Women empowerment has been an ongoing topic of discussion for many years. The fight for equal rights and opportunities for women has been a long and arduous battle, with women having to fight against cultural, social, and political barriers that have hindered their progress. From last few year, women empowerment is much focused with various initiatives and programs aimed at providing women with the resources, skills, and knowledge to take charge in personal life as well as in social life. This blog will explore the concept of women’s empowerment, its importance, and the various methods to accomplish it
What is Women Empowerment?
Women’s empowerment involves providing women with access to resources, education, healthcare, and employment opportunities, as well as encouraging their involvement in the decision-making procedures. The goal of women’s empowerment is to create a more equal and just society, where Women possess equivalent entitlements, prospects, and liberties as men.
Women empowerment refers to the process of granting women the ability and authority to control their lives and make decisions that affect their well-being and that of their communities. It entails granting women access to education, healthcare, employment opportunities, and resources, as well as promoting their participation in decision-making processes at all levels of society. The aim of women empowerment is to promote gender equality, eliminate gender discrimination, and make equitable society for both.
Why is Women Empowerment important?
Women’s empowerment is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it promotes gender equality, which is a fundamental human right. Women should have equal opportunities, freedoms, and protections as men, and empowering women is a step towards achieving this goal. Secondly, women’s empowerment is critical for economic development. When women got freedom for education, employment opportunities, and resources, they can contribute significantly to the growth of their communities and the country’s economy. Thirdly, women’s empowerment is essential for social development. Empowering women helps to promote social cohesion, reduce poverty, and improve health outcomes, among other benefits.
Ways to achieve Women Empowerment
There are several ways in which women’s empowerment can be achieved. These include:
- Providing education: Education is a powerful tool for empowering women. When women have access to education, they can acquire knowledge and skills that enable them to participate in the workforce, become financially independent, and contribute to their communities’ development. Education also helps to promote gender equality by challenging cultural and social norms that discriminate against
- Providing access to healthcare: Women’s health is essential for their well- being and their ability to contribute to society. Providing women with access to healthcare services, including reproductive health services, helps to improve their health outcomes and reduces their vulnerability to disease and illness.
- Promoting women’s participation in decision-making processes: Women’s voices must be heard in decision-making processes at all levels of society. This includes political, economic, and social decision-making processes. Encouraging women to participate in these processes helps to ensure that their needs and interests are represented and promotes gender equality.
- Providing access to economic resources: Women need access to economic resources, such as credit, land, and capital, to start and run businesses. Providing women with these resources helps to promote their economic empowerment, which in turn contributes to their communities’ development.
- Challenging cultural and social norms that discriminate against women: Cultural and social norms that discriminate against women can hinder their progress and prevent them from realizing their full potential. Challenging these norms and promoting gender equality is essential for women’s empowerment.
Women’s Empowerment in Rajasthan
Rajasthan, a state in India, has made significant progress towards women’s empowerment in recent years. The state government has implemented several programme aimed at educating gender equality and empowerment women’s. In this blog, we will explore some of the initiatives undertaken by the Rajasthan government to empower women and the impact they have had.
Women’s Education in Rajasthan
The Rajasthan government has taken significant steps to improve girls’ education in the state. Several government initiatives have been initiated to enhance or improve or enrich girls’ enrollment and retention rates in schools. These programs include the ‘Padho Pardesh’ scheme, which provides financial assistance to girls from economically weaker sections to pursue higher education abroad, and the ‘Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya’ scheme, which provides free education to girls from marginalized communities.
As a result of these initiatives, the literacy rate among women in Rajasthan has increased from 43.85% in 2001 to 56.97% in 2011, according to the Census of India.
Healthcare in Rajasthan
The Rajasthan government has also launched several initiatives aimed at improving women’s health outcomes. The ‘Mamta’ scheme provides financial assistance to pregnant and lactating women to access healthcare services. The ‘Janani Suraksha Yojana’ provides free delivery and postnatal care services to pregnant women from marginalized communities.
As a result of these initiatives, the maternal mortality rate in Rajasthan has decreased from 318 per 100,000 live births in 2014-16 to 244 per 100,000 live births in 2017-19, as per Sample Registration System.
Rajasthan government initiatives for Women’s Empowerment
The Rajasthan government has launched several initiatives aimed at promoting women’s empowerment. The RSCW i.e., Rajasthan State Commission for Women was established to protect and promote women’s rights. The ‘Bhamashah Swasthya Bima Yojana’ provides health insurance to families, with the female head of the household as the primary beneficiary. The ‘Annapurna Rasoi Yojana’ provides subsidized meals to women and children from marginalized communities.
As a result of these initiatives, women’s participation in decision-making processes at the village level has increased significantly. Based on research conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research, the proportion of women participating in village meetings in Rajasthan increased from 19.3% in 2005 to 46.6% in 2013.
Women’s Employment in Rajasthan
The Rajasthan government has launched several initiatives aimed at promoting women’s employment. The ‘Mukhya Mantri Kaushal Anudaan Yojana’ provides financial assistance to women to acquire skills and start their businesses. The ‘Sakhi Mandals scheme provides training and support to women to start their enterprises.
As a result of these initiatives, the labor force participation rate among women in Rajasthan has increased from 19.3% in 2004-05 to 24.9% in 2017-18, according to the National Sample Survey.
The Rajasthan government has implemented several initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. These initiatives have had a significant impact on women’s lives in the state, particularly in terms of education, healthcare, participation in decision-making processes, and employment. However, there is still a long way to go in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment in Rajasthan. The government needs to continue its efforts to address the various challenges that women face in the state, including gender-based violence, discrimination, and social norms that restrict women’s freedom and agency. With sustained efforts, Rajasthan can become a shining example of women’s empowerment and gender equality in India.
Women’s empowerment is essential for promoting gender equality, economic development, and social development. Achieving women’s empowerment demands a collaborative endeavor from the government, civil society, and private entities. Providing women with access to education, healthcare, and economic resources, and promoting their participation in decision-making processes are some of the ways in which women’s empowerment can be achieved. Challenging cultural and social norms that discriminate against women is also crucial for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Mr. Rajesh Jakhotiya
Department of Commerce & Management
Biyani Girls College