Women empowerment programmes need a holistic approach so that rather than focusing on just one symptom problem we focus on a wide range of issues which are closely associated with women’s marginalization and discrimination. Addressing these issues in an integrated manner will help us to find a wholesome solution towards total empowerment of women in all respects.

We very well know that women have always been marginalized and relegated to the status of subjugated class in the society. This has been happening from thousands of years now. The legacy of discrimination and oppression of women is seen in the economic system, culture and social norms and political systems around the world. Gender equality and women’s empowerment need action at the government and legal level where repealing of discriminatory laws and passing of new laws needs to be done to give genuine equal rights to women. Further empowering women economically, socially and politically should be a priority. Above all aggressive mass movements, mobilizations and campaigns are needed towards creating awareness and ending woman abuse and transforming gender relations.

Women empowerment programmes: Empowerment through multiple channels

So the key lies in women empowerment through economic self-sufficiency and higher awareness levels on social, political and legal issues through mobilization. There is also a need to recognize and emphasize the diverse roles of women such as reproductive, productive and community management. The contribution of women towards the growth and development of the society has to be highlighted and emphasised through various means and medium.

Women empowerment programmes: Empowerment of women at the grass root level

In fact true and real women empowerment can only take place when women are organized and strengthened at the grass root level. The women’s movement and a wide-spread network of social Organisations which have strong grass-roots presence and deep insight into women’s concerns have contributed in inspiring initiatives for the empowerment of women and their role becomes even more important today and in the days to come because of the various forms of direct and indirect discrimination against women that still exist in the society.

Women Empowerment Programmes: The holistic Goals and Objectives of total women empowerment:

1. Advancement and development of women in every walk of life.

2. Creating an environment through positive economic and social policies for development of women and realization of their full potential.

3. The enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedom by women on equal basis with men in all spheres of life that is political, economic, social, cultural and civil.

4. Equal access to participation and decision making of women in social, political and economic life of the nation and the world.

5. Equal access to women to health care, quality education at all levels, career and vocational guidance, employment, equal remuneration, occupational health and safety, social security and public office etc.

6. Strengthening legal systems aimed at elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

7. Changing discriminatory societal attitudes and community practices by active participation and involvement of both men and women.

8. Mainstreaming a gender perspective in the development process.

9. Elimination of discrimination and all forms of violence against women and the girl child; and

10. Building and strengthening partnerships with civil society, particularly women’s organizations.

Women empowerment programmes: Gender perspective

Further for total women empowerment programmes we need mainstreaming of a Gender Perspective in the Development Process of the nation and the world. In this regard the following below mentioned topics and issues become paramount in terms of understanding and execution at various levels:

1. Economic Empowerment of women-This includes issues like Poverty Eradication, Micro Credit, Women and Economy, Globalization, Women and Agriculture, Women and Industry & Support Services

2. Social Empowerment of Women- This includes issues like Education, Health, Nutrition, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Housing and Shelter, Environment & Science and Technology

3. Women in Difficult Circumstances-This includes issues like Violence against women, Rights of the Girl Child & Mass Media

Women empowerment programmes: Gender disparity and gender discrimination

Gender disparity manifests itself in various forms, the most obvious being the trend of continuously declining female ratio in the population in the last few decades in India. Social stereotyping and violence at the domestic and societal levels are some of the other manifestations of discrimination against women that can be seen in one or the other way in most parts of the world.

Women empowerment programmes: Life of dependence

Most importantly we need to recognize the fact that women are still economically very weak and majority of them are forced to live an existence of economic dependence across the world. Therefore conception and execution of total women empowerment programmes at every level and at every sphere of life is a must.

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