“Women Empowerment Through Political Participation: Issues & Challenges”

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H.S. ABZAL BASHA ** Dr. B. KRISHNA REDDY* Research Scholar, SKIM, Professor,
B.SEKHAR *** bkreddy.usha@gmail.com, Research Scholar, Dept. of Commerce, Mobile: +919440209689, -------------------------------------------------

Sri Krishnadevaraya Institute of Management, S.K University, Anantapur-515003, Andhra Pradesh

“You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women”

- Jawaharlal Nehru. The position of women and their status in any society is an index of its civilization. Women are to be considered as equal partners in the process of development. But, because of centuries of exploitation and subjugation, Indian women have remained at the receiving end. Women in India have been the neglected lot. They have not been actively involved in the mainstream of development even though they represent equal proportion of the population and labour force. Primarily women are the means of survival of their families, but are generally unrecognized and undervalued, being placed at the bottom of the pile. Women as an independent target group, account for 591.4 million and represent 48.46% of the country’s population, as per the 2011 census. No country can achieve its potential without adequately investing in and developing the capabilities of women. In the interest of long-term development it is necessary to facilitate their empowerment. In many developing countries, including India, women have much less access to education, jobs, income and power than men. Even after five and half decades of planned development Indian women have not achieved expected success in the mainstream of life. Our country will be unable to have a competitive edge over others until and unless the status and role of women is improved. Key words: Women Empowerment, Exploitation, Subjugation, Mainstream. Introduction

Today there are lots of things that are happening in the name of women empowerment in India and lot of resources are spent in this direction. Keeping this in mind it is crucial to have a reality check on what is happening on paper and what is the actual ground situation. It is worthwhile to ponder on the fact that we are one of the worst in terms of worldwide gender equality rankings. The year 2001 was declared as the National policy for empowerment of women. So it is time to ask the question whether we are moving in the right direction and where are we in terms of the paper actions and the actual ground realities. If we just look at the sex ratio it will show the plight of women in India. It is the lowest at around 940. Female literacy is just 65.46 % as per 2011 Census. Women Empowerment includes:

* Economic Empowerment,
* Educational Empowerment,
* Political Empowerment.
The objectives of Women Political Empowerment
* Creating an environment through positive economic and social policies for full development of women to enable them to realize their full potential * Equal access to participation and decision making of women in social, political and economic life of the nation * The de-jure and de-facto enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedom by women on equal basis with men in all spheres – political, economic, social, cultural and civil Significance of Women Political Empowerment

It is the vital fact that half the brainpower on earth belongs to women, women remain perhaps the world‘s most underutilized resource. Despite all the social hurdles, India is brimming with the success stories of women. While the Indian democratic state is committed to the protection of individual rights within the context of citizenship, a closer look at how it operates for...
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