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Author: Khushi Nayyar, III year of B.A.,LL.B. from University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehardun

A woman is a full circle because she has the power to create, to nurture and to transform but why does the society disapprove of this fact? Gender Bias or discrimination has been a prevalent issue in our country for decades now. It refers to distribution of unequal rights between male and female based on different gender roles which further leads to unjust treatment. The differentiations in genders havealso led to unequal ratios of new born males and females in the country. On an average there are 105 males to every 100 females. As we look into the Crime Bureau Statistics record, we find that lots of atrocities are committed against women every day. The society has still not accepted women in public spaces and as a result, they face discrimination. Patriarchy breaches the value of Gender equality. The male supremacy has not led women to come up in areas which are predominantly occupied by men. The question that arises is- Aren’t women trying to bring about a structural change in the community?

Women have never stopped trying to enhance their presence be it any field for that matter. In 1853, Savtribai Phule dedicated her life to championing the cause of the oppressed. It was Savitribai’s crusade against Brahminical patriarchy that set the ball rolling for intersectional Feminism and education for all in our country. She with her husband established an education society that opened schools for girls and women. Tough situations and experiences make a person stronger and powerful. The famous Bollywood actor, Priyanka Chopra once shared that early on in her career when she was about eighteen or nineteen the director and producer told her that if she didn’t agree to ridiculous terms or painfully low salary in his movie, he would just replace her because girls are replaceable in the entertainment business and that was the moment when she decided to become “IRREPLACEABLE”.How can we contribute to growth when we can’t achieve or create equal opportunities? Globally countries are losing over 160 trillion dollars of wealth because of the difference in earning between men and women. It is great that the Indian Government has created initiatives to promote skill development so that women can be a part of the workforce. Women empowerment is important because it is not an add-on to development; it is at the core of development for nations. Gender Gap to a large extent is closing since more women are being elected in government positions globally and economic empowerment is also happening as women are also earning.

Practices such as Female Infanticide, Dowry, Child Marriage and taboo on widow remarriage need to be rooted out especially in Northern India for women to lead a free and Independent life.The UN has adopted 7 principles to promote Gender Equality and Women Empowerment such as Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination, Promote education, training and professional development for women, Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women, Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers etc.

Gender equality is a basic human right, and it is also fundamental to having a peaceful, prosperous world. While some progress is being made in various parts of the world, there is still a great deal left to be done to right the problems of gender inequality.

Empowering women is essential to the health and social development of families, communities and countries. When women are living safe, fulfilled and productive lives, they can reach their full potential. A key part of this empowerment is through education. Girls who are educated can pursue meaningful work and contribute to their country’s economy later in life. When women and girls are supported, they gain opportunities to speak up for their rights, and also to advocate for their communities. They are also able to rise in social standing, and they can feed this into future generations.The UN aims to eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation, eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation, recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate, ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life, enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women, adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels. Thus, Women's right is not only an abstraction, a cause; it is also a personal affair.



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