Sunday, February 7, 2010

Women Empowerment for Its All Round Development


Empowerment should be preparation for fulfilling one's role in the best way. It is historically proven that it takes an 'empowered' woman to build an healthy family and only a healthy family build a prosperous society. 
The Community Development Programme (CD) was introduced as a massive programme of comprehensive rural development both for men, women and children with community participation. But the community was giving importance only to male and women were only included as participants in Mahila Mandals. 

The  village level extension workers (VLWs), the Gram Sevaks were provided for grass level  extension work, these were 10 male VLWs and two female workers (LVLWs), which was the basic unit of CD programme. That’s why Women participation in community work work was very low.
The First Five year Plan saw women in social welfare and spoke of their low levels of literacy and need of some welfare centres. Thus the First Five Year Plan have gave importance to girls education and maternal health care.
Besides developing planning, the state embarked upon legislation in social matters as Hindu Marriage Act, Hindu Adoption Act, The Restraint of Child Marriage Act, Prohibition of Dowry Act, Maternity Benefit Act, Equal Remuneration Act etc.
 ‘Self help group’ (SHG) has been recognized as a community based organization that enables members to maximize the utilization of their internal as well as external resources in a sustainable manner. It has been adopted as the primary component in development strategies and most development programmes have made the self-help group the central unit of community mobilization. 
SHG’s encourages activities that directly improve the living standards of poor and women, SHG encourages active decision making by members with in thrift and credit frame work. This will result in their greater involvement within the family, socially as well as politically.

In the matter of school education, enrollment ratio shows 87.8 million girls against 98.2 million boys in elementary classes.
Now female literacy grew by 3% higher than male literacy and illiterate women were 190 million in 2001 against 200.7 million in 1991. Mean age of marriage increased from 15.5% in 1961 to 19.5% in 1997 but 44.5% of women were still married off by the age of 18 years.
The 11th Plan expresses the raising  sex ratio for 0-6 years age from 927 in 2001 to 935 by 2011-12 and 950 by 2016-17 and it can only possible by the proper utilization of government schemes.
The reservation of women in panchayat level and municipalities have given decision making facility to at least  1 million women .  The reservation in political institutions have provided better facility to them in employment sector.

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