Empowering women to achieve the sustainable development goals
Ramesh Chaurasia-Empowering women
Women have been facing multiple kinds of oppression since time immemorial. They have been denied basic human rights including freedom, liberty, the right to adequate nutrition, the right to education, and the right to work. Their mobility had been restricted for centuries but when I compare women's condition today to that during my childhood and youth, I can see that there has been some progress over the last few decades. Today, more women are completing higher education and taking up work in various sectors. Many schemes and laws are also being implemented by the people in authority to empower women.
The innumerable injustices that women are facing
But despite these improvements, there are many challenges. Women's representation in every arena is very poor. Discriminatory and oppressive practices against them are still prevalent in many parts of the world and crimes against women are on the rise. Let me mention a set of data that would shock everyone to the core. It says that one out of every five women has been subjected to domestic violence. The pandemic has made their condition even worse. With the outbreak of COVID-19, women were trapped in the four walls of their houses and were unable to access services that would help them speak up against injustices taking place in their houses. This has led to a further increase in cases of domestic violence. It is heart-wrenching to realize how almost half of the world's population is living in constant spheres and is unsafe even in their homes.
Taking steps to empower women
I feel that there are two primary aspects of women’s empowerment. The first one is guaranteeing equal rights and opportunities to women and the second one is making sure that they live lives free from violence and discrimination.
Reforms should be undertaken and properly implemented to put an end to repressive and harmful practices like child marriage and female foeticide. Efforts should be continuously made in the form of better legislation and other ways to eliminate violence against women. Schemes already in place should be executed and new schemes and programs must be adopted for women and girls to ensure that they are receiving proper nutrition, quality education and skills, and other economic resources required for their development. Today, no one should be deprived of technology as with the pandemic looming large, education has also become impossible without it. Therefore, technological advancements should be made accessible to women and girls to promote their progress. Apart from all this, the most significant thing according to me is to bring a change in our mindset. It is time to let go of the regressive mindset that we have inherited from our ancestors, only then we will be able to understand the true meaning of gender equality and treat women with respect and dignity.
Empowering women equals empowering the nation
Every time I think deeply about the need to empower women, I remember Kofi Annan's words, "No tool for development is more effective than the empowerment of women". When we work towards the well-being and progress of women, we work towards the progress of our society and nation as a whole. The development of every nation is closely knitted with the development of women. We will be able to end poverty, erase hunger and achieve other sustainable development goals only when we pay attention to educating and empowering women and girls.
Author- Ramesh Chaurasia
A superior and highly experienced entrepreneur in the field of business for quite a long time now. Also, a philanthropist, author and public speaker who believes in working towards the overall well being and betterment of the society as a whole.