Women Empowerment

Women’s economic empowerment refers to the ability for women to enjoy their right to control and benefit from resources, assets, income and their own time, as well as the ability to manage risk and improve their economic status and well being.

The GDI measures gender gaps in human development achievements by accounting for disparities between women and men in three basic dimensions of human development—health, knowledge and living standards using the same component indicators as in the HDI. The GDI is the ratio of the HDIs calculated separately for females and males using the same methodology as in the HDI. It is a direct measure of gender gap showing the female HDI as a percentage of the male HDI.

Gender equality has following dimentions:-

  • Equal access to basic social services, including education and health.
  • Equal opportunities for participation in political and economic decision-making.
  • Equal reward for equal work.
  • Equal protection under the law.
  • Elimination of discrimination by gender and violence against women.
  • Equal rights of citizens in all areas of life, both public – such as the workplace – and private such as the home.

Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) seeks to measure relative female representation in economic and political power. It considers gender gaps in political representation, in professional and management positions in the economy, as well as gender gaps in incomes .GEM is a measure of inequalities between men’s and women’s opportunities in a country. It gives indicators to explain ways in which the inequalities are associated with three components of development: education, employment and political participation. The concept of empowerment can be explored through three interrelated dimensions: agency, resources and achievements .

Detailed analysis of the dimensions of GEM are:-

GEM Dimension 1: ‘Political Participation and Decision-making Power’ Indicators: i) % Share of Parliamentary Seats (elected); ii) % Share of Seats in Legislature (elected); iii) % Share of Seats in Zilla Parishads (elected); iv) % Share of Seats in Gram Panchayats (elected); v) % Candidates in Electoral Process in National Parties in the Parliamentary election and vi) % Electors Exercising the Right to Vote in the Parliamentary election.

GEM Dimension 2: ‘Economic Participation and Decision-making Power’ Indicators: i) % Share of officials in service in Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service; and ii) % Share of enrolment in medical and engineering colleges.

GEM Dimension 3: ‘Power over Economic Resources’ Indicators: i) % Female/Male with Operational Land Holdings; ii) % Females/Males with Bank Accounts in Scheduled Commercial Banks (with credit limit above Rs. 2 lakh); iii) Share of Female/Male Estimated Earned Income Share per capita per annum.

Welfare Schemes for Women

Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY): IGMSY is a conditional maternity benefit scheme for pregnant and lactating (one who has given birth to a child recently) mothers.

Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG): Sabla  Sabla aims at all round development of adolescent girls of age 11 to 18 years.

Priyadarshini is for women empowerment in the mid-Gangetic plains implemented by NABARD. It aims at forming women self help groups.

Swadhar is for providing help to women in difficult circumstances. For Example, Widows destitutes etc.,

Short stay homes are launched for providing help accommodation to homeless women Ujjawala aims at prevention of trafficking in women.

Rashtriya Mahila Kosh is for providing loans to poor women for launching small business.

Protection to Women Under Indian Constitution & Criminal Law (Under Indian Constitution Law and Criminal Procedure Code)

Violence against women is present in every country, cutting across boundaries of culture, class, education, income, ethnicity and age. Since time immemorial India is · particularly a male dominated society and prevalence of illiteracy among women has resulted in wide spread violence against women. Therefore, Indian women like women world over have suffered from domestic violence like purdah system, satipratha, Female feoticide, Female infanticide, different kinds of physical, emotional and mental abuse, dowry death, cruelty, polygamy etc. In India, family is considered to be a sacred institution and it acts as a source of furtherance of mental, social and spiritual well being of its members. Family creates bonds and a sense of belonging and stability of relation among its members which is now weakening because today domestic violence has been identified as a major cause of injuries to women in India.

Constitutional provisions

The Articles under Part III of the constitution of India relating to the Fundamental rights which try to uplift the status of women and provide equal 130  opportunities for women irrespective of sex are stated below :

Article 14 of the Constitution

All persons including women are equal in the eyes of the law and they are also entitled to enjoy equal protection of laws within the territorial jurisdiction of India It signifies that all persons irrespective of sex should be treated equally in similar circumstances. In other words, the State should not make any discrimination between one person and another, and amongst equals the law should be administered equally.

Article 15 of the Constitution

It deals with prohibition against discrimination. It prohibits the state to make any discrimination against any citizen including women on grounds of race, caste, sex, religion, place of birth etc. It states that all citizens irrespective of race, caste, sex etc. are entitled to enjoy equal rights in regard to access to shops, hotels, bathing ghats etc. But the state has the right to make any special provisions for women and children and also for the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes.

Article 16 of the Constitution

All citizens including women will enjoy equality of opportunity in matters of public employment irrespective of their sex, races, castes, religions etc.

To prevent immoral traffic in Women and Girlchild Article 23 of the Constitution – It prohibits the traffic in human-being and forced labour. In pursuance of this Article, Parliament has passed the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in women and Girls Act, 1956 which is now renamed as “The immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956” for punishing the actions which result in traffic in human beings.

According to Article 39 of the Constitution of India, the State shall direct its policy towards securing – (a) that the citizen, ·men and women shall equally have the right to an adequate means of livelihood, and (b) that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women.

Article 42 of the Constitution of India states that, the State shall make provision ·for securing just and human conditions of work and for maternity relief.

Criminal laws related to domestic violence

The incidents of domestic violence against women have been increasing over the years. Women are subjected to violences like cruelty by husband and his relatives, · dowrydeath, grievous hurt, murder, marital rape by husband etc. There aie some criminal  laws in India dealing with domestic violence cases which are stated below :

Indian penal code

The criminal law in India is contained primarily in the Indian penal code, 1860 (I.P.C). The I.P,C is supplemented by special laws, which define and punish specific offences. There are some sections in Indian penal code, 1860 which deals with different domestic violences.

In the case of domestiC violence, Culpable homicide amounts to murder, ‘ . unless it is committed without premeditation in a sudden fight or in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel and without the offenders having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner.

Therefore, culpable homicide is murder, if any act of the husband by which the death of a victim woman is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or, if it is done with the intention of causing such bodily injury as the husband of the victim woman knows that it might cause death of his wife. As for example – If any husband shoots his wife with the intention of killing her and the woman dies in consequence. Then the husband of that woman commits murder. Some other ipc provisions are as follows:

Rape (Sec. 376 IPC)

Kidnapping & Abduction for different purposes ( Sec. 363-373)

Homicide for Dowry, Dowry Deaths or their attempts (Sec. 302/304-B IPC)

Torture, both mental and physical (Sec. 498-A IPC)

Molestation (Sec. 354 IPC) Sexual Harassment (Sec. 509 IPC)

Importation of girls (up to 21 years of age)

Provisions under code of criminal procedure ( Crpc)

Right to Privacy while recording statement- Under section 164 of CrPC, a woman who has been raped can record her statement before District Magistrate when the case is under trial and no one else needs to be present. Alternatively, she can record the statement with only one police officer and woman constable in a convenient place that is no crowded and does not provide any possibility of the statement being overheard by the third person.

Police can’t say no- A rape victim can register her complaint from any police station under Zero FIR ruling by the Supreme Court. Sometimes, the police station under which the incident occurs refuses to register the victim’s complaint in order to keep clear of responsibility and tries sending the victim to another police station. In such cases, she has the right to lodge an FIR at any police station under the provision of Zero FIR. Search by another Women only- Under section 51(2) of CrPC, when an accused is a woman another woman should make search with strict regard to decency.

Opportunity to come out of the house- Section 47(2) CrPC says, if the accused hides in the house of a female who according to custom does not appear in public, the police cannot enter the house or break the house open unless notice is given to such female to withdraw and give her reasonable facility to withdraw herself.

Medical Examination by a female practitioner- Under section 53(2) CrPC, when a person to be examined medically is female, then the examination shall be made only by or under the supervision of female registered medical practitioner.

Attendance cannot be required at any other place- Section 160 CrPC protects women saying that no woman shall be required to attend any place other than a place in which she resides. Hence, a police officer cannot require the attendance of a woman, but on the contrary, he has to go to the place where she resides for making an investigation and can interrogate in the presence of a woman constable and family members or friends.

 No arrests after sunset- Because to concerns of violation of the rights of women, section 46(4) provides that forbids the arrest of women after sunset and before sunrise, except in exceptional circumstances, in which case the arrest can be done by a woman police officer after making a written report and obtaining a prior permission from the concerned Judicial Magistrate of First class.

 

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