scrambling for safety

Women Empowerment In India

Discrimination and marginalization of women in India has attracted global attention for many years. Women in India are marginalized in political, social and economic participation, and in their access to healthcare and education. A large percentage of women in India are illiterate and unemployed while their male counterparts are educated and employed. Crimes against women in India have reached alarming rates. Common crimes against women include rape, kidnapping, sexual harassments in workplaces, torture, molestation and dowry death. Sometimes these crimes occur in a family setting where women are too weak to defend themselves or report the crime. Statistics on such crimes and the level of participation of women in social, political and economic decision indicate the need for women empowerment in India. Women need protection and security to participate national decisions.

Issues Affecting Women Empowerment in India

National and international agencies have failed in their efforts to empower women in India for various reasons. Although some women have risen to positions of power in India to defend women rights, discrimination and marginalization are still rampart in many parts of India. One of the major challenges to women empowerment is lack of education. Many Indian women are illiterate and hence cannot compete equally for participation with men. Poverty is a national problem in India, which has not only hindered women empowerment but also led to some crimes against women. Women are in most cases forced to work in factories and earn meager wages to support their families. Women have to endure harsh working conditions and sexual harassment at work to supplement their husbands’ income.

Sex trafficking is a result of high poverty levels in India. Traditions and cultural beliefs play a significant role in the discrimination against women. Some women are too afraid to fight for their rights believing that their current position in society is right according to their traditions and culture. They willingly participate in oppressive dowry negotiations and forced marriages, and sometimes force their daughters or sisters to conform to such traditions.

The Way Forward

Sometimes women are their worst enemies in the efforts to empower women. Women in India must change their mindsets and resist oppressive traditions and culture. They must recognize their value and contribution to their families, marriage and national development. India men must also change their mindset and value women. Husbands must defend their wives and recognize their contribution to family income. The Indian government has a significant role to play in women empowerment. Labor policies and anti-trafficking laws need reforms and implementation to protect women. The government bears the responsibility of regulating business operations including hiring processes and working conditions. The Indian government must ensure that women have equal access to education, job opportunities and health care. Poverty eradication must remain a top agenda for the Indian government.