Krishna Kumari Basnet
Women are key actors for transforming society through economic, social, political and cultural transformation. Women are struggling for the better life, education, health and other facilities for the betterment of their life and family. Women empowerment is the process in which women elaborate and recreate what it is that they can be, do, and accomplish in a circumstance that they previously denied.
It is a long term process to empowering women with education, employment, decision making process, participation in every sphere of state mechanism and better health in view of an equitable and just society. Women should be empowered financially for independent status in the society through quality education with progressive existence in the society. Women are fighting with so called patriarchal thinking of the society for combating gender based violence and discrimination in the societal affairs.
Women empowerment can be done through enhancement of leadership quality, awareness and training to the needy women to mainstream them. It helps to grow capability, greater self-confidence and inner transformation of women within own self and society in long run. Women empowerment is the process of increasing of capacity of women to make and enlarge their choices. It is a matter of self-worth of women for access to opportunities and resources.
Through empowerment, women can develop their ability to influence the direction of social change to create a more just, social, political and economic order in the society. It is a means to mainstream in each and every steps of socio-political and economic life of them. There is a need of training, literacy, leadership development and economic independency for women empowerment. Empowerment can be viewed as means of creating a social environment in which one can make decisions and make choices either individually or collectively for social transformation. The empowerment strengthens the innate ability by way of acquiring knowledge, power and experience
Women empowerment is regarded as a pivotal part in any society, state or country. Education is always a milestone for women empowerment which enables them to respond the challenges and confront to their traditional role to change their life and society. Education is an essential means to empower women with knowledge, skills and self confidence to take part in every decision making process of community and state in large. Education enhances potential of women for maintain gender equality and mainstreaming of women in reality.
It is said that if a mother is educated, she can educate whole family and if a father is educated, he only remains educated. So empowerment of women through education is not a matter of being literate but also being awarded and gain knowledge to impart in the society through participation.
Education is the main factor in achieving knowledge, awareness and rational of a person. There is a need to prioritize quality education as a key factor of women empowerment. The data reveals that only 57 percent of total female population of Nepal are literate where as 75 percent of male population are literate. The education system has focused on women’s education but it is insufficient.
It is said that if a woman is educated and empowered, the whole society and family will be developed. So it is most imperative need to provide women skills and knowledge to take advantage of many opportunities available to them and help them to uplift their living standard. Providing women with the opportunities of education, job and income generating trainings with skill enhancement, and basic services to ease household responsibilities are the ways to empower women through education. When women become knowledgeable and acquire skills, they can accomplish a great deal in their life.
Women in the countries like Nepal are often denied opportunities for education. Lack of education and awareness limits prospects of life of women, income, health and their participation in decision making process. There is a problem of dowry system, gender based violence and passive participation in decision making process. For tackling these problems there is need of awareness campaigns regarding political participation, active role in decision making and independent in income through education.
Education plays vital role for the empowerment of women in all aspects of society. Only a person having knowledge of their roles and responsibilities can empower themselves and society. The following are major roles of education for women empowerment. Education makes women independent in decision making process, It enables reading habits of women regarding their empowerment, It increases the habit of saving and being independent. Education Creates job opportunities to the women, It helps women to build self-esteem and confidence. It raises awareness to boost health of women, helps to build networks of women through learning and sharing. Promotion of leadership spaces for women and participation in public life. Enhances gender equality and creates gender responsive society. Women can solve problems of the society and they are more pragmatic through education. Women can claim for their rights in each and every spheres of the society.
Although, Nepalese government has focused on women empowerment through policy intervention at every level of government, there is a need to empower women through education. There is compulsory representation of women in executive level of local government with fifty percent participation and 33 percent representation at ward level and other government mechanism. For using this opportunity, there is a need of awareness campaigns for women.
Creating a balanced society is possible only by creating equal status and role to the people without any discrimination. For the production of qualitative and rationale human resources, education is most. So, for women empowerment, equal participation, representation and empowerment of all marginalized, disadvantaged groups are very essential including women.
Moreover, women are out of the mainstream of development of their participation and gender mainstreaming along with empowerment is one of the crucial factors for over all development of the society. Thus, women should be provided access to or create new educational, financial, political and social resources in their communities and should be supported to be entrepreneurs, which will help them to improve their own lives, families and the status of their communities.
(Columnist is a advocate, She works as a Representative of the Congress General Convention)