Women's empowerment A long way to go!

From the unanimously accepted old age belief that women are meant to stay indoors and be protected by men, their whole sole protectors, to the day when we find women perching on the higher pedestals of name and fame, much water has flown through the rivers of time. Let's see the change from Samir Majumdar's view. It’s hard enough a task to write an article on women's empowerment, for, in my opinion, it’s a subject which needs more than one edition to be covered comprehensively. The status of women across the world, India in particular, has never been the same. Rather, it has been fluctuating right from the very beginning of human civilization. Even in Greece which was one of the most ancient and highly civilized countries, women did not have the equal rights as men. They didn’t even have the right to take part in politics or right to vote. They didn't have the right to own land and inherit. A woman's place was in the four walls of home and her purpose in life was rearing of children. In India, in the Vedic age women enjoyed rights equal to those of men. They had the opportunity to be educated and could take part in the administration. In the Bhagwat Gita it was stated: “Putrattrayate kriyate bharyah!” That means the existence of women is realised in getting sons. After the Vedic era women ceased to enjoy equal rights as compared to men. Since every human society consists of basically two genders (not to talk about transgender in this issue), men and women - the empowerment of both in a given society, is equally important. Let us discuss briefly what the term actually signifies. “Women empowerment is the empowerment of women which enables them to take their own decisions by skipping all personal limitations imposed by family and the society at large.” Hence the essential factors for empowerment are self-confidence, exposure and independence of thought and action. All the political parties be they in the ruling power or in the opposition, all across India, they all are vocal in raising the issue of women empowerment whether in the parliament or outside. I would like to quote the honourable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi- "Women empowerment is crucial to India's growth. Days of seeing women as 'homemakers' have gone; we have to see women as nation builders!" Mr. Narendra Modi conveys through the Narendra Modi Mobile App, “For Women Empowerment, financial independence is necessary. Women are enterprising, they don't need to be taught, and they only need to be having opportunities.” To sum it up can we say India's women are empowered? Not empowered? Moderately empowered? Or being empowered? It's not easy enough to jump to the conclusion or draw any inference in haste. To my mind, it's a continuous process. Each and every educated woman as well as every sensible and well informed man should take part both in nation building and the empowerment process irrespective of their gender. Unless the major percentage of women is empowered in every senses of the word, true advancement of society will remain a long cherished dream, never be a reality. As far as the #MeToo movement on social media is concerned, it is just a bubble in the ocean. It has obviously helped a section of women to come out, open up, tell their stories but one should not forget that it has both of its use and abuse! One must not forget even if one thousand people tell a lie in chorus that doesn't mean it must be truth. An empowered educated mind, be it a man or a woman, is open to its independent perception of things. Indian Government at all levels is trying to empower women by introducing several projects, irrespective of caste, creed and religious faith yet there is a lot to be done still to uplift their overall conditions. In my opinion a larger numbers of women are still underprivileged, especially in rural India. Government facilities are not reaching them due to lack of infrastructure. If the political parties and social workers work hand in hand in collaboration, entire rural India can dream to be empowered.

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