India is in the middle of a radical change taking place in its development and global stature. As a result, all citizens should be decisive in their approach and make full use of this opportunity to help in the overall progress of the nation. Gender inequality continues to be a major issue in the Indian society. For decades, women have been kept confined to the limits of their homes thanks to meaningless beliefs and religious customs. There have been innumerable efforts on the part of beneficiaries and women support groups but have produced very little reward. It is high time that the nation took stock of the situation and acted towards the establishment of women’s rights in India so that they can have an equal say in all matters and help in the general progress of the nation.
When we think of the empowerment of India, we basically need to take into consideration five important components: a woman’s sense of self-worth, their right to have power and control over their own lives both within and outside the home, and the individual ability to influence the direction of social change towards creating a just economic and social order both nationally and globally. If we look at India’s history there have been figures such as Rani of Jhansi and Indira Gandhi who have been symbols of women empowerment. However, a lot still needs to be done with respect to rights of women in the country.
Attainment of a proper education and an active economic participation happen to be the key constituents towards ensuring that rights of women in India are properly established. An educated woman is the biggest weapon in the society towards the establishment of women rights in India and women empowerment. The women in the country are still far behind their male counterparts in terms of education. This prevents them from advancing on an equal stepping with the men as they are still largely shut-out from the jobs in the formal sectors. The poor literacy condition of the women in India also means that they don’t get a say in matters of economy thereby preventing the creation of an economically empowered Indian society.
There also needs to be a significant amount of change as far as women’s mobility, social interaction and intra-household decision-making factors are concerned. Although there are large number of nuclear families that allow women to have their freedom of choice, the joint households still are symbolic of male chauvinism in the country and are a stumbling block towards establishing women’s rights in India. The common Indian society still harbors the notion that a woman’s hands are fit only to handle spices and vegetables and not for counting currency notes. What society seems to constantly forget is that women are far better than men in matters of creation, nurturing and development and it is high time that women in the country are given equal rights to have a say in matters of economy and stake a claim to their rights in the society.
Empowerment of women in the country is a process that has long been underway and the results are starting to show. The enrollment figures for women in schools, colleges and other professional institutes have showed an improvement with more women being involved in both technical and traditional job sectors. Women self-help groups have been setup in the rural districts to fight for the right of women in India and provide a source of empowerment for them through various means. The proposal for the passing of bills and laws in the Parliament towards protection of women against sexual assaults and violence will be a major step forward towards setting up of women’s rights in India. As and when the thirty-three per cent reservation of seat for women in the Parliament gets completed, women of the nation will find a much louder voice for themselves in the higher seats of power in the Indian democracy. That will be the day when India and its women will truly be able to reach the zenith of empowerment and proudly claim the total establishment of rights of women in India.