Today, women have forayed into all bastions of technology, finance and industry to prove that they can take an equal responsibility with men for national progress. Socially, all outdated customs and traditions, which demean, ostracise or devalue women, as human beings should be abolished.
The talk of empowerment to women should not be a mere paper tiger which growls for a while and then retires to the dark cavern of neglect and loss!
Recognizing the achievements of ordinary women who have made transformative changes in their societies is a way to support women’s empowerment at the grassroots level.
If women cannot participate in the political process, there can be no real democracy. If women are deprived of economic opportunity, development is crippled.
If women are not educated, they cannot pass knowledge to their children, and there is no true security for the next generation.
Up to 80 percent of transnational victims are women and children. Human trafficking is a global health risk and it fuels the growth of organized crime.
The global observance of international Women’s Day reminds all nations that the empowerment of women is irrevocably tied to the safety, security and prosperity of the world.
As a matter of fact woman empowerment is related to human rights.
In 2000, Breakthrough’s pop album Mann Ke Manjeere: An Album of Women’s Dreams (Virgin Records) topped the national charts for five months. Its title song by Shubha Mudgal, based on the true story of a woman who left her abusive husband to become a truck driver, was named the best Indipop Music Video at the 2001 Screen awards and was nominated for the MTV Music Awards.
Support from India’s top media houses has played a large part in the success for woman empowerment.
The increasing incidences of violence against women is proof enough to explain the inefficacy of the laws framed to safeguard women and do justice to its role in protecting women.
Though there are various laws that protect the rights of women, hardly this has reached women and this is especially true in case of rural women. They remain victims throughout their whole life.
State intervention in the form of laws and legislation, coupled with a system of social check is the key to check this growing menance.
In relation to culture and religion, women face discrimination as they do in other spheres.
While religion may teach equality among-people, in practice women usually have a subordinate role and they may be excluded altogether from the religious hierarchy.
Different interpretations of religious texts and different religious traditions have different implications for women. Culture, however, like religion, can also be the source of cohesion and solidarity amongst women, and men.
Indian women writers in regional languages as well in search of a feminist space have exploited postmodern concerns for difference and multiplicity in postmodernism. However, politically potential feminist writings overlapping with post modernism have begun to appear in Indian writing in English.
Feminist writing assumes significance in this context as it constructs a new zone of gender consciousness.
(Dr. B.P. Sinha also known as Vinod Kumar, former Head, Centre for English Studies and Dean, School of Languages, Central University of Jharkhand, Ranchi is an academician, poet, short story writer, novelist, renowned playwright and perceptive critic of life and literature.
He writes, directs and acts for Stage, Radio and Television. His plays have been staged throughout the country. The views expressed in the Article are his own.)