Gender equality and women empowerment have attracted attention worldwide and are more a social movement than just another cause. There is a reason why different societies in the world and different people around the globe keep persisting on the issue of gender equality and women empowerment. It is not only a need of the hour; it is one of the most important pillars for any country's overall development.
The great Tamil poet Bharathiyar said that the day women could walk freely at midnight was the day India could call herself independent. Can we as a nation assure this to be true today? The answer might not be pleasing, but still, progress is made to ensure women's safety. Helping any country reach the goal of empowering women should start from the grass-root level.
Girls must be trained in all different types of skills in school, just as boys get trained in. Girls must learn and be inspired by examples of women leaders like Jhansi KI rani and Velu Nachiyar, women who have been predominant in India's freedom struggle. Girls should not be ignorant of politics and current affairs but must be intelligent and be able to give their opinions on different topics.
Women empowerment also means improving women's sense of self-worth. Women must be educated to be able to make their own decisions, and also, they should be able to influence social situations. Women should be given equal rights to participate in education, economy, society, and political affairs. Gender equality and women empowerment also mean accepting women's viewpoints or seeking them; raising the status of women through education, awareness, literacy, and training.
Women empowerment is also about changing perceptions in society, and it is the responsibility of every woman to step up to reshape perceptions. Margaret Thatcher once said, "If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, then ask a woman." There is no limit to what women can achieve. Gender equality and women empowerment are fundamental rights. It is the duty of society and its people to see to it that no girl is denied this right to achieve a peaceful and prosperous world.
Women empowerment and promoting women's rights has emerged as a significant global movement and continues to break new ground in recent years. Days like international women's day have brought more awareness to women's empowerment worldwide. Despite significant progress, women continue to face discrimination and violence in every part of the world. Seven hundred fifty million girls were recorded to be married before 18. One in every five women experiences physical or sexual violence. 23% representation of women is recorded in political offices.
The United Nations have devised seven major principles for Women's empowerment and related issues. Let us have a brief look at the principles to gain more clarity on women's empowerment.
- Create high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.
- Treat all people fairly at work, respecting and supporting non-discrimination.
- Ensure the health, well-being, and safety of all workers, whether male or female.
- Promote education, training, and professional development for women.
- Implement supply chain marketing practices and enterprise development for women.
- Champion equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
- Measure and report publicly on progress to create gender equality.
Gender equality is a fundamental human right. Women are generally underrepresented in power and decision-making forums. They receive unequal pay for equal work, and they often face legal and other barriers that affect their opportunities. Women are often seen as less valuable than men in the developing world. They are made to do domestic work while the boys are sent to school; in other cases, women are married off early before becoming adults. Empowering women is essential for the social development of communities and countries.
When societies can assure women's safety, they can contribute their skills to the workforce and can raise happier and healthier children. Women should be empowered through education through which they are less likely to be married at a young age. When women are supported, they gain the opportunity to speak up for their rights. Also, involving women in decision-making helps to raise their social standing by which women organizations, empowerment policies, and women's charities gain momentum and contribute to a more robust world.
One can be part of the solution by empowering women to economic growth, political stability, and transformation. Empowering women through water, sanitation, hygiene, health and nutrition, livelihoods training, and education increases their ability to reach their full potential. When women are educated, there is so much that they can achieve, like a good job, higher income, healthier children, and improved well-being for their family and the community.
Encourage women around you and make them feel unique and strong. Also, please encourage your friends to speak up for gender equality and women's empowerment and make sure they know the value of their opinions and are not scared to use their voices.
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