Women’s empowerment in India is dependent on many diverse variables that include geographical location (urban/rural), educational status, social status (caste and class), and age. Policies on women’s empowerment exist at the national, state, and local (Panchayat) levels in many sectors, including health, education, economic opportunities, gender-based violence, and political participation.
There are many challenges which are a roadblock in fulfilling this cause. But the three major challenges which hampers the empowerment of women in India are-
- Access to education:
There are many social factors that are an impediment for giving shape to this important cause and therefore it cannot be done by relying solely on building educational infrastructure, but one also needs to address some of the root causes of discrimination against women and girls which affect the decisions of their parents.
- Decision-making power:
Women’s security, decision-making power, and mobility are three indicators for women’s empowerment. Decision making power among employed urban women is higher than among the rural and less educated women. It is also found that older married women had more decision-making power than the younger married women.
- Violence against women:
The gap in policy and practice in women’s empowerment is most visible when it comes to the level and kinds of violence women face in India. Despite the policies, laws, and initiatives by civil society institutions, violence against women in India is widespread and the consequences for perpetrators rarely match the crime. Enforcement of laws and sentencing of perpetrators are long and arduous processes, and the gaps in these processes are further widened by corruption.
Empowerment for women in India requires a crosscutting approach and one which addresses the diversity of social structures that govern women’s lives. Empowerment initiatives for women therefore is not only about providing services, but also about recognizing their realities of multiple layers of discrimination that hinder their access to services provided by various organizations. Sh. Bijay Mandhani for GL Mandhani Trust along with the Mandhani Family supports the spark of women empowerment in the country by working with the responsible NGO’s and by every other possible means to uplift situations the women of India are facing in the current scenario.