Women empowerment can be defined in very simple words that it is making women powerful so that they can take their own decisions regarding their lives and well being in the family and society. It is empowering women to make them able to get their real rights in the society.
Swami Vivekananda, one of the greatest sons of India, quoted that, “There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved, It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing.”
From ancient to modern period, women’s condition-socially, politically and economically- has not remained same they are the target of varied types of violence and discriminatory practices done by men all over the world. and it kept changing with times. In ancient India, it enjoyed equal status with men; in early Vedic period they were very educated and there are references of women sages such as Maitrayi in our ancient texts. But with the coming of famous treatise of Manu i.e. Manusmriti, the status of women was relegated to a subordinate position to men.Need for empowerment emerged due to centuries of domination and discrimination done by men over women . They are object of brutality .India is no different.
India is a mind boggling country. We have, through centuries, created and developed various types of traditions and practices. These traditions and customs, good as well as awful, have become a part of our society’s collective cognizance. We worship female goddesses; we additionally give incredible significance to our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and other female relatives or friends. But at the meantime, Indians are additionally renowned for treating their women badly both inside and outside their homes.
Indian society comprises of people belonging to almost all kinds of religious conviction. In every religion women are given an exceptional place and every religion teaches us to treat it with respect and dignity. Yet some way or another the society has so developed that various types of ill practices, both physical and mental, against women have become a norm since ages. For instance, sati pratha, practice of dowry, female infanticide, parda pratha, sexual violence, wife burning, sexual harassment at work place, domestic violence and other varied kinds of discriminatory practices; all such acts consists of mental as well as physical element.The reasons for such behaviour against women are numerous but the most important one are patriarchal system of society and the male superiority complex. Though to eliminate these ill practices and discrimination against women several self-help groups and NGOs are working in this direction; various constitutional and legal rights are there but in reality there are a lot to be done for breaking the societal hindrances and achieving great heights in all dimensions: political, social and economic. But society as a whole has still not acknowledged women as being equal to men and crimes or abuses against women are still on the rise. For that to change, the society’s orthodox mind set needs to be changed through social conditioning and sensitization programmes.
Therefore, the concept of women empowerment not just concentrates on giving women strength and aptitudes to rise above from their miserable circumstances however in meantime time it also stresses on the need to teach men regarding women issues and inculcating a sense of respect and obligation towards women as equals.
Stories by SIRT Bhopal