Since the ancient time we have read about the plights which women had to go through. From discrimination in the family to education, from early marriage to sati practice, and the list is endless. In modern time as well, we saw that women were unaware of their rights as a human being and faced lots of atrocities. There we saw many leaders from Raja Rammohan Roy to Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, they came in the forefront to talk about women cause and got success as well.
That was the time of 19th Century India when women were not only unaware of their rights but they accepted those atrocities in the name of culture and tradition. However, with the efforts of leaders women itself realized and accepted the change and that made them keen to realize their rights whether the right to live with dignity, right to get an education, right get married at a certain marriageable age, and many more.
Despite many developments in India, women are that section of India that remained vulnerable. They had suffered various injustices which in many cases starts right from the time a girl child is born. We have seen India as a land where child marriage was flourishing, women infanticides were prevalent, lower literacy rate of women, less female labour participation rate, etc. In order to ensure that women could be empowered and given equal opportunities, Government of India has started various schemes. These schemes are a measure of women empowerment. Have a look at these schemes:
Measures for their Social Upliftment
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
- Declining child sex ratio (CSR), defined as the number of girls per 1000 of boys between 0-6 years of age, from 945 in 1991 to 927 in 2001and further 918 in 2011 was an alarming situation.
- This decline in CSR is a major indicator of women disempowerment and reflects pre-birth discrimination due to gender-biased selection and post-birth discrimination against girls.
- For survival, protection and empowerment of girl child were needed so the government announced this scheme in 2015.
- The objective of this initiative is the prevention of gender-biased sex selection elimination, to ensure survival and protection of the girl child and ensuring education and participating of the girl child. With this effort, an increase in child sex ration has seen from 918 in 2014-15 to 931 in 2018-19.
One-Stop Centre Scheme
- This initiative was taken against gender-based violence including rape, dowry, honour killings, acid attacks, witch hunting, sexual harassments, child sexual abuse, trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, child marriage, sex-selective abortion, sati, etc.
- This scheme was set up by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD)
- Centres have been established across the country to provide integrated support and assistance under one took to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces in a phased manner.
- Till March 2020, 728 OSCs have been approved in 724 districts across the country. Out of these 680 OSCs are functional.
- Trafficking of women and children for commercial sexual exploitation is an organized crime that violates basic human rights.
- Poverty, low status of women, lack of a protective environment, etc. are some of the causes of trafficking.
- MWCD has formulated this central scheme for “Prevention of trafficking for Rescue, Rehabilitation and Re-Integration of Victims of Trafficking for Commercial Sexual Exploitation”.
- This scheme has five components – prevention, rescue, rehabilitation, reintegration and repatriation (cross-border) of victims of trafficking.
- women and girl in their growing age become vulnerable due to violence and abuse which frequently they face on streets, in public transportation and in other public space. These restrict their right to mobility, discourage their freedom to walk freely and move in public spaces of their choice.
- Followed by the Nirbhaya incident of December 2012 GOI set up a dedicated fund which can be useful for the projects to improve the safety and security of women.
- It is administered by Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.
- The ministry for Women and Child Development is the nodal ministry to recommend proposals and schemes to be funded under Nirbhaya fund.
- MWCD has the responsibility to review and monitor the progress of sanctioned schemes in conjunction with the line ministries and departments.
- Such projects are funded through this namely, One-Stop Centers, Universalization of Women Helpline and Mahila Police Volunteers among others.
Measures for Their Economic Upliftment
- Ministry of Women and Child Development launched “Mahila E-Haat” a bilingual portal on 7th March 2016.
- This is a unique direct online marketing platform leveraging technology for supporting women entrepreneurs / SHGs/NGOs for showcasing products/services which are made/manufactured/undertaken by them.
- This portal facilitates direct contact between the vendors and buyers as by displaying their contact number, address as also the basic cost of products/services.
- Women entrepreneurs /SHGs/NGOs from 24 states are showcasing over 2000 products/services across 18 categories, such as apparel (men, women and children), bags, fashion accessories or jewellery, decorative and gift items, home décor, carpets or rugs or foot mats, basket, linen or cushion covers, boxes, pottery, grocery and staples or organic, natural products, file folders, industrial products, educational aids, soft toys and many more items.
- Sensitization, advocacy, training, packing and soft intervention workshop on Mahila E0haat are organized periodically with the support of state governments and women developments corporations in New Delhi, Indore, Chandigarh, Kochi, Bangalore, Nagaland, Chhatisgarh, Mumbai, Raipur, Hyderabad, Varanasi, etc.
- This is an exclusive portal which provides a special, focused marketing platform for women. Being a bilingual portal, it aims at financial inclusion and economic empowerment of women.
National Creche Scheme
- A centrally sponsored scheme is being implemented in 2017 to provide daycare facilities to children (between 6 months to 6 years) of working mothers.
- Dare care facilities including sleeping facilities
- Early stimulation for children below 3 years and pre-school education for 3-6 years old children
- Supplementary nutrition
- Growth monitoring
- Health checkup and immunization
- Crèche shall be open for 26 days in a month and for seven and half hours per day
- Number of children in the crèche shall not be more than 25 per crèche with one worker and one helper respectively
Till now, 6453 creches are functional across the country under the National Creche scheme. To conclude, GOI has taken various measures to improve women health and improvisation in their labour force participation. To fulfil the dream of becoming a superpower cannot be achieved till 50 per cent of the population consisting of women is empowered. The government should also take measure to increase their participation in the political front as well. Also, there should be periodical inspection over the implementation of such schemes as we as a country only grow when every section of society especially women would grow.