(Premium) Gist of Kurukshetra Magazine: November 2013

Premium – Gist of Kurukshetra Magazine: November 2013


    Material Available Only For Premium Members


    Material Available Only For Premium Members

    Material Available Only For Premium Members


The Asian and Pacific· Centre for Women and Development [APCWD] defines “Empowerment as a process that aims at creating the conditions for
the self-determination of a particular people at creating the conditions for the
selfdetermination of a particular people or group”

“Empowerment with women” is the central issue that has been
pervading the development debate after the 81s. Improving their status and
empowering them would go a long way in accomplishing egalitarian gender
relations in society. Women who are hitherto constrained by their social
structure for their self-expression constitute the target of most of the
development programmes, which aim at bringing them into the mainstream of the

The Constitution of India guarantees to all women equality
[Article 14]; no discrimination by the State [Article 15 (l)]: equality of
opportunity [Article 16]; equal pay for equal work [Article 39(dl]; renounce
practices derogatory to the dignity of women [Article 51 (a) (c)] The
Constitution also allows the State to make special provision in favor of women
and children [Article 15(3)]; and securing just and humane conditions of work
and maternity relief [Article 42]. Acknowledging the world-wide significance of
women empowerment the Government of India declared 2001 as the “Year of Women’s
Empowerment” and the National Policy for the Empowerment of Women came into
force from 2001. Draft Country Paper of India for the 4th World Conference on
women held in Beijing in 1995 proposed certain qualitative and quantitative
indicators for evaluating women’s empowerment. The qualitative aspects included
self-esteem and self-confidence, articulation, leisure time, workloads, roles
and responsibilities, domestic violence, women economic contribution .and
‘decision’ making Quantitative .aspects included. demographic trends, number of
women in participation, access and control over resources, physical health
status, literacy levels and political participation at the local level.

Government Programmes for Women Empowerment. The Government
of India has been implementing- various programmes through its different
departments to bring about women’s development and their empowerment. For lack
of an overarching policy that would have provided a common understanding and a
unified vision, each department has defined and operationalized ‘empowerment
through its own prism and from its own perspective and understanding.

In the case of some departments, the stated goal is not to
bring about women’s empowerment, but the emphasis is on bringing about their
overall efficiency and economic development. For example [i] Social Welfare
Board aims at bringing about women’s development and empowerment through
partnerships with NGOs [ii] Department of Rural Development focuses, on economic
selfreliance as an indicator of women’s development
[iii] Agriculture Department endeavors to make women better agricultural workers
by increasing their understanding about the use of technology in agriculture
[iv] Horticulture Department aims at providing training to women for vegetable
and fruit production, preservation and link them to the market so that they can
become economically self-reliant [v] Dairy Department, in the name of Women’s
Dairy, has started a new scheme whereby women are given training in animal care,
a traditional occupation followed by them and are encouraged to set up their own
dairy and thereby become economically self-reliant [vi] Social Welfare
Department offers various scholarships and pension schemes and thereby provides
economic support to certain vulnerable groups to bring about their upliftment
[vii] Education Department, in order to bring about gender equality, has
initiated special programs for girls whereby they can be mainstreamed with the
existing programs [viii] Adult Education program of the Education Department
considers women’s literacy as the first step towards their empowerment and is
pursuing the Continuing Education program through the self-help groups (SHGs) in
order to bring about their economic self-reliance [ix] The Department of Women’s
Empowerment and Child Development is running various schemes and programs for
the empowerment of Women by setting up self-help groups (SHGs) with the help of

Welfare Schemes for Women and Girls Most of the schemes
currently implemented by the Department of Women’s Empowerment and Child
Development and those by the State Social Welfare Board and Department of Health
fall in following category: Department of Women Empowerment and Child
Development implements programs viz.

The integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program:
This is a flagship program of the department. While providing ‘Anganwadi’(creche)
services and health and nutritional supplements to infants, ICDS also provides
pre and post-natal care for pregnant and lactating mothers. The anganwadi
workers have to dispense iron tablets and iodine-fortified salt to pregnant and
lactating mothers. The pregnant and lactating mothers also have to receive dry
rations from the anganwadi workers.

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