OPINION

Women empowerment: Empower one, empower all

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Women have proved themselves in every field of life from teaching to sports; from nursing to soldiering; from science to technology

By: Sofi Khushboo Bashir

I being a girl have comprehended and completely felt the need of women empowerment. I have grown up in a society where I am so accustomed to hear that women need protection always, where I have seen women leaning on men whether financially or socially. Initially as a kid I was not au fait about these things, but with the passing time I started understanding the issue gradually. A question always clicks in my mind. When talking about womens’ protection, does the society means that  women can’t do it on their own?  This question was always followed by an answer that is ‘NO’.

Women empowerment has always been a most critical and obligatory issue that everyone should hold up for. The first step towards her empowerment is when she is given the power and right to make decisions for herself. Women have been subjected to injustice and infringement through decades. They have been treated as nonexistent for decades. I personally fail to understand that why we are considered so inferior in comparison to men despite the fact both genders are created by God. Times have witnessed that women have proved their aptitude and capabilities in every field of life from teaching to sports; from nursing to soldiering; from science to technology – in fact in every field of the life.

The empowerment and autonomy of women and the improvement of their political, social, economic and health status is a highly important end in itself. In addition, it is essential for the achievement of sustainable development. The full participation and partnership of both women and men is required in productive and reproductive life, including shared responsibilities for the care and nurturing of children and maintenance of the household. In all parts of the world, women are facing threats to their lives, health and well-being as a result of being overburdened with work and of their lack of power and influence. In most regions of the world, women receive less formal education than men, and at the same time, women’s own knowledge, abilities and coping mechanisms often go unrecognized. The power relations that impede women’s attainment of healthy and fulfilling lives operate at many levels of society, from the most personal to the highly public.

Achieving change requires policy and programme actions that will improve women’s access to secure livelihoods and economic resources, alleviate their extreme responsibilities with regard to housework, remove legal impediments to their participation in public life, and raise social awareness through effective programmes of education and mass communication. In addition, improving the status of women also enhances their decision-making capacity at all levels in all spheres of life. This, in turn, is essential for the long-term success of population programmes. Experience shows that population and development programmes are most effective when steps have simultaneously been taken to improve the status of women.

MEASURES TO BE TAKEN

(a)    Establishing mechanisms for women’s equal participation and equitable representation at all levels of the political process and public life in each community and society and enabling women to articulate their concerns and needs.

(b)   Promoting the fulfillment of women’s potential through education, skill development and employment, giving paramount importance to the elimination of poverty, illiteracy and ill health among women.

(c)    Adopting appropriate measures to improve women’s ability to earn income beyond traditional occupations, achieve economic self-reliance, and ensure women’s equal access to the labour market and social security systems.

I hope things will turn better soon for all women in this world. I believe that if we empower a man we empower an individual but  if we empower a woman we empower a society.

– The writer is a student of SSM college of engineering Srinagar and can be reached at khushboobashir11@gmail.com

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