Indian Streams Research Journal

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1 Vol 5 Issue 12 Jan 2016 ISSN No : ORIGINAL ARTICLE International Multidisciplinary Research Journal Indian Streams Research Journal Executive Editor Ashok Yakkaldevi Editor-in-Chief H.N.Jagtap

2 Welcome to ISRJ RNI MAHMUL/2011/38595 ISSN No Indian Streams Research Journal is a multidisciplinary research journal, published monthly in English, Hindi & Marathi Language. All research papers submitted to the journal will be double - blind peer reviewed referred by members of the editorial board.readers will include investigator in universities, research institutes government and industry with research interest in the general subjects. Regional Editor Manichander Thammishetty Ph.d Research Scholar, Faculty of Education IASE, Osmania University, Hyderabad. Mr. Dikonda Govardhan Krushanahari Professor and Researcher, Rayat shikshan sanstha s, Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu College, Kolhapur. Kamani Perera Regional Center For Strategic Studies, Sri Lanka International Advisory Board Mohammad Hailat Dept. of Mathematical Sciences, University of South Carolina Aiken Hasan Baktir English Language and Literature Department, Kayseri Janaki Sinnasamy Librarian, University of Malaya Romona Mihaila Spiru Haret University, Romania Delia Serbescu Spiru Haret University, Bucharest, Romania Anurag Misra DBS College, Kanpur Titus PopPhD, Partium Christian University, Oradea,Romania Abdullah Sabbagh Engineering Studies, Sydney Ecaterina Patrascu Spiru Haret University, Bucharest Loredana Bosca Spiru Haret University, Romania Fabricio Moraes de Almeida Federal University of Rondonia, Brazil George - Calin SERITAN Faculty of Philosophy and Socio-Political Sciences Al. I. Cuza University, Iasi Ghayoor Abbas Chotana Dept of Chemistry, Lahore University of Management Sciences[PK] Anna Maria Constantinovici AL. I. Cuza University, Romania Ilie Pintea, Spiru Haret University, Romania Xiaohua Yang PhD, USA...More Editorial Board Pratap Vyamktrao Naikwade Iresh Swami ASP College Devrukh,Ratnagiri,MS India Ex - VC. Solapur University, Solapur R. R. Patil Head Geology Department Solapur University,Solapur Rama Bhosale Prin. and Jt. Director Higher Education, Panvel Salve R. N. Department of Sociology, Shivaji University,Kolhapur N.S. Dhaygude Ex. Prin. Dayanand College, Solapur Narendra Kadu Jt. Director Higher Education, Pune K. M. Bhandarkar Praful Patel College of Education, Gondia Sonal Singh Vikram University, Ujjain Rajendra Shendge Director, B.C.U.D. Solapur University, Solapur R. R. Yalikar Director Managment Institute, Solapur Umesh Rajderkar Head Humanities & Social Science YCMOU,Nashik S. R. Pandya Head Education Dept. Mumbai University, Mumbai Govind P. Shinde Bharati Vidyapeeth School of Distance Education Center, Navi Mumbai Chakane Sanjay Dnyaneshwar Arts, Science & Commerce College, Indapur, Pune Awadhesh Kumar Shirotriya Secretary,Play India Play,Meerut(U.P.) G. P. Patankar Alka Darshan Shrivastava S. D. M. Degree College, Honavar, Karnataka Shaskiya Snatkottar Mahavidyalaya, Dhar Maj. S. Bakhtiar Choudhary Director,Hyderabad AP India. S.Parvathi Devi Ph.D.-University of Allahabad Sonal Singh, Vikram University, Ujjain Rahul Shriram Sudke Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore S.KANNAN Annamalai University,TN Satish Kumar Kalhotra Maulana Azad National Urdu University Address:-Ashok Yakkaldevi 258/34, Raviwar Peth, Solapur Maharashtra, India Cell : , Ph No: Website:

3 ISSN: Impact Factor : (UIF) Volume - 5 Issue - 12 Jan AN OVERVIEW OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN INDIA: A BRIEF DISCUSSION FROM PAST TO THE PRESENT 1 2 S. John Kaviarasu And G. Gladston Xavier 1 PhD Research Scholar, Department of Social Work, Loyola College (Autonomous), Chennai, India. 2 PhD Research Supervisor, Department of Social Work, Loyola College) (Autonomous), Chennai, India. ABSTRACT Women empowerment is a debatable subject. At earlier time of Stone Age period, women had equal status and power with that of men. But then they started facing some difficulties during postvedic and epic ages. History shows that many a time, women were treated as that of slaves. It was observed that right from the early 20th twenty (national movement), the statuses of women had been changing gradually and this credit goes to the British people. It is only after the Independence of India, under the able leadership of Dr.Ambedkhar, the constitutional makers and national leaders started strongly demanding and also reiterating the equal social position of women with men. Today, it is overwhelming to see that good proportionate of women in India are in the respectable positions in all walks of the fields. But the various events and incidents that has been happening in the country for two squares reveals clearly that women are discriminated, abused, tortured and harassed both in public and in families. In spite of the agony and suffering, it is good to learn that a few number of women have been able to establish their potentialities. Therefore, this article suggests that each and every human being should be careful in taking steps to promote the statuses of women and respect their dignity (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women 3 September 1981, in accordance with article 27 (1) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 1, 2, 7, and 23. KEYWORDS: Women empowerment, good proportionate etc. 1

4 INTRODUCTION It is a fact that of the total populations in the globe, women constitute almost 50%. But this is not true in India as India shows disproportionate sex ratio. Though India is marching forward to the status of developed nation, it is shocking to find that population of females has been comparatively lower than males. It is heartening to learn the social status of women in the Indian society is concerned that they are not fairly treated as equal to men in all the places. The best practice in the western societies is that women are recognized and given equal rights and status with that of men in all walks of their life. Even today, we find extensively that gender disabilities, chauvinisms and discriminations are found in India. The contradictory situation is that women were sometimes concerned as Goddess and at other times treated merely as slave. Historical Status of Women in India 1. When we trace back to the historic days of Mahabharata, it is crystal clear that Draupadi was put on the dice by her husband as a commodity. This shows that the Gender inequality existed. 2. History has an evident that men folk in general liked the dance of women and enjoyed to the core. As a result, women were made to entertain and please men through her dancing both in private and public places. 3. It is obvious in the Indian society that a major chunk of the female was always dependant on male members of their family till a few years ago, just to run their family chores and also to attend to their personal and basic needs. 4. Even in the family amidst the presence of elder members of her in-laws, female were not freely allowed to express or speak with loud voice. In this kind of situation, if something good happened in the family, the male took the credit and became responsible. On the other hand, if something bad occurred in the family, every faults and liability was placed on female as the sole responsibility. 5. It is heartening to note that a woman after becoming a widow, she had to be totally dependent on a male member of the family for eking out their livelihood, managing their family affairs, upbringing the children and fulfilling their own personal needs. Even today, it is explicitly clear that dependence of a widow on male members of the family still keeps on increasing. It is very pathetic to see the situation that in many social activities, a widow is not easily permitted to mingle with other members of the family. It is a worst practice that widow has a scanty share in political, social and economic life of the society. The rise of the National Movement was gaining a momentum in India in the early twentieth century for a remarkable change from the clutches of age old practices under the able leadership of Mahatma Gandhi who mainly advocated in removing all the disabilities of women. At the same time, the social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Rai and Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar gave a thrust on women s education, banning the evil practices of child marriages, a complete withdrawal of yet another evil practice of sati, uprooting the polygamy and so on. The first credit goes to the National Movement which led to the birth of various reform movements in the nation to pave the way for liberation of women from the practices of social evils and religious taboos. The booming of various reform and liberation movements in India brought about the Act of Sati (abolish) 1829, Hindu Widow Remarriage Act 1856, the Child Restriction Act, 1929, Women Property Right Act, 1937 etc. The social position of women was the grave concern which gradually started addressing in a 2

5 large scale only after the independence of India. With due respect for women, the constitution makers and the national leaders felt the importance of recognizing the equal social position of women with that of men and so women were given prominent importance from the clutches of subjugation, marginalization, sub-human living condition, male chauvinism. All these started paving the way for liberation of women from the hands of men who always enjoyed dominating women. As a durable solution for the above, a big thanks to The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 which clearly determined the age for marriage, provided for monogamy and guardianship of the mother and permitted the dissolution of marriage under specific circumstances. The features of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 were of a great solace not only for an unmarried woman but also for a widow or divorce of sound mind for permitting them to take a child in adoption. In the same way, another good thing is being brought to the women through the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961is that any person who gives, takes, or abets the giving or taking of dowry shall be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to six months or fine up to Rs.5000/ or with both. Common Status of Women in India In India of the total 30 percent people who are below poverty line, 70 percent among whom 30 percent people are living below the poverty line. Despite the notable efforts by the countries around the globe that have expanded for the basic education, there are approximately 960 million illiterate adults of whom two thirds are women. Educational backwardness of the girls has been the resultant cause of gender discrimination. In spirit and letter, women in India are equal chance and unique status, in special cases, of equality with men as per constitutional and legal provision. To attain or achieve this position over the year in India, Indian women have come a long way from the clutches poverty and overcoming male dominated society. In spite of having constitutional provision of equality for women as like women enjoy the status and freedom, most of the women in India are not free from social customs, beliefs and practices. It is very sad to note that the traditional patrilineal joint family system still confines the role of women by and large to the domestic sphere, assigning them to a secondary and subordinate status, authority and power when they are compared to men. The main notion lying predominantly perceived in society is that men are the key players in women s life and they are the most important and key providers and protectors of a family, while women are expected as playing only a supportive role, usually attending to the health needs. Keeping this in mind, not only at homes but also in school, in most of the cases of activities and taking up roles and responsibilities in society and for doing adult roles, status and authority. It is still found to be true that men have, to a great extent, controlled and dominated women as a group and therefore, status of women have been very low in family as society as well. When it comes to look after the parents in the old age, it is usual to hear that having a daughter is the best in their family, but then, when it comes to preference of either son or daughter, almost every family in India are preferring to have sons and disfavor towards daughters, which is still a multifaceted phenomenon, continuing in many places. Sons especially in the business communities are considered to be economic, political and ritual assets where as daughters are considered to be liabilities. Thus anti female social bias is the main cause of gender disparity in our society. Women empowerment through the constitution of India The three articles of the Constitution of India guarantees equality of sexes. In fact, this clearly 3

6 reflects that the constitution grants special favours to women. Article 14 says that the government shall not deny to any person equality before law or equal protection of the law. Article 15 declares that government shall not discriminate against any citizen on the ground of sex. Article 15 (3) makes a special provision enabling the state to make affirmative discriminations in favour of women. Article 42 directs the state to make provision for ensuring just and human conditions of work and maternity relief. Above all, the constitution regards a fundamental duty on every citizen through Articles 15 (A), (E) to renounce the practices derogatory to the dignity of women. Empowerment of women in India Specifically, the concept of empowerment for women flows from the power. Indeed, Empowerment of women focuses on equipping and enabling women to be economically independent and self-reliant. It speaks out loudly that by all means, women need to have positive esteem which would facilitate them to face any difficult situation. More so, they should be able to participate in development activities. Only then, the concept of women empowerment comes true. Therefore, The empowered women, without any force and compulsion from any quarters, should be able to take part in the process of decision making at every possible level. First and foremost, if women are consulted at home for taking decision by their family members in India, one would easily agree that women are empowered at home. If women get recognition from the society for their talents, skills and leadership abilities, there will not be any conflict and violation of human rights. In India, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD-1985) and the National Commission for Women (NCW) have been worked to safeguard the rights and legal entitlement of women. The 73rd &74th Amendments (1993) to the constitution of India have provided reservation of seats to 33%, whereas the report HRD as March 2002, shows that the legislatures with the highest percentage of women are, Sweden 42.7%, Denmark 38%, Finland 36% and Iceland 34.9%. It is good to note in India that at least at the village level, The New Panchayati Raj is the one beautiful part of the effort to empower women. It is significantly important to note the point that the government of India has contemplated enough through discussion and research and finally ratified various international conventions and human rights instruments committing to secure equal rights to women. These equal rights are clearly specified and mentioned in CEDAW (1993), the Mexico Plan of Action (1975), the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies (1985), the Beijing Declaration as well as the platform for Action (1995) and other such instruments was observed as the year of women s empowerment all over the world. In this particular year, a document that said to be a milestone has been adopted, the National Policy for the empowerment of women. As a follow up of this, favouring the women, the government has been adopted different schemes and programs i.e. the National Credit Fund for Women (1993), Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), Information and Mass Education (IMF) etc. The most positive development last few years has been the growing involvement of women in the Panchayati Raj institutions. There are many elected women representatives at the village council level. At the central and state levels too women are progressively making a difference. Today we have seen women chief ministers, women president, advocates, bureaucrats, different political parties leader, well establish businessmen etc. Besides, it is good to note that there are 25 most successful and 4

7 influencial women in India. They are namely: Nehwal for Badminton, Kareena Kapoor Khan for Acting, Reshma Shetty, the Managing Director of Matrix India Entertainment Consultants, Ekta Kapoor, Joint MD of Balaji Telefilms, Chitra Ramakrishna, Joint MD of National Stock Exchange, Zia Mody, Managing Partner of AZB & Partners, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and MD of Biocon, Shikha Sharma, CEO of Axis Bank, Chanda Kochhar, MD, CEO of ICICI Bank, Vinita Bali MD of Britannia Industries, Nita Ambani, Chairman, Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation, Vanitha Narayanan, MD of IBM India, Kumud Srinivasan, President of Intel India, Naina Lal Kidwai, President, FICCI & Country Head for HSBC, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, CEO for HCL Corporation, Rakhee Kapoor, Business Manager for Yes Bank, Nisaba Godrej, President, Human Capital and Innovation for Godrej Industries, Jayanti Chauhan, Director for Bisleri Group, Aruna Jayanthi, CEO for Capgemini India, Zahabiya Khorakiwala, MD for Wockhardt Hospitals, Aisha De Sequeira, MD for Morgan Stanley India Investment Banking, Mallika Srinivasan, CEO of TAFE, Kirthiga Reddy, Head for Facebook India, Neelam Dhawan, MD for Hewlett Packard India, Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Managing Director of Diageo. In the political arena too, we could find that some women excelled in the past and still some of them are in their peak of glory and success because of their boldness and leadership qualities. The most notable amongst these are: Mrs.Protiva Devi Singh Patil, the Ex president of India, Shila Dexit, the Ex-Chief Minister of Delhi, Ms.Jayalalitha, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mayawati, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Sonia Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress party since 1998, Binda karat, the general secretary of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) from 1993 to 2004, and thereafter its Vice-President till date, Susma Swaraj, former lawyer and the current Minister of External Affairs of India, in office since 26 May 2014, Momta Benarji, the founder the party All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) and at present Chief Minister of West Bengal since 2011, Indira Gandhi, India's third prime minister from 1966 until Ex-prime minister etc. Women are also involving in human development issues of child rearing, education, health, and gender parity. Many of them have gone into the making and marketing of a range of cottage products-pickles, tailoring, embroidery etc. The economic empowerment of women is being regarded these days as a sine-quo-non of progress for a country; hence, the issue of economic empowerment of women is of paramount importance to political thinkers, social thinkers and reformers. Moreover, there are 5 successful Indian women who deserve to be known for their achievements. They are namely Indra Nooyi - Chairperson & CEO of PepsiCo, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Managing Director of Biocon Ltd., Chanda Kochhar - CEO and MD, of ICICI Bank, Shikha Sharma Managing director and CEO of Axis Bank, Ekta Kapoor Founder, Joint Managing Director & Creative Director Balaji Telefilms Reasons for the empowerment of women In spite of significant development and highest growth of Indian women in different pockets of India in various walks of life, one cannot conclude that women are totally empowered and reaching their sustainable status. Having understood clearly, still we could find disempowerment of women. Because, Many Indian women still face discrimination throughout all stages of their life, beginning at (or even before) birth, continuing as an infant, child, adolescent and adult. The stages can be divided in following sections: Before Birth / As an Infant As a Child After Marriage 5

8 As a Widow In spite of enacting various Acts and bringing out several schemes by both the state and central government to empower the women of India, women are still discriminated, subjugated and marginalized at every level of the society, be it social participation, political participation, easy access to education, economic participation and liberation, and also reproductive healthcare at times of their needs. Generally, majority of the women even in the fast changing and competitive world are found to be economically very weak and therefore they continue to remain very poor all over the India. Significantly, a few women are voluntarily engaged in services and other activities with the consent of their partners and family members. It shows clearly that women are not given full freedom to function themselves as they wish or they could not do what they have been wanting or aspiring to do. To come out completely from this kind of situation, women should have an access to money all the time. Therefore, what they need is economic power by which they could be able to stand on their own legs on par with men. On the other hand, the educational status of women from the survey of census 2011 reveals that women are found to be less literate than men. The female literacy levels according to the Literacy Rate 2011 census are 65.46% where the male literacy rate is over 80%. Thus, not only quick access but also increasing education among women is of very important in empowering them. It is very sad to note even in the modern world that still some women are too weak to work, as they could not have healthy food. Being in this situation, women consume less food but work more not only in the work place but also at home. Normally, men have the chance to take rest at home after completing their work from their workplaces. On the other hand, women continue to work at home till every one of the family members go to bed, each and every day. Therefore, from the health point of view, women folk who are rightly said to be the weaker sex are to be made stronger. Another pertinent problem is the harassment of women at the workplace. There are so many incidences and many cases of rape, kidnapping of girl, dowry harassment and so on taking place every day in workplaces. As women are weak and voiceless, some cases are unreported. Considering the above reasons, women require empowerment. Therefore, it is the urgent need of the hour to help women to attain empowerment of all kinds in order to protect themselves and to secure their purity and dignity. CONCLUSION Among the educated women in India, women from the middle class are continuing to improve in walk of lives cutting across their traditional boundaries. It shows that there remains a strong bais against gender equality in the societal parts of India, wherever we find the patriarchal traditions prevailing. While in the educated, urban middle class women's rights continue to improve, there remains a strong bias against gender equality in those societal parts of India, where patriarchal traditions prevail. Consequently, in these strata any inheritance of a deceased husband or father would be passed down to the oldest son, while his wife or daughters would not receive any financial benefit. There are laws in place to ensure legal protection for women's right to inheritance, but the enforcement of the law is challenging, when the woman is refused her right by the family, and when she is not confident or educated enough to claim her right. Having seen the status of women in India from strength to strength from past to present, It is worth quoting from the statement of Jawaharlal Nehru "You can tell the condition of a Nation by looking at the status of its Women." Having understood this, it 6

9 is good to conclude with reasonable questions that which nation could claim to be a free and prosperous society, where half of its population is being oppressed? And which striving nation can afford to oppress half of its population? Obviously, the answer to that question is: none! Sustainable and long-term development is not possible without the participation and empowerment of women, only if they participate in the economic and societal development, the full potential of a society of India's society will be unfolded. Article 15 of the Indian constitution states clearly that no citizen should be discriminated on the grounds of only sex, but the irony we find that still discrimination is widespread which says clearly that women are subjected to injustice in many forms. As Desai has stated, if women get equal opportunities like men, they can work in every field like men. Today if she lags behind a little, it is not her fault but the fault of traditions which have suppressed them for centuries, owing to this, her own thoughts like also hang around only familial life and her nearest environment also does not provide favourable conditions for her devotion in the outside work. In order to change the situation along with economic growth, social progress is also greatly required. Hence the need of the hour is to effectively combat gender disparity as to promote gender equality by sufficiently empowering the women. To sum up, women empowerment is not at all possible without the whole-hearted support and cooperation of their family members. The society where women are living has to assist and recognize their every effort to come up well not only for the educational attainment, social participation outside her family but also in rendering economic support to prove their worth in every possible ways of development and empowerment. Above all, women empowerment cannot be possible unless women come with and help to self-empower themselves. Therefore, there is a dire need to formulate reducing feminized poverty, promoting education of women, allowing them to work with freedom outside their houses as per their wishes, encouraging them to take decision not only in family matters but also economic aspects of running the family, supplementing their effort to establish themselves as they think good and finally prevention and elimination of violence against women in family and workplaces. REFERENCES 1. Aruna Goel. (2009). Women Empowerment: Myth or Reality, Deep and Deep Publications 2. Banerji Anita and Raj Kumar Sen (2003), Women and Economic Development, Deep and Deep Publications, New Delhi. 3. Bharati Ray. (2005). Women of India: Colonial and Post-colonial Periods, Sage Publication Pvt Ltd, New Delhi. 4. Bhuimali Anil (2004), Education, Employment and Empowerment Women, Serials Publications, New Delhi. 5. Kar, P.K. (2000). Indian Society. Kalyani Publishers, Cuttack. 6. Kidwai, A. R----(edt)Higher Education, issues and challenges, Viva Books, 2010, New Delhi) 7. Hasnain, Nadeem (2004). Indian Society and Culture, Jawahar Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi. 8. Majumdar, Maya (2004), Social Status of Women in India, Dominant Publishers, New Delhi. 9. Menon, Latika (1998), Women Empowerment and Challenge of Change, Kanishka Publishers, New Delhi. 10. Mitra, Jyoti (1997), Women and Society, Equality and Empowerment, Kanishka Publishers,New Delhi. 11. Mutta, E., Waithanji, E., Korir, L., Mukema, E., Measuring Women s Social and Economic 7

10 Empowerment, Vol 36 of ILRI Research Brief, ILRI (aka ILCA and ILRAD), Rajib Lochan Panigrahy, Dasarathi Bhuyam. (2006). Women Empowerment, Discovery Publishing House 13. Rao Shankar, C. N. (2005). Indian Society, S.Chand & Company Ltd, New Delhi. 14. Reuters, (2015), Indian Women face worst discrimination among G20 nations, The National Sunday Nov 15, Siddhartha Sarkar, International Journal of Human Development and Sustainability Vol.6, No.1, Uiversal Publishers 16. Waghamate, Shivaji, Shivashankar. S (2014), women empowerment in India, A Panoramic View, Retrieved on Jan 4, 2016 Web Sources

11 Publish Research Article International Level Multidisciplinary Research Journal For All Subjects Dear Sir/Mam, We invite unpublished Research Paper,Summary of Research Project,Theses,Books and Book Review for publication,you will be pleased to know that our journals are Associated and Indexed,India International Scientific Journal Consortium OPEN J-GATE Associated and Indexed,USA Google Scholar EBSCO DOAJ Index Copernicus Publication Index Academic Journal Database Contemporary Research Index Academic Paper Databse Digital Journals Database Current Index to Scholarly Journals Elite Scientific Journal Archive Directory Of Academic Resources Scholar Journal Index Recent Science Index Scientific Resources Database Directory Of Research Journal Indexing Indian Streams Research Journal 258/34 Raviwar Peth Solapur ,Maharashtra Contact Website :

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