by day and girls are being considered to be burdensome even before birth. Today this issue has reduced but only at a minimum rate as it is still common in rural areas.
In India, women are forced to do household chores and are not been exposed to the outer world, but they are not aware that women hold half the power of the society, men and women both together will become full power of the country. The country will turn out to become a developed country if the countrywomen are being empowered. Men are not aware of the power women hold.
The other common issue faced by Indian female is the dowry practice which has been running since ancient times i.e. men demands for dowry (an amount of property or money from the bride to the husband on their marriage).
In most developing countries teenagers between the age of 13 to 19 are being forced to marry due to poverty, family issues and cultural reasons. But this is an illegal act also known as child abuse and rape cases are rapidly increasing in these countries. These are the reasons why women need to fight over their rights, equality and unfairness to avoid gender discrimination.
Women empowerment does not mean ‘deifying woman’ rather it means patriarchy over parity. In this regard, there are many facets of women empowerment, such as;
Social women empowerment
A critical aspect of the social empowerment of women is the promotion of gender equality. Gender equality implies a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, outcomes, rights and obligations in all spheres of life.
Educational woman empowerment
Education is one of the most vital means of empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process. More than 40 years ago, the universal declaration of human rights asserted that each individual has the right to education, this leads to access to basic education around the globe which increased the literacy rates despite there are still school dropouts at a certain young age especially girls in developing countries due to poverty.
There are approximately 960 million illiterate adults in the world, of whom two-thirds are women. These women have no access to printed knowledge, to new skills or to technologies that would improve the quality of their lives and help them shape and adapt to social and economic change.
Economic and occupational empowerment
It implies a better quality of material life through sustainable livelihoods owned and managed by a woman. It means reducing their financial dependence on their male counterparts by making them a significant part of the human resource.
Legal women empowerment
It suggests the provision of an effective legal structure that is supportive of women empowerment. It means addressing the gaps between what the law prescribes and what actually occurs.
governments should establish mechanisms to accelerate women’s equal participation and equitable representation at all levels of the political process and public life in each community and society and enable women to articulate their concerns and needs and ensure the full and equal participation of women in decision-making processes in all spheres of life.
Governments and civil society should take actions to eliminate attitudes and practices that discriminate against and subordinate girls and women and that reinforce gender inequality.
Political women empowerment
It means the existence of a political system favouring the participation in and control by the women of the political decision-making process and in governance. The position of women in India: the position enjoyed by women in the Rig-Vedic period deteriorated in the later Vedic civilization. Women were denied the right to education and widow remarriage. They were denied the right to inheritance and ownership of property.
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Aysha Arshad is a passionate individual with an aptitude for social entrepreneurship, content writing, and a coffee lover!