It is a natural way and the only way. No one comes into this world by his choice of gender. So, naturally, gender based discrimination has to be of no existence. But, unfortunately, the gender inequality exists in the world. Gender equality is something that we have strived for, for a long time. Be it in terms of gender roles, right to education, right to reproduction decisions, etc. The times have changed tremendously, but much more needs to be done. Gender inequality acknowledges the fact that being of a different gender leads to difference in lived experiences.
Women empowerment is the ultimate key to achieve our goal of gender equality. Only if we will be able to let women enjoy the same rights, choices and freedom, then our society will be ideal as it should be. Empowering women is also an indispensable tool for advancing development and reducing poverty. Empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of whole families and communities and to improved prospects for the next generation.
In developing countries like India, most people in small towns or villages (except few metro cities) are not even aware of the term women empowerment. The dilemma is that sometimes, even women are not aware that it is such a major global issue and how they are unknowingly the victims of it. We often come across the news about domestic violence, rape, emotional abuse, eve teasing , and a lot more. Why do we hear such news more often in India? Because, India, as of now, is male dominated country. No doubt, things are improving, but the speed and pace is not up to the mark. India has still a very long way to go in order to achieve complete freedom for women as much as men. Women, here still strive for the basic right to education, personal development, financial freedom, right to choose anything. Without involvement of women in mainstream forces of development, how can we expect to reduce gender inequality?
It is widely believed that, the full participation of both men and women is critical for development. For full participation, women empowerment is a necessity. Empowerment helps them to take their own decisions by breaking all personal limitations of the society and the family. And decision making skills are a must for any kind of the development in the society, be it economical, health or educational. Empowerment happens with small things. Promising equal access to resources, equal opportunities in education sector, equal payments at workplace if the work profile is same for men and women. These small gestures are like a duty for each and every one of us if we want to reach the epitome of equality. Participation of women in mainstream politics is also a necessary condition for witnessing a significant impact. Women leaders will help any nation to address these issues in a more lucid manner at a higher level, at the same time, will give a boost in the confidence of women for thinking of raising the bar in all fields.
I, personally, believe that the empowerment starts from our homes. Right from our mothers, sisters and wives. As a girl hits adolescence in any typical home, it has been observed that they are more likely to contribute their skills in their household chores, basically an unpaid work. I am not opposing that girls don't need to learn these things like cooking. But I advocate that boys and men should also be given these responsibilities equally. After all, women are not only entitled to cooking, washing dishes and doing household works only. Women should be given as much equal opportunity as men in terms of everything and in every choice.
The former First Lady of US said, “Let's be very clear: Strong men - men who are truly role models - don't need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful. People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.” That is exactly how equality should be viewed and unless we all stand together it might never be achieved.
Link To Article: https://youth-journal.org/gender-equality-and-women-empowerment