Women's Empowerment

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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

Introduction

“Woman is not helpless she must never regard herself as weaker than man. She should not therefore, beg for any man’s mercy, nor depend on him”- Mahatma Gandhi.

Women represent half the resource & half the potential in all societies. Empowerment of women has emerged as an important issue in our country. In India, nearly half of the population consists of women. In India their work participation rate is less than half that of men. The role of women in the development of nation is very important nowadays. So women should be respected both in the society as well as in the family. To increase the states of women. They must be empowered in all aspects such as economically, socially, politically and culturally.

Factors that predict women’s participation in labour force include education, marital status, number and ages of children, age and health, employment opportunities etc. After 2nd world war in almost every industrialized & developing countries, not only has the female labour force, gone up but it has also undergone structural change. Today, even though the women’s participation in the labor force has risen, they work most often in informal jobs. New hopes are arisen today, by the implementation of the provision of 73rd &74th amendments to the constitution which would initiate a genuine process of decentralized planning with the institutions &with active participation of women.

Measuring participation of women in economically productive work in an area fraught with huge estimation problems. This is true not only for India but for the entire developing world. Women are involved in all kinds of productive work both inside & out side the home, but tend to underestimate & deny their involvement. Women’s evaluation of their own work is shaped by the low social evaluation of their work. Thus official & non-official statistical show low participation rates for women, but day-to day observation, case studies, &simple common sense indicate otherwise given high levels of poverty in most of the developing world, sheer economic compulsion world drive women to work. However, especially in India, an admission of working for wages is seen as a mark of low status. Additionally, women’s underestimation of their work stems from the fact that it is often unpaid, & when it is paid, women have very little control over their earning.

Women’s share in the labour force continues to rise & almost everywhere women are working more outside the household & women’s income is becoming increasingly necessary to households of all types .Many women today work in the home; raising families who are the future of our country. “Women’s empowerment & their full participation on the basis of equality in all spheres of society, including participation in the decision making process & access to power are fundamental for the achievement of equality, development, & peace”.

In every society, women shoulder the heavy responsibility of maintaining their respective families side by side with their male partners. Women’s work is of much more important as they participate in farming & animal husbandry work besides attending to household duties. Working women work outside the home while at the same time doing a larger share of work than men in the home such as childbearing, cooking &cleaning. The time use survey conducted by the ministry of program implementation, Government of India (2000), has shown that females spend about double the time as compared to males in activities relating to taking care of children, the sick and elderly people.

Women workers are largely concentrated in the self-employed and unorganized sectors such as agriculture with little representation in trade union.

In the past employment of women was almost unthinkable. This was not liked by the society. It any women dared table up a job, they were invariably a...
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