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Insights into Editorial: ‘Stree shakti’ is an integral part of our ‘rashtra shakti’

womens_empowerment

Introduction:

Women empowerment has become one of the biggest movements in India nowadays and many Indian women have proven to be the building blocks of the movement.

With their pure passion for their work and their good deeds, they are very well a true inspiration for everyone.

Since times immemorial, women in India have been regarded with the utmost respect and accorded prestige. For a nation to progress, it is essential to empower women.

Context:

International Women’s Day is celebrated across the globe on March 8 every year to recognise the achievements of women, across divides, national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.

It provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress made, to call for change and celebrate acts of courage and determination by those women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and with regard to communities.

The theme of International Women’s Day 2020 is, “I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights”.

Women Position and Empowerment in India’s culture:

  1. We are a nation in which women’s empowerment has been imbibed in our culture for centuries.
  2. In the modern day context, it demands strengthening women’s positions in the social, economic, political and security architectures.
  3. The targeted outcome of such empowerment is the creation of an atmosphere where women feel safe and secure to pursue a profession or vocation of their choice.
  4. Women should play decisive roles in the family and society equally, so that any question of discrimination or deprivation does not arise.
  5. When it comes to women, security is typically conceived of in terms of physical safety and security and not beyond.

However, government has added many new dimensions:

For our government, women’s empowerment is a comprehensive programme that deals with five components of security:

Health security of mother and child, social security, financial security, security of the future through educational and financial programmes in growing-up years, and last but not least, the physical safety of women.

Security and defence have been considered as male bastions but in recent government is committed to changing this perception.

Recently, government promoted and made special efforts to increase the number of women in our police and paramilitary forces.

The MHA had issued an advisory to all state governments to reserve 33 per cent posts in their respective police forces.

The ministry of defence has taken initiatives to increase women’s participation in various departments and field operations.

Induction of women in armed forces and permanent commission:

  1. Many people may wonder what role the “weaker” section can play in the armed forces. A resounding response was given by thousands of women officers by their unique contribution in various services and arms of our forces.
  2. Empowerment of women in the armed forces has been a major focus area of the government over the past five years and many interventions are first-time initiatives.
  3. ln 2019, 3.89 per cent of the Army personnel comprised women, while 6.7 per cent of the Navy and 13.28 per cent of the Air Force personnel respectively were women.
  4. The proposal for induction of women in the corps of military police in the Indian Army as soldiers was approved last year to recruit a total of 1,700 women military personnel.
  5. Steps like increasing the tenure of women officers in SSC from 10 to 14 years and improving their promotional prospects in the Army have been taken.
  6. Around 68.12 lakh women in India have been trained under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikaas Yojana 2.0.
  7. Under the Jan Shikshan Sansthan Scheme, around 4.08 lakh women have been trained in the 2018-2020 period, while 38.72 lakh women have been trained in Industrial Training Institutes (ITI).
  8. At present, there are 18 National Skill Training Institutes across the country to train women. Special batches are being conducted to provide basic, theoretical and advanced training to women.

Exemplifying recent examples on women empowerment:

  1. International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the shining examples of individual officers who have proved that women officers are second to none.
  2. Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal was the eyes behind the Balakot airstrikes as fighter controller. She was conferred with the Yudh Seva Medal for her stellar performance during the operation that taught an unforgettable lesson to the enemy.
  3. ln May 2019, Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth became the first woman pilot of the lndian Air Force to qualify to undertake combat missions on a fighter jet.
  4. She completed her operational syllabus for carrying out combat missions on Mig-21 Bison aircraft during day time. She is from the first batch of women fighter pilots of the IAF.
  5. This year, Army Officer Tania Shergill led an all-male contingent of the Corps of Signals in the 71st Republic Day Parade. She also led all-men contingents during the Army Day function for the first time, creating history.

Conclusion:

Achieving gender equality and empowering girls and women is a global health, development, and business imperative. Every country and every sector benefits when women are healthy, educated, empowered, and can participate fully and equally in all aspects of life.

What’s really required is far more awareness and creation of new opportunities.

Programmes like “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” have not only helped improve the sex ratio but also created awareness among the people.

We need to keep reminding ourselves about the contributions of women, about their strengths. India has come a long way in empowering women but many milestones are yet to be crossed.

“Stree Shakti” is an integral part of our “Rashtra Shakti” and without strengthening our “Shakti” we cannot aspire to be “Shaktishali Bharat”.