Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Economic independence for Women - A critical need

Economic independence empowers women by giving them the ability to make choices, to make impact both on their own lives and society in a far wider range of ways than ever before. What we cannot control, controls us – be it people or habbits or circumstances. If we allow others to control us we are enslaved to their likes and preferences, their ideas and actions and their prescriptions.. If we observe the  women in society who were or are dependent on men be it their father, brothers or husband or children we will also note that largely the ability to make life’s choices also resides with the provider of financial support.  So when women are denied the rights to education and employment or women choose to be dependent on others for financial support it implies giving up one’s ability to decide, denial of the basic freedom to choose their life’s path and goals It is precisely due to this , in the earlier day when women were dependent that they were relegated to the role of the ‘fragile, subservient, the helpless and of course the oppressed. They were handed down their role by others, they had to be the ideal daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and their life rotated around the series of responsibilities to serve, please, care and comfort others at the cost of often extreme sacrifices of their health and happiness.
Irrespective of whether there is financial criticality in a family to have the women work and earn money or not, the need for every women to be educated, to develop skills and abilities to find ways of financial independence cannot be denied. The impacts of economic independence of women are many – it goes beyond just providing food on the table. Women comprise 50% of the population so in a society if 50% of the population are not educated or empowered or unable to decide for themselves what their lives should be, then the society cannot be balanced, it is crippled. A child born to educated, empowered mother has a father better starting point in life and hopefully much less struggle in every sense to evolve and grow.  Earlier a girl child was brought up with the notion that marriage is the ultimate goal and hence skill must be developed solely for that family life. Subjugation and exploitation of women within the families both financially and psychologically as well as mal practices like dowry deaths all are well documented and still happens in our country in some parts of society. But as women got educated and more and more women stepped up and stepped out these atrocities also reduced, though not eradicated. To eradicate them, the women must play a leadership role to lift and empower other women.
Today thankfully we have  progressed enough and today women are shattering frontiers, leaving their marks,  and they are flying planes, being rocket scientist, educationists, doctors, police officers, army officers, explorers,  and the list goes on to cover the entire gamut of jobs and profession society can offer. But harassment of women continue at public places, workplaces. Safety of women are a big issue in our country which once revered women. Rapes and Molestation cases are happening everyday. One example of a step in the right direction taken to curb this is the initiative by Kolkata Police which has recently launched the Women Police force ‘ The Winners’ to monitor patrol the streets and ensure safety for women from eve teasing and crime against women. The core message is clear – the women must be empowered for their own betterment and for betterment of society. Women must take charge for they are the ‘Shakti’.

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