Empowering Rural Women in Heath, Literacy and Environment
This paper addresses the conceptual and methodological issues related to women’s empowerment, the trends in women’s empowerment over the years in key areas such as education, health, economic participation, and finally the best practices of state and non-state actors in empowering women. The economic empowerment approach has relied on improving women's control over economic resources and strengthening women's economic security. Following a brief critique of human development, it begins with a discussion of the growing conceptual consensus around empowerment, i.e., empowerment being control over resources, women’s agency, a process and outcomes, to the methodological issues involved in its measurement, specifically focusing on the Gender Empowerment Measure and arguing that minimally the measure needs to move away from its urban, elite, and formal employment bias. Finally, it highlights some government best practices such as quotas, cash transfer programs, gender budgeting, and community based micro enterprises, local women run community based programs. Our goal is to cause policy, institutional and individual change that will improve the lives of women and girls everywhere. When you train a woman, you help the entire family, the village and the nation.
Key Words: Empowerment, Health, Literacy, Environment
The real implementation of women’s empowerment was more prominent from the 1990’s. The world conferences during those times on human rights and social development provided several opportunities and helped to build a consensus for women empowerment. A comprehensive document on the world’s commitment to women’s rights was drafted in Beijing Platform for Action in 1995. The 1990s brought international attention to issues of sexual and reproductive rights, violence against women, and gender inequality. Various Roles of Rural Women:
The rural women play a wide variety of roles from that of taking care of family and also to earn livelihood to run the family. They participate in agricultural activities, off-farm activities and other community services. Now-a-days most of the women in rural areas are self employed or in low pay work to support the family. They also go for sales in semi-urban or urban areas for their living. One of the great disadvantages faced by rural women is the time limitation for them to be in the marketing or sales area. Another problem faced by women, not only in rural India but also in other areas, include the uncounted works and responsibilities like taking care of the family, children, elderly and the sick people. They are not being paid for these duties but these form an important and necessary activity. The gender division of unpaid domestic work is remarkably resilient around the world and continues to shape the terms on which women are able to take up paid work. Role in Poverty Reduction:
Several policies and legislations are brought into action to transform agricultural labor to International Labor standards and rights. Also equal remuneration is to be provided for rural women so that they can also enjoy the benefits and take full advantage of the economic opportunities. This can be done only with the support of rural and other institutions. Such supports include recognizing and guaranteeing their rights to land and other productive resources and access to services. Though there are several policies and laws against discrimination on women, the new laws and policies are found to be difficult in practicing and enforcing. Productive Employment of Rural Women:
As known, the primary asset of rural women is their own labor. To ensure better rural employment, certain measures are to be taken. Decent work involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families; better prospects for personal development and social...
References: 1. http://www.idrf.org/empowering-women-through-self-help-groups-in-rural-haryana/
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