‘Her Voice Her Strength…’: Exploring ‘Women Empowerment’ in the Indian Landscape

To be liberated, women must feel free to be herself, not in rivalry to man but in context to her own capacity and her personality

Youth Extra Lens Women Empowerment India

As Kiran Bedi once said, “Empowered women who reach tough or unconventional positions make choices not sacrifices.” To be liberated, women must feel free to be herself, not in rivalry to man but in context to her own capacity and her personality. Empowered Indian women means a stronger and better India.


In India, it is not uncommon to hear cases of women being discriminated against even before their birth. Seven thousand hundred girls are killed inside the womb of their mother. Unfortunately, millions of women don't have access to basic things like healthcare, water, sanitation and education, and above all they don’t have power to make their own choices. Over one million children die below the age of five out of which three hundred thousand die on the very first day of their life and sadly majority of them are girls. More than 50% of girls fail to enrol in schools and a lot of girls drop out of school at puberty. Nearly 45% of girls in India get married before the age of 18. 70% of women are not part of the workforce.


India has a rich tradition that features powerful goddesses that embody strength, grace and virtue. Goddess Saraswati is worshiped for knowledge, Goddess Lakshmi for wealth, Goddess Durga who destroys evil. India has a proud history of women leaders like Jhansi ki Rani, Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa and many others. These women make us believe in a world with possibilities and a world where women have equal opportunities. According to the IMF, if the number of women who joined the workforce increases to the level of their male counterpart, India’s GDP would grow by 27%.


Hardwork and determination never go unnoticed. Opportunities are not offered, they must be earned and worked for. Prakash Kaur from Jalandhar, comes from the place that has the highest rates of female infanticide in India. Unwanted girls are thrown into garbage dumps , abandoned on railway tracks or river banks. She started picking up these girls and gave them a home and became their mother. Today, she runs a home where she is a mother to 70 abandoned girls. She gave those girls a new life whose own parents wished for their death.


Empowering women and girls is very important to the social development of families and countries. When the woman is living a secure and productive life she can reach her full potential and determination to contribute her talents and skills to the workforce. Education,  building self-confidence, making choices, access to resources are the key factors for the empowerment of a woman.


Various schemes launched for women empowerment:

Beti Bachao Beti padhao - This scheme was launched on 22 January 2015 with an aim to address declining sex ratio of children and to ensure the education, protection and survival of girl children. The objective of the scheme was to prevent gender biased sex selective elimination and enhance the welfare services developed for girl children.


Mahila shakti Kendra - This scheme was approved in November 2017 to empower rural women through community participation and to offer comprehensive support services to women to help them develop skills, find job opportunities and improve their digital literacy.


Working women hostel scheme - This scheme was implemented by the government with a motive to provide a safe and conveniently located accommodation and environment for working women and a daycare facility for their children.


Women empowerment enables women to realize their identity and power in all spheres of their life. It has mainly five dimensions: economic , political , cultural or social , personal and familial. Each dimension is very essential because empowerment of women is only possible when a woman enjoys full access to economic resources, more strength and courage for entering into power structure, more self-confidence and motivation and more involvement in family matters.