Women Politics and Change in India

1. Introduction: Women as stronger sex.

Women are generally referred to as the weaker sex but from the general health perspective nature considers her to be stronger. The society considers it otherwise. They are excluded from not only political, social and economic power but knowledge power as well. “Therefore while comprising half of humanity, contributing 2/3rd of the world’s work hours she earns only 1/3 of the total income and owns less than 1/10th of the work sources,” says one study. The need to consider them as individuals in their own right. Hence the feminist movement.

2. Empowerment of women through Education:

Literacy still remains a major problem in most developing countries as women constitute a large portion of the illiterate.  About 60 percent of the approximately 800 million adult illiterates in developing countries today are women.
Empowerment is a social action process that promotes participation of people, organizations, and communities in gaining control over their lives in their community and society. Not power over to dominate, but power to effect change. It increases self efficiency, develops group consciousness, reduces self blame and assumes personal responsibility for change. In a letter written to Maulana Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru rightly said, “Public morale depends greatly on how women feel and act.  I am all against treating women as helpless human beings who cannot look after themselves and who must run away from the danger zone. So the only way to tackle the problem is to make women realize that they ha e to and can face it.”

3. United Nations leadership to create awareness:

In 1967 the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against women. Member states were asked to submit report on the status of women in their countries. In response to that India constituted a committee on the Status of women in India in September 1971. In 1975 committee report was submitted “Towards Equality”.  Gender equality is a basic precondition for the social, economic and political development of the nation.” The report said that women should be given national priority. ????

UN declared a decade for women (1976-1985) to focus on how to get women involved in development process… violation of their basic rights and basic needs, the role of women in development.  Almost all countries have developed… improved pro women legislation better facilities for education and greater focus on the plight of girl child, mother and child and other related issues. International women’s day 8th March

4. The key to Change and Development in India:  Women in leadership in all spheres of activity, including politics.

Panchayati Raj pros and cons Political leaders or servants and deputies of their husbands? Leaders or subordinates. 33 percent Reservation???
Kalpana Chawala, Sunita Williams, Kiran Bedi, Indira Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, Ran Durgavati, Medha Pathkar, Sonia Gandhi, Suhma Swaraj, Uma Bharati, Suhila Dixit, Suhila Singh, Margaret Thacher, Benzir Bhutto,  Begum Khalida Ziya, Sruimavo Bandhara Nayike, Article 14: Equality before law
Article 15 no discrimination on the basis of sex.
And yet, Gang Rape? Murder? Sati? Dowry deaths? Domestic Violence? Female infanticide. Ratlam Hospital case- suspecting bones of female fetus.!! How developed we are. We need to develop women leadership in all spheres of activity including politics. This can be achieved through Education, Empowerment, Public awareness, Conscientization. Woman is woman’s own enemy. Dowry demands suicide and murder, Parents selling their own daughters, sex trade.
5. Conclusion: We need paradigm shift both men and women.

Women as Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi,  Shakti, knowedge and wealth. Proactive steps individually, family wise, society wise nation wise nation wise. Developmental issues alone should be our focus. Women leadership should be encouraged; their active participation in planning, decision making and execution should be ensured at all levels. Changing role of women: House wife to a professional should be encouraged and respected.


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