Women Empowerment

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(2001) | |
|Introduction | |The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental | |Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. The Constitution not only grants equality to | |women, but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women. | |Within the framework of a democratic polity, our laws, development policies, Plans and programmes have| |aimed at women’s advancement in different spheres. From the Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-78) onwards has| |been a marked shift in the approach to women’s issues from welfare to development. In recent years, | |the empowerment of women has been recognized as the central issue in determining the status of women. | |The National Commission for Women was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1990 to safeguard the rights | |and legal entitlements of women. The 73rd and 74th Amendments (1993) to the Constitution of India have| |provided for reservation of seats in the local bodies of Panchayats and Municipalities for women, | |laying a strong foundation for their participation in decision making at the local levels. | |1.3 India has also ratified various international conventions and human rights instruments committing | |to secure equal rights of women. Key among them is the ratification of the Convention on Elimination | |of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1993. | |1.4 The Mexico Plan of Action (1975), the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies (1985), the Beijing | |Declaration as well as the Platform for Action (1995) and the Outcome Document adopted by the UNGA | |Session on Gender Equality and Development & Peace for the 21st century, titled "Further actions and | |initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration...
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