Women Empowerment: A Vital Need for Economic Development
No country in the world has achieved gender equality. The four highest-ranking countries—Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden—have closed a little over 80% of their gender gaps, while the lowest ranking country— Yemen—has closed only around 46% of its gender gap. The Global Gender Gap Index was developed in 2006 partially to address the need for a consistent and comprehensive measure for gender equality that can track a country’s progress over time,investment in girls’ education has significant multiplier effects: it reduces high fertility rates, lowers infant and childmortality rates, lowers maternal mortality rates, increases women’s labour force participation rates and earnings and fosters educational investment in children. These outcomes not only improve the quality of life, they also foster faster economic growth and development The famous quote states that “Gender equality is not a women‘s issue, it is a human issue. It affects us all’.
Therefore Empowerment of women is essentially the process of upliftment of economic, social and political status of women, especially the traditionally underprivileged women in the society. It is the process of guarding them against all forms of violence. The empowerment of women has become one of the most important concerns of 21st century. But in actual practice women empowerment is still an illusion of reality. We observe in our day to day life that how women become victimized by various social evils. Women Empowerment is the vital instrument to expand women’s ability to have resources and to make strategic life choices. This paper attempts to analyze the status of Women Empowerment in India and highlights the Issues and Challenges of Women Empowerment especially scheduled tribe women of Erode district in Tamil Nadu. The study is based on primary and secondary sources. The study reveals that women of India especially scheduled tribe women are relatively disempowered and they enjoy somewhat lower status than that of men in spite of many efforts undertaken by Government. The study concludes that access to education, employment and change in social structure can only bring changes in women’s life to attain women empowerment.
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