Empowering Women: Shaping a Brighter Future for All
India's ancient history gloriously showcases women's empowerment, portraying them as pivotal forces alongside revered deities. Figures like Radha and Sita symbolize the indomitable spirit and power of women, who, with their inner energy, played central roles in mythological narratives—Anasuyaji's dominion over gods and Savitri's victory over death underscore their esteemed status.
The tradition of Swayamvar, unique to India, highlighted women's autonomy in choosing their partners based on valor, showcasing an early form of empowerment. Legends like Chitralekha from Shrimad Bhagavatam illustrate women's yogic prowess, including the ability to alter appearances through meditation and spiritual discipline.
In the realm of education and warfare, scholars such as Gargi and Maitreyi, alongside warrior figures like Draupadi and Subhadra, exemplify women's diverse capabilities and contributions. Their legacies continue to inspire, with awards and recognitions in their names encouraging female students today.
The narrative extends to governance and societal roles, where women lead major departments, reflecting the deep-rooted belief in women's power, symbolized by the multifaceted roles of Maa Durga. This historical and cultural reverence underscores the enduring legacy and potential of women as central figures in India's ongoing story of empowerment and achievement.
Indian women have power even in their name pronunciation. Even though ages have passed, in our culture the names of some women are remembered in the morning, such as –
However, the Mughal era introduced constraints on women, confining them to domestic spaces and leading to oppressive practices like child marriage and purdah. These changes hindered women's development and introduced social evils, including dowry harassment and female foeticide.
Today, efforts from families, governments, educational systems, and society are crucial in empowering women, overcoming historical setbacks, and promoting gender equality. These collective actions aim to restore women's roles as central figures in development and progress.
How to Empower Women through Family and Education
It highlights the critical role of family contribution and educational contribution in advancing women's empowerment.
1. Family Contribution
Family is crucial in empowering women, providing the nurturing and support needed to navigate life's challenges. Like nurturing a seed into a tree, families foster a woman's growth from the roots up, ensuring a strong foundation rather than a superficial flourish.
Life's journey through childhood, youth, and old age benefits immensely from family support. Indian society recognizes seven key pillars of family—grandparents, parents, husband, son, brother, friend, and teacher—each playing a crucial role in a woman's personal development.
These pillars offer strength, guidance, and comfort, empowering women to achieve their goals with confidence. They act as a protective shield, bolstering self-esteem and resilience, ensuring women are equipped to face the world's challenges with strength and grace.
- Grandparents: Offering limitless love and a fear-free environment, grandparents bolster children's self-confidence and nurture positive abilities effortlessly. Their presence ensures a foundation of fearlessness, safety, and cultural strength.
- Parents: Mothers and fathers play a pivotal role in guiding and shaping their children's values and decision-making abilities. Parents introduce customs, traditions, and teach discernment between right and wrong, laying down the foundation for strong, decision-making skills. Fathers, in particular, are seen as the bedrock of strength, guidance, and love, essential for the development of a mature personality.
- Husband: A husband's support is crucial, providing confidence, joy, and the strength to pursue dreams. In modern times, husbands and wives share financial and household responsibilities equally, offering mutual support to navigate life's challenges.
- Son: Sons are seen as the embodiment of faith and protection, especially in later years, providing support and strength to their mothers, reinforcing the family's spirit of service.
- Brother: Brothers play a significant role in cultural and familial bonds, especially during festivals like Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj, symbolizing protection and support, and enhancing the joy of every celebration.
- Friends: Friendship is invaluable, offering support, understanding, and assistance through life's challenges. Historic friendships, like that of Lord Krishna and Draupadi, exemplify the strength and comfort friends can provide.
- Guru: Teachers or gurus are crucial for educational and moral guidance throughout life. They are respected as vice-chancellors of wisdom, offering solutions and strength derived from their teachings and guidance.
2. Educational Contribution
In the medieval period, there were limitations for women in the educational field. They were not sent abroad for higher education; they were also not preferred to work. But today they are being given opportunities to play an active and capable role in every field like higher education, self-reliance, and self-independence.
- Efforts across social, political, economic, and educational domains are empowering women like never before. Women are now crucial in every sector, from space science to the arts, and hold roles from ground-level workers to leaders. Initiatives like "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" boost women's safety and opportunities, emphasizing education as crucial for empowerment. Education equips women to overcome challenges with grace, contributing significantly to national and societal progress. By enhancing skills, awareness, and providing a supportive environment, women's empowerment is becoming a reality, enriching lives and societies alike.
- Women empowerment means taking steps towards self-reliance, self-respect, and livelihood so that their spirits can take flight and their creative and artistic works can emerge. Other people in society should also be inspired by their intellectual richness and entrepreneurship.
- But in this race of empowerment, some stones are blocking the way. Removing these obstacles is essential for full empowerment. Challenges link physical and economic growth to empowerment, yet insecurities and unrest remain. Rising depression, suicides, and violence reveal shallow progress. Like Sampati, in our ambitious flight, we risk damage. True empowerment needs deep, rooted change, not just surface efforts.
- Nowadays, a semi-modern class is also emerging, which is adopting independence and high standards in the name of women's empowerment and freedom. Today, society can get the benefits of education, communication, resources and economic materialism only when there is freedom but not independence. Because independence pollutes the social and family environment.
- Anyway, as long as incidents like the Naina Sahni case, the Aarushi murder case, Nirbhaya case keep recurring, the voice of women's empowerment will continue to suffocate.
Suggestions for Strengthening Women's Empowerment
Coordination of education and values will make women more empowered.
Women are the pivot of the family; hence they will become stronger by maintaining harmony in both family care and career.
Awareness and alertness towards rights and duties will make us stronger.