A common saying goes as, “a hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”.
Since times immemorial women have been treated with utmost regard.
Their role as a mother, a homemaker, a link that joins entire family together has been given great prestige.
Besides, women have proven their worth outside the four walls of home and have outshone their male counterparts in various sectors.
Be it Apala, Ghosha, Nivavari or Razia Sultana or Rani Laxmibai, Begum Hazrat Mahal or Sarojini Naidu, Captain Laxmi Sehgal, Indira Gandhi or Kalpana Chawla, Bhawana Kanth, Nirmala Sitharaman, etc. no sphere of human life has been left untouched by the strong passion of women.
Women empowerment aims to create an atmosphere where women feel safe and secure to lead their lives and pursue a profession of their choice.
Women have started breaking that glass ceiling to move ahead professionally.
In India, successive governments have tried to provide easy and affordable access to education to girls.
From fee waiver to scholarships to encouraging them to choose STEM fields of studies, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, for girls’ education has received a great impetus.
Health and sanitation of girls is also looked after through menstrual hygiene scheme wherein sanitary napkins are provide to girls at minimal cost, SABLA scheme, etc.
Digitalization has helped girl students a lot.
In social sphere women have broken many barriers.
From removing veils, to actively participating in Swachhta Abhiyan, they have shaken the patriarchal mindset in various ways.
Now they have a say in major decisions of the family as their education and awareness levels have increased considerably.
Because of growing migration of men towards towns and cities, women have even taken to fields now and the number of female farmers is increasing.
Economically, women are increasingly becoming self-dependent.
The Self Help Groups (SHGs), Business Correspondents (BCs), Jan Dhan Yojana and similar such programs have given money power in the hands of women.
Women are known for spending with thrift when it comes to necessities and save for the rainy day.
The smallest economic unit of home runs on their shoulders.
By registering the gas bookings on the name of female, under UJJWALA Yojana, government has given preference and responsibility in the hands of women.
Financial Inclusion through opening of no frills account has brought institutional savings option to women thus empowering them.
At many places women have also broken that glass ceiling.
Women can be seen heading major banks, institutions, governments, international institutions, etc.
Politically, women have marched ahead in their own graceful manner.
From the likes of Mamta Banerjee, late J. Jaylalitha, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Kiran Bedi, etc. they have shaken this erstwhile male bastion.
They are known to be great administrators and governors.
In defence sector also they are moving shoulder to shoulder with men.
Recently, Indian Navy posted women officers on Naval Warships, in paramilitary forces women are also guarding the borders of the country and will now be flying fighter jets.
They are no more considering only women centric jobs without physical rigours or challenges. They are ready to take any challenge head on.
According to many reports, Indian women get less nutrition and hence are weaker than their western counterparts.
Many a times, they get so busy with their jobs and daily chores that health is neglected.
Indian women are more prone to Anaemia and lack essential nutrients in their blood.
Gender discrimination is negligible in the formal sector with regard to position, pay scale and entitlements.
But in informal women are biased against. Particularly in labour sector they are provided lower wages than males.
Still at many places the rules regarding sexual harassment and complaints redressal are not delineated properly.
This creates a sense of hesitation and insecurity among women workers.
There is a need to make society and people sensible regarding women issues.
Women should play decisive roles in the family and society equally so that any question of discrimination or deprivation does not arise.
If women are healthy, educated, empowered and can participate fully and equally in all aspects of life, society and nation can prosper.
Our ‘Rashtra Shakti’ is nothing without ‘Stree Shakti’, we can make India ‘Shaktishali Bharat’ only by strengthening our Shakti.