Significant Issues, Challenges, Policy Approach And Implications And Role Of Education In Empowerment Of Women In India-an Empirical Approach
The status and role of women and related issues have attracted the attention of academicians, political thinkers and social scientists both in developing as well as developed countries, partially due to the observance of the International Decade of Women (1975-85) and partially because of the widely accepted truth that a society built on the inequality of men and women involves wastage of human resources which no country can afford. With swelling literature on empowerment of women and with the voluminous amount of public expenditure on women's empowerment schemes, it becomes imperative to understand the concept of empowerment of women so as to have a better understanding of its policy implications.
In this research paper we have dealt with the concept of empowerment of women in the first section and in the second section we go ahead and deal with a specific but most important determinant of empowerment of women, which includes decision making capacity or autonomy in decision making. The present paper tries to focus on the measurement of empowerment of women through enhancement in autonomy in decision making wherein women’s participation in employment acts as a catalyst. We drew heavily on data from a primary survey of 448 females in the rural areas of Karnataka's Uttara Kannada District for this study. A sample of working and non-working women was selected for the study to understand the differences in autonomy in decision making capacity as an indicator of empowerment with respect to their working status. It has been ascertained that empowerment, particularly includes control over major ideologies and resources. Also, according to Sen and Batliwala (2000), it essentially leads to a growing intrinsic capability, greater self-confidence and also an inner transformation of one’s consciousness that which enables one to overcome any external barrier. An emphasis is made mainly on two important aspects. Firstly, it is a power to achieve desired goals but not power over others. Secondly, the idea of empowerment is much more applicable to those who are quite powerless-whether they are male or female, or even a group of individuals, class or caste.
However, the concept of empowerment is not only
specific to women, yet it is unique in that aspect and cuts across all types of
class and caste and also within their families and households (Malhotra et.al,
2002). A change in the context of a woman’s life is referred to as women's
empowerment, which enables her increased capacity to lead a fulfilling human
life. It is reflected in both external qualities (such as health mobility,
education and awareness, effective participation in decision making, family
status, and maternal security) and internal qualities (such as self awareness
and self confidence) (Human development in South Africa, 2000, as quoted by