Empowerment of women is socio-political ideal envisioned in relation to the wider framework of work of women’s rights. It is a process that leads women to realize their their full potential, their rights to have access to opportunities, resources and choice with the freedom of decision making both within and outside home. Empowerment would be achieved only when advancement in the conditions of women is accompanied by their ability to influence the direction of social change gained through equal opportunities in economic, social and political spheres of life.
• Creating an environment through positive economic and social policies for full development of women to enable them to realize their full potential.
• Equal access to participation and decision making of women in social, political and economic life of the nation.
• Equal access to women to health care, quality education at all levels, career and vocational. guidance, employment, equal remuneration, occupational health and safety, social security and public office etc.
• Strengthening legal systems aimed at elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
• Changing societal attitudes and community practices by active participation and involvement of both men and women.
• Mainstreaming a gender perspective in the development process.
• Elimination of discrimination and all forms of violence against women and the girl child.
• Building and strengthening partnerships with civil society, particularly women’s organizations.
Key Priority areas focused in the policy are:
Health including food security and nutrition:
Great Emphasis has been focused on health care challenges of adolescent, improving the nutrition and health status. Nutritious and safe food through Public Distribution System for household especially the unreached women and children.
Pre- School education at the Anganwadi Centres will be strengthened,improve children’s communication and cognitive skills as a preparation for entry into primary school,to increase enrolment and retention of adolescent girls in schools. Major constraints that prevent women from accessing higher and technical/scientific education should be identified and girls will be encouraged to take up new subject choices linked to career opportunities.
- Increasing the participation of women in the workforce, the quality of work allotted to them and their contribution to the GDP.
- Gender wage gap across rural and urban, agricultural and non- agricultural jobs, regular and casual employment will be addressed. Ensuring pay parity, satisfactory conditions of work are critical subjects for insecurity for women particularly in the informal employment.
- Financial inclusion of women needs to be universalised so that women gain a financial identity, have access to financial services such as credit sources, saving services,insurance, pension schemes.
- Gender equity is an important concern for sustainable agricultural development.
- Women farmers’ collective farming enterprises will be incentivized, by providing support for post-harvest storage, processing and marketing facilities.
Skill Development and Entrepreneurship:
- Effort will be made for training and skill upgradation of women in traditional, new and emerging areas to promote women employment in both organized /unorganized sectors as envisaged in the new National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
- Entrepreneurial development must ensure participation of women through accelerated involvement in various sectors through programmes and schemes.
Science and Technology:
- Technological needs of women, in both urban and rural areas as well as across various sectors will be addressed. Use of technology as a tool to increase employment, reduce drudgery, improve access to health, education, and communication services.
- To enable women SHGs, cooperatives, federations, CBOs, NGOs to take active part in technology dissemination.
Governance and Decision Making:
- Women’s participation in the political arena will be ensured at all levels of local governments, state legislations and national parliament with at least 50% reservation for women in local bodies and 33% in state assemblies and parliament to provide more responsive, equitable and participatory development.
- Increase the participation of women in civil services, judiciary and in corporate.
Violence against women:
- Efforts to address all forms of violence against women will be continued with a holistic perspective.
- Efforts to improve Child Sex Ratio (CSR) will be continued through a judicious combination of effective implementation of the Pre-Conception andPreNatalDiagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994
- Requisite steps for prevention of trafficking of women.
Houising and shelter:
- Gender perspective in housing policies, planning of housing colonies and in the shelters both in rural and urban areas will be given a priority. Special attention will be given for providing safe, adequate and affordable housing and accommodation to women in urban areas including single women, homeless, migrants, women heads of households, working women, students, apprentices and trainees etc.
Drinking Water and Sanitation:
- Ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation will be considered for the health of women.
- Efforts to educate women and girls about the dangers of unhygienic practices.
- Efforts will be made to strengthen the existing supportive social infrastructure for women especially the vulnerable, marginalized, migrant and single women.
- Concerted efforts will be made towards strengthening social security and support services like insurance products, pensions, travel concessions, subsidies, benefits under BPL systems, childcare, working women hostels, shelter homes.
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