is measured as a basic constraint and a fundamental right for the citizens of
any nation. It is a powerful tool for reducing inequality as it can give people
the ability to become independent. Women, who come across discrimination in
many spheres, have a particular requirement for this. Women Empowerment is a
global problem and discussion on women political right are at the fore front of
many formal and informal campaigns worldwide. It was introduced at the
international women conference at NAROIBI in 1985.
Education is regarded as an important milestone of
women empowerment because it enables them to face the challenges, to confront
their traditional role and change their life. Education of women is the most
powerful tool of change their position in the society. Still large womenfolk of
our country are illiterate, backward, weak, and exploited. Education also
reduces inequalities and functions as a means of improving their status within
the family. Empowerment and capacity building provides women an avenue to
acquire practical information and learning for their improved livelihoods.
India can become a developed nation only if women contribute to the best of her
capacity and ability which is possible when she is educated and empowered.
rate in India
Source: Census of India (2011)
On observing the above table, we come to know that
at no point could the literacy rate of women match that of men. As a result,
even after 65 years of independence, women occupy a secondary position in our
social hierarchy. Inspire of being aware of her position, women can’t transform
the situation due to lack of education. Therefore, women’s empowerment can’t be
effected unless we persuade the importance of women’s education.
empowerment through education
Women empowerment is the pivotal part in any
society, state or country. It is a woman who plays a dominant role in the basic
life of a child. Women are an important section of our society. Education as
means of empowerment of women can bring about a positive attitudinal change. It
is therefore, crucial for the socioeconomic and political progress of India.
The Constitution of India empowers the state to adopt affirmative measures for
prompting ways and means to empower women. Education significantly makes
difference in the lives of women.
Women Empowerment is a global issue and discussion
on women political right are at the fore front of many formal and informal
campaigns worldwide. Education is milestone of women empowerment because it
enables them to responds to the challenges, to confront their traditional role
and change their life. So we can’t neglect the importance of education in
reference to women empowerment. To see the development in women education India
is supposed to upcoming super power of the world in recent years. The
increasing change in women education, the empowerment of women has been
recognised as the central issue in determining the status of women.4 for
becoming super power we have mostly to concentrate upon the women’s education.
By which it will force on women’s empowerment.
As per united national development fund for women
(UNIFEM) the term women’s empowerment means:
• Acquiring knowledge and understanding of gender
relations and the ways in which these relations may be changed.
• Developing a sense of self-worth, a belief in
one’s ability to secure desired changes and the right to control one’s life.
• Gaining the ability to generate choices exercise
• Developing the ability to organize and influence
the direction of social change, to create a more just social and economic
order, nationally and internationally. Thus, empowerment means a psychological
sense of personal control or influence and a concern with actual social
influence, political power and legal rights. It is a multi level construct
referring to individuals, organizations and community. It is an international,
ongoing process centred in the local community, involving mutual respect,
critical reflection, caring and group participation, through which people
lacking an equal share of valued resources gain greater access to the control
over this resource.
Provisions, Special Laws And National Policies in Support of Women Empowerment
The importance of women as an important human
resource was recognized by the Constitution of India which not only accorded
equality to women but also empowered the State. A number of Articles of the
Constitution repeated towards the socio-economic development of women and
participation decision making. These are:
Ø Article 14
Men and women to have equal rights and opportunities in the political, economicv
and social spheres.
Ø Article 15(1)
Prohibits discrimination against any citizens on the grounds of religion, race,v
sex, caste etc.
Ø Article 16
Equality of opportunities in matter of public appointments for all citizens.
Ø Article 39(d)
Equal pay for equal work for both men and women.v
Ø Article 42
The state to make provision for ensuring first and humane conditions of work
and maternity relief.
has also enacted specific laws to safeguard the interests of women and for upv
gradation of their status. These are:
Ø The Hindu Succession Act, 1956
which provides for women the right to parental property.
Ø The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
which declares the taking of dowry an unlawful activityv
and thereby prevents the exploitation of women.
Ø Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
which provides payment of remuneration equal with men for work of equal
Ø The Medical Termination of
Pregnancy Act, 1971 which legalizes abortion conceding the right
of women to go for abortion on the ground of physical and mental health.
Ø The Criminal Law Amendment Act,
which seeks to stop various types of crimesv against
Ø The Indecent Representation of
Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 which prohibits the vulgar
presentation of women in the media such as- newspapers, cinema, T.V. etc.
Ø The Protection of Women from
Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides for more effective
protection of the rights of women guaranteed under the Constitution who are
victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family.
The goal of National Policy for the Empowerment of
Women, 2001 is to bring about the advancement, development and empowerment of
women. The policy states that: “Equal access to education for women and girls
will be ensured. Special measures will be taken to eliminate discrimination,
universalize, education, eradicate illiteracy and create gender sensitive
educational system, increase enrolment and retention rates of girls and improve
the quality of education to facilitate life-long learning as well as
development of vocational or technical skills of women. Reducing gender gap in
secondary and higher education would be a focus area. Specific time targets in
existing policies will be achieved, with special focus on girls and women, part
curly those belonging to weaker sections including the
Another area in which women’s equality has shown a
major improvement as a result of adult literacy programs is the area of
enrolment of boys and girls in schools. As a result of higher participation of
women in literacy campaigns, the gender gap in literacy levels is gradually
getting reduced. Even more significant is the fact that disparity in enrolment
of boys and girls in neo-literate households is much lowered compared to the
non-literate householders. The world has achieved equality in primary education
between girls and boys. But few countries have achieved that target at all
levels of education. The political participation of women keeps increasing. In
January 2014, in 46 countries more than 30% of members of parliament in at
least one chamber were women. In many countries, gender in equality persists
and women continue to face discrimination in access to education, work and
economic assets, and participation in government.12 Women and girls face barriers
and disadvantages in every sector in which we work. Around the world 62 million
girls are not in school. Globally, 1 in 3 women will experience gender-based
violence in her lifetime. In the developing world, 1 in 7 girls is married
before her 15th birthday, with some child brides as young as 8 or 9. Each year
more than 287,000 women, 99 percent of them in developing countries, die from
pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. While women make up more than
40 percent of the agriculture labour force only 3 to 20 percent are landholders.
Putting women and girls on equal footing with men and boys have the power to
transform every sector in which we work. The gender equality and women’s
empowerment isn’t a part of development but at the core of development. To get
rid of this we have to make some educational awareness programmes on gender
equality and women empowerment for cementing our commitment to supporting women
There is a positive relationship between education
and woman empowerment. Another important aspect in this regard is that, in
these societies the issue of women empowerment has been facing certain serious
challenges, which are outcome of some certain evil norms and attitude such as
child labour, child marriage, illiteracy, superstition, partial attitude of the
parents, female feticides, etc. and in such a situation women empowerment is an
urgent necessity. In order to promote women’s empowerment, it is necessary to
create an environment that will allow women to participate in educational
programs and share the benefits. The educational and other policies for women
empowerment should be implemented in reality for empowering women in the world.
Unless women are educated they will not be able to understand about their
rights and their importance. Empowerment of women aims at striving towards
acquiring higher literacy level and education, better health care for women and
their children, equal ownership of productive resources, increased
participation in economic and commercial sectors, awareness of their rights,
improved standard of living and to achieve self reliance, self-confidence and
self-respect among women.