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Women Empowerment and Rights of Women: A discourse

Himanshu Tripathi is a Law Student from Maharishi Law School, Maharishi University of Information Technology, Noida

Published onFeb 02, 2022
Women Empowerment and Rights of Women: A discourse


With a population of 138 crores, India is one of the world’s largest democratic countries. In which the population of Indian women faces numerous difficulties at home as well as in society. The most common and unfortunate trait of Indian society is that girls need to be educated at least to the basic level to adapt awareness about their rights in society. So that they can stand on their feet independently and boldly. We need to spread awareness, of how education has been playing a vital role in employment from generations and how women education can lead our nation’s economic rate to peak creating more employment opportunities for women The prime objective of this article is to understand the different ways to establish a solid base for women empowerment and the various difficulties that women have to face in day to day life. A study reveals that women of India are relatively disempowered and enjoy a somewhat lower status than men despite many efforts undertaken by the government. We also tried to reach solutions and essential steps that are needed to be taken by government officials and society. Education helps eliminate inequalities and acts to improve one’s standing within the family and fosters. The idea of involvement in education, preoccupation, milestone, empowerment and, engagement are some of the key terms that come to mind.

Keywords: Empowerment, Education, Disempowered, Inequalities, Preoccupation



India stands today in the frontline to become a superpower nation but what is the benefit of a superpower nation if 50% of the population are unaware of their own rights. People need to get informed about their rights and that comes with proper guidance and education. Men somehow, later or sooner are getting educated but women are yet being suppressed in the matter of their rights, education, and individual respect in family or society. Most people don't even know what empowering women mean? In 1985, at the International Women’s Conference (in Nairobi), the idea of women empowerment was introduced. Women’s empowerment is one of the key recommendations of the 1986 National Policy on Education. Self-governance, self-sufficiency, and self-maintenance are all aspects of empowerment. Problem is, people think that women are taken birth only to look after their household works and nothing else. Women are being degraded by their own families. Today, the majority of households are dependent on male members as their source of income. And if women will be educated they can easily overtake the responsibility of the whole family independently. But the scenario is women are not even allowed to go out upfront from their houses, they have to tolerate domestic violence. Women are even getting raped by their own relatives in their own houses. The useless restrictions for women are passing forward from generation to generation, social stereotypes and prejudices are needed to be removed such as female infanticide, killing a girl child, thinking of a girl as a burden. So, the first essential point to notice is providing proper education to women and secondly a safe and secure environment. Government should form strict punishments for rapes and violence against women, they should launch more development plans like BETI BACHAO, BETI PADHAO, and SCHOLARSHIP opportunities for girls regarding education and sports which will surely upgrade women's participation in job sectors as well as in sports sectors. Discrimination less society is the only way to meet the rights of women in society. A better society will provide a wide perspective for women to grow up with a broad understanding, ability to think critically, and highly practical skills that contribute to self-esteem and self-appreciation. Education is a significant step towards women's empowerment because it allows them to react boldly towards opportunities, question conventional roles, and improve their lives. Supporting and promoting women's education, lowering the infant mortality rate, and high women's literacy rate will undoubtedly increase the quality of life, both inside and outside of the home. Because you see, women with a lower level of literacy have higher rates of fertility and infant mortality, with poor nutrition, lower earning capacity, and lack of ability to take household decisions. As a result, proper education for women is essential for both society and the family.


According to Malala Fund, more than 130 million girls are out of school around the globe. Without education, these young women are more probably to marry and have children at a young age and depend on their husbands for financial support. Their families' prospects are bleak without education. The secret magical wand for women's empowerment is education due to which they gain better access and opportunities in the workforce as a result of it, higher earnings and less alienation at home will take place. Women with education will walk on their own goals and beliefs, allowing them to live their dreams. According to studies, if every girl finished 12 years of schooling, child marriage would decrease by 64%, health risks from early pregnancy by 59%, and preterm births, infant deaths would decrease by 49% respectively3. Educating women and girls strengthen economies, lessen the probability of conflict and terrorism. Women's Economic Empowerment depends heavily on education. It takes center stage, but most women, especially in rural areas, have been denied this right and are subjected to extremely degrading practices and responsibilities. Girls who finished their education are more likely to succeed in their careers creating a solid economic base for their families. Having said that, I believe denying women’s justice and equality will not only harm a single-gender but society as a whole. Education will allow women to respond to challenges better, confront their traditional roles, and change their lives. So that we don't overlook the significance of education in terms of women's empowerment, India is on track to become a powerhouse and developed nation. India currently has the highest percentage of illiteracy rate in the world. The literacy rate in India has increased dramatically from 18.3% (in 1951) to 74.04% (in 2011), with women's enrolment in education rising from 8% to 65.4%4.

The Importance of Women's Empowerment

We cannot eliminate injustice, gender bias, and inequities without women's empowerment. Women are deprived of security and safety in life if they are not empowered. It also creates a safe working environment for them. Women's empowerment is a vital instrument in the fight against exploitation and abuse. It's a fantastic way for women to gain proper legal protection. Women cannot blossom their own identity in society unless they are socially and economically empowered, and if they are not employed, the global economy will suffer as women make up a big portion of the world's population. Women's contributions to socio-economic activities must be recognized because they are highly creative and bright. Women must be given equal opportunity for labor in order for society to be just and progressive.


India is a developing country with strong economical support and one of the world's biggest democratic nations. There is a need for social development in addition to economic and infrastructure development. Education plays a vital role in a country's growth5. Historically, women rights in India have been restricted to domestic duties and family care. The root cause is patriarchy, various number of people do not believe in educating women; instead, a girl child was seen as a burden, and the only way out people see to remove the burden is getting them married. Lack of safety and protection is another big cause why families are dubious to convey their daughters in schools. Traveling at night and living independently ingrain fear in both family and the girl. Preventing women from getting education leads to violation of women’s right to equality and the infringement is already on the summit. Another difficulty in the way of women education is the lack of funds. Guardians (economically weak) are involuntary educating just the boy child of a family claiming him as family's sole breadwinner, while the girl child stays at home until she gets married. In both urban and rural areas, women's education is critical.

The barrier and prejudices towards women's education started breaking up after 1848. Women's education has grasped a slight level up since the country's independence. Savitri Rao and Jyotiba Phule (in 1848), established a girls school as both advocates for women's education. Since then, women boosted up to engage in battles for independence and various social movements. Women's education has become progressively popular. The female literacy rate at the time of independence was a pitiful 8.6%. According to the most recent census, India's female literacy rate is 65.5%6. In spite of advancement, India's female literacy rate rest beneath the global average rate. If people and government talk about equality then the wide gap between men’s and women’s education should be bridged.


In rural areas, we must prioritize women's education and empowerment. Particularly to women from socially and economically deprived backgrounds. It’s critical to establish an atmosphere for women to seek knowledge and information at their own pace and make informed decisions without hesitation. The major focus is to dispense empowerment that can be helpful in fulfilling women’s daily life needs. Government should try to arrange campaigns for providing awareness about the importance of women education and making them understand the rights of women. The officials can also arrange a motivational speaker (a female speaker) through which women can interact with her and feel friendly to seek more information. It’s not only the right thing to do but also the wise thing. Supplying adequate counseling to family members at the appropriate times would ensure people reach out for educational opportunities. Government should also look forward to layout basic infrastructure and financial assistance. Women in rural areas spent most of their time in household work, so they must have the access to education easily (free of cost), so they can pursue it without any stress. It is essential to step further from the perspective of a report into education and toward outcomes, it will only adapt personality growth, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and the ability to think critically and solve problems.

Women's Legal and Constitutional Rights in India

In the Indian Constitution's Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties, and Directive Principles, the principle of gender equality is incorporated. The Constitution not only guarantees women's equality but also authorizes the government to take affirmative discrimination measures in their favor. Our laws, development strategies, plans, and programs have all attempted to advance women in many domains within the framework of a democratic democracy. Gender equality encompasses sexual harassment protection and the right to work with dignity, both of which are widely recognized basic human rights.

Provisions of the Constitution

The Indian Constitution not only guarantees women's equality, but also authorizes the government to implement measures of positive discrimination in their favor in order to mitigate the accumulated socioeconomic, educational, and political disadvantages they experience. Fundamental rights include, among other things, ensuring equality before the law and equal protection under the law; prohibiting discrimination against any citizen on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth; and ensuring equal job opportunities for all people. The Constitution's Articles 14, 15, 15(3), 16, 39(a), 39(b), 39(c), and 42 are particularly important in this regard.

(Article 14) Equality before law for women.

According to Article 14, The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

(Article 15) Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.

(Article 15(1))The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or any of them.

(Article 15(3)) The State to make any special provision in favor of women and children.

(Article 16) Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.

(Article 16(1)) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the state.

(Article 19) Freedom of Speech and Expression.

(Article 19(1) (a)) states that, all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression.

(Article 21) Protection of life and personal liberty.

No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.

(Article 39) Directive Principles of State Policy

(Article 39(a)) The State to direct its policy towards securing for men and women equally the right to an adequate means of livelihood.

(Article 39(d)) directs the state to secure equal pay for equal work for both men and women.

(Article 39 A) To promote justice, on a basis of equal opportunity and to provide free legal aid by suitable legislation or scheme or in any other way to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.

Article 42 of the Constitution incorporates a very important provision for the benefit of women. It directs the State to make provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.

(Article 51(A) (e)) is related to women. It states that;

It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic, regional, or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.

Article 243 D: Reservation of seats.

(Article 243 D (1)) Seats shall be reserved for

(a) The Scheduled Castes; and

(b) The Scheduled Tribes,

(Article 243 D (2)) Not less than one-third of the total number of seats reserved under clause (1) shall be reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes or, as the case may be, the Scheduled tribes.

(Article 243 D (3)) Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Panchayat to be reserved for women and such seats to be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat.

(Article 243 D (4)) Not less than one-third of the total number of offices of Chairpersons in the Panchayat at each level to be reserved for women.

Article 243 T: Reservation of seats

(Article 243 T (3)) Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Municipality to be reserved for women and such seats to be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Municipality.

(Article 243 T (4)) Reservation of offices of Chairpersons in Municipalities for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and women in such manner as the legislature of a State may by law provide7.

Enactments of the Government

The National Commission for Women has in the last few years introduced several new bills in the parliament from time to time towards the eradication of many social evils. Some of the significant enactments are mentioned here.

Beti padao, beti bacho yojana.

  • The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

  • The Hindu Widow Re-Marriage Act of 1856: In the traditions at Hindu society there was a ban on widow remarriage it was one of the most important evils from which women in the traditional Hindu society suffered a lot. This act allowed widows to remarry and section 5 of this Act ensured her to enjoy all the rights, which a married woman did.

  • The Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929: The practice of child marriage was another social evil from which women in traditional Hindu society suffered a lot. Age at marriage for girls was 9 or 10 and after passing this act the minimum marriageable age of women was fixed to 15 years. Later this age was increased up to 18 years.

  • The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955: This Act has recognized the equal rights of men and women in the matters of marriage and divorce. Under the provision of this Act either the man or woman [ii] can present a petition in a court of law for divorce, the wife has got equal right to divorce husband.


There is no doubt that developing a working strategy will be mainly focused on providing an easily accessible education program, the other major step will be supplying job opportunities for women in several sectors including defense sectors with equal wages as men. Women's education will assist in the elimination of the social stigma that surrounds it. In order to grasp the universalization of elementary education for women and some of the factors that inspire women to pursue higher education, are provided below:

  1. It should be mandatory that one should follow the Constitution regarding special treatment to women’s education.

  2. Several laws upholding women rights are enshrined in the constitution.

  3. Women's traditional positions should be reconsidered.

  4. To accomplish women empowerment, we should make use of cultural, political, and constitutional provisions and encourage students to engage in active learning.

  5. Arranging weekly motivational campaigns, mostly in rural areas.

  6. Women's education can be aided by providing basic amenities such as buildings and toilets with female co-workers in it.


Women’s equality under the law is guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. Even though the Indian Constitution guarantees equality, people are still underrepresented in Indian politics on the basis of caste, sex, race, and religion. Nevertheless, we all know that the participation of women in politics is very low. But in the 2019 general elections women were attended more compared to men. From the year 1992-to 2012 economic statistics of women legislators are being increased by 1.8% which is greater than male legislatures8. Women were always pushed back, in every single sector. But, many things changed after the Reservation bill. D Deve Gowda was the first who drafted the Reservation bill. Reservation Bill proposed that 1/3 seats of state and parliament legislations should be reserved for women. 12 September 1996. Bill was reached at the door of Lok Sabha due to which the various number of heated arguments occurs but Lok Sabha denied to pass. Bill was finally passed by Rajya Sabha in 2010 but Lok Sabha didn’t put the bill to a vote. The fact of the matter is that Women’s hands are lacking in authority to reach at federal and state levels. Out of 28 states in India, only West Bengal contains a female chief minister. This proves that the scenario of Indian politics needs to be reset for providing space to women.


Women are important in pushing a country forward and leading it towards development. Women are necessary belongings of vibrant humanity for national improvement, and they must be polished for a bright future. Women’s education must be a top priority in any country. Empowerment necessitates a change in mindset. The government should launch more and more awareness schemes to aware people of these essential issues. Once Mother Teresa remarked that “begin the changes from your own family which you want to flourish in the whole world” similarly, we shall first empower our family and automatically women will be empowered. The magical key to open the world from evil practices including female infanticide, dowry system, child marriage, and child abuse is educating women. Education will improve their social standing and make them aware of their rights. They will contribute financially to the family and enjoy a higher standard of living by maintaining their health and hygiene.

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