Empowering Women–An Explorative Essay on How Human Rights Promote Empowerment, Development, and Progress
The Constitution of India guarantees equality of sexes and in fact grants special favor to women. Article 14 declared that the government shall not deny its person equality before Law on equal protection of law.
Article 15 declares that government shall not discriminate against any citizen on ground of sex only. Article 16 says that “no citizen shall be discriminated against in matter of public employment on ground of sex only. All these are fundamental rights and are justifiable by court. If any subjected to any discrimination, he/she can immediately move to High Court.
For attainment of national objective, the constitution guarantee certain fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, expression, personal liberty, protection of life and the personal development. The national government to examine the status of women and improve the condition of women by-
(a) To examine the status of women in the changing social milieu,
(b) To access the impact of the constitutional, legal and administrative provision on social status of women, their education and employment,
(c) To suggest remedial and other measures in field of law, education, employment and women play their full and proper role in building up the nation.
The framework for the study was provided on the one hand by the constitutional provision that have bearing on the status of women and another objective is to enabling women to play their ‘full and proper role in building up the nation’.
The Directive principle of state policy is vital part of Indian constitutional law, enunciated in Part IV of constitution. It embodies the major policy goals of welfare state. They concretize, together with chapter on Fundamental Rights, the constitutional vision of new Indian Sociopolitical order.
These Directive principles are the direction given by state to government for welfare of people. It declared as “non-justifiable and non-enforceable by courts “and state is charged with a duty to apply these principles in making laws.” Article 38, direct the state to secure just, social, political and economic order, geared to promote the welfare of people.
Article 39 (b), (c) and (d) enunciate the distribution of ownership and control of material resources of the community for common, means of production to the common detriment, prevention of concentration of wealth, protection of childhood, youth against exploitation, protect women, children and other weaker section of society from exploitation and moral and material abandonment.
Article 40 emphasizes on the organisation of village panchayats to promote right to work, education and public assistance in case of unemployment, sickness, old age, disablement and may other types of undeserved wants. Article 43 spell out the provision of work, a living wage, condition of work ensuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure, of social and cultural opportunities and promotion of cottage industries.
Article 44, provide the uniform civil code. Article 45, “the free and compulsory education for all children up to age of 14. Article 47, provides for “raising the level of nutrition and standard of living and improving public health.” It also concern women directly and special effort on their status as Article 39 (a) concerning right to an adequate means of livelihood for men and women equally.
Article 39 (d) deals with “equal pay for equal work for both men and women.” Article 39 (e) the health and strength of worker, men and women and the tender age of children are not forced by economic measures. This bring following conditions-
(a) The active participation of housewife to running and management of family should be accepted as socially and economically productive and contributing to national savings and development,
(b) Equality of women is necessary, not only on the grounds of social justice but as basic condition for social, economic and political development of the nation,
(c) Society owns special responsibility to women because of their child bearing function,
(d) Marriage and the motherhood should not become a disability in women’s fulfilling their full and proper role in the task of national development,
(e) In order to release women from their dependent and unequal states, betterment of employment opportunities and earning power given a higher priority,
(f) Our society is to move in the direction of the goals set by the constitution then to transform de jure into de facto equality.
Harmonious development without educating women is impossibility. Educate women to educate the whole family and whole nation in the broader sense of the world. The intensity of emphasizes on different argument justifying the value and necessity of education from the standpoint of the individual as well as society has varied according to the historical needs of any society in different stages of its evolution.
This is the education as value in itself and develops the personality and rationality of individual. This education provides the necessary qualification to fulfill certain economic, political and cultural function and improves their socio-economic status. It also directs the process of social change and development toward certain desired goals. This education bring about the reduction of inequalities in the societies and lead to the equalization of status between individual coming from unequal social- economic strata of society.
According to the National Development Report of Indian Education Commission-“The realization of country’s aspiration involves changes in the knowledge, interest, values and skill of people as whole. This is basic programme for social and economic-betterment of which India stand in need.” It was the universal declaration of Human rights included education as one of basic rights of every human being.
The constitution of the UNESCO directs its efforts to achieve equality of educational opportunity without social economic distinctions. This education is one of the important tools for changing women’s subjugated position in society the world over. It equipped women to carry out multiple roles as citizen, housewives, mothers, contributors to family income and builders of new society and international agencies on women education as basic ingredient for improving their status.
These educational facilities and removal of traditional bars on entry of women to particular brand and level of educations supported by all the women emancipation from 19th century. This bring that education plays a crucial role in bring about change in the status of women. It makes opposition of the orthodox conservatives and development of personality.
This further brings improvement in the status of their family and progressive society of tomorrow. Life should be joint venture for men and women. Men should share the responsibility of parenthood and home-making with women and women also share the social and economic responsibilities of men. According to National Policy on Education-“The educational system must produce young men and women of character and ability committed to national services and development.
Only then will education be abide to play its vital role in promoting national necessity to enter avocation unsuited to their age or strength. The Equal Remuneration Act was passed in 1976 to ensure that there was no discrimination in pay only on ground of sex. But unfortunately, this act is not well known and there are few report of cases where women have sought their right to equal pay.
This act declares that there should be equal pay for equal work. No employer shall, while making recruitment for the same work, make any discrimination against women except where the employment of women in such work is prohibited or restricted by laws.” The act also has declared advisory committee by government to provide more employment opportunities for women. It will also study in each case the number of women employed, nature of their work, hour of work, need for providing jobs, and suitability of women for employment.
All these Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles are the important instrument for attaining our national goals of liberty, justice, equality and fraternity. The particular attention given to needs and problems of women and to enable them to enjoy and exercise the constitutional equal it of status and then, the Indian Constitution embodies the objectives of social revolution. It assigns law as an instrument of directed social change in democratic governance from inherited social, economic and political system.
Now, with modernization, democratization development, there is improvement in the status of women and it is good indicator of the direction of social change. Many laws were enacted after independence to apply principles underlying the constitutional guarantees to sphere of social life.
The reforms in personal laws governing marriage and inheritance, in labour laws ensuring, humane condition of work, maternity benefit and welfare of workers and is social laws seeking the protection of women and children against immoral traffic and exploitation, was an attempt to remove the disabilities that contributed to the law status of women in our society.
The policies and programmes for social and economic development initiated by government, attempted positive action to improve and widen opportunities for women to participate in the social processes in more effective manner. Education, health services, vocational training, welfare and development programmes, all were intended to change and improve the condition of living and mental horizons of women. The ideology that emerged from various attempts-government and social have helped to shape the goals and played a significant role in influencing the status of women.
The indicators of social acceptance of any goals set for the future must comprise the attitudes of men and women as well as the availability of the institutionalized infrastructure that support the attainment of such goals. It also involved that the regional differences in the cultural norms that affected women’s role and participation in social processes.
Various social factors influence women enjoyment and exercise of various legal and constitutional rights and their performances of the multiple rules that goals of our society call for. For welfare and development of women it is necessary to work in the field of education, wealth, employment, welfare facilities, health, services for development and participation at different level and in various sphere of national life. It also necessary for removing all the evils and problems faced by women. By these active participation in political and economic life, literary and education provided for broad:
(a) There should be flexible work schedule and scope for part time work.
(b) The formulation of National Labour Policy. The National Commission of Rural Labour set by department of Labour must include that issue pertaining to women worker in rural areas and also includes unorganized work-force.
(c) It will be necessary to formulate employment generation and training for productive participation of women.
(d) Employment of women should also an important mean household self-sufficiency which include all economic and nutritional requirement of the household.
(e) Job-sharing is also one important method that help to women. In this method of job sharing, there is distribution of responsibilities and which bring cooperation and the compatibility.
(f) Women role in trade union should be encouraged. Creation of organisation increasing their bargaining power could*be stimulated through specific schemes. These make women self-employed and then women in unorganized sector receive serious attentions.
(g) Women should be adequately represented on all decision making concerned with planning and economic development.
(h) The more emphasizes in organized sectors should be on expansion of insurance cover, maternity and other benefit.
(i) Organisation and mobilization are critical for women to procure themselves as worker but not merely as housewives. There should special programmes like NYK (Nehru Yuvak Kendra) for creating awareness, employment generation schemes for women.
(j) There should be planning employment programmes for keeping in view the demand projection of production, expansion and employment.
(k) The rural employment sector like agriculture, forestry, husbandry, khaki and village industries, handicraft, fisheries etc. have large women participation and have large resource allocation. But the mainstream sector must integrate a women component into sect oral schemes. This brings development of women.
(l) Displacement of women from traditional sector due to modernization and technology and it is very necessary to provide alternate skills of women displaced by new technologies,
(m) Promotion of small scale industries encouraged by ensuring reasonable of credits.
(n) Women should have access to productive resources such as land, housing and skill training.
(o) Recognition of critical role of training in increasing and strengthening of women productive employment is essential.
(p) The special training programmers to promote rural entrepreneurship should be designed.
(q) Schemes of diversified and expansion of education and skill training opportunity for women have highest priority.
(r) Women should have access to infrastructure facilities like raw material, storage, transport and other supportive services like creches, care centre which help women to work properly.
(s) Women role in animal husbandry, dairy cooperative and various sectors in sericulture improving the facilities for women.
(t) There is need to eliminate all form of discrimination in employment through legislative measures, especially to eliminate wage differential between women and men.
(u) Voluntary organization should be encouraged by Government to undertake schemes for creating awareness about existing exploitative structures and procedures in employment concerning women and there is also need for collective action for which purpose, organization of which women need to be promoted and funded, especially in an unorganized sector.
(v) Special cells must be created to cater to women needs and enforce legislation on equal work, job security. These women cell in the ministry of labour should collect available information on employment situation of women and bring out periodic report.
(W) Mechanizing for conscientizing producers and worker group on regular basis and there should be wide publicity about training schemes and training material for women.
(x) Maternity leave benefit and family planning incentives should be available and maternity benefit fund should be set up, out of contribution made by the employer, worker and government in respect of women.
(y) Special attempt should be made for improving the in-service training facilities for women and in case of apprenticeship; incentives should be given to employers for training of women. The agricultural extension system should take the women of farm families in its pre to provide the necessary information and training support.
(z) Special intervention are needed to provide credit to women for production and marketing activities and separate machineries at National and State level should be set up which can play a coordinating in framing of employment policies and programme for women.