An empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description.
Women empowerment is never giving a chance to a woman, because nobody is ever the authoritative person. It is a woman’s right to be empowered by accessing her carte blanche!
Women empowerment refers to women making their own decisions without the restrictions such as in education, profession, lifestyle etc.
There are many domains where women empowerment has to be emphasized. We can brief them out into 4 domains:
- Economic empowerment of women
- Political empower of women
- Socio-cultural empowerment of women
- Health empowerment of women
Why is women empowerment required?
Women empowerment is necessary because women were supressed until the 21st century. They weren’t given equal rights and gender hierarchy existed.
Women empowerment has to be brought to full power so as to stop sexual assaults, cat calling, eve teasing and objectifying women. It is necessary to make more women economically independent because the ratio of the number of men to women that are economically independent in India is8:1, which is a huge difference.
The voices of women are not heard in political meetings, their opinions are not considered at houses, their cries for help are not heard when harassed and they are not even believed when they claim to be a victim of assaults.
As things happen to change, it is now required to empower women to create a world where gender hierarchy and gender-based stereotypes have no place to fit in.
A woman has the right to make her own life choices and has a voice of her own to raise to make her demands.
Henceforth, I would like to write on women empowerment regarding their health issues.
Women’s health empowerment is often forgotten. A woman is traditionally and stereotypically supposed to be always nurturing, giving and healing. But most often, people forget that women go through so many psychological pressures due to the societal constraints they are subjected to due to the gender biased society that we live in. Menstrual health is not emphasised as necessary. Basic necessities required for every woman such as sanitary pads are becoming expensive by day. It is such a pity thatwomen of below poverty line cannot even access them. Sexual education is nil among most females in India. Pregnancy issues and work place discrimination during pregnancy also has to checked upon. women often at work places are not given enough pregnancy leaves. Their promotions or positions are taken away from them during pregnancies. Also, the psychological stress that women have to go through for having to manage their households and professions at the same time is unacknowledged.
Not much is taught in schools about menstrual health because the topic is always considered a taboo. Everybody has to be made aware of this and the hygiene issues that come with it.
Females of most races and backward families do not even know about the fact that they can use sanitary pads during their periods. Also, most people do not even know that there are other hygiene methods like usage of tampons and menstrual cups. This is because of the lack of sexual education we receive in schools and is due to the fact that the topic is never even discussed. It always is considered to be dirty, which is absolutely no true. It is very natural and women must be taught to embrace the fact that they have the ability to go through a cycle which helps them bring a new being to life!
Even if menstrual health issues arise, women hesitate to visit a gynaecologist especially in India. People are always shy and hesitant to discuss something as natural and obvious as this.
Sanitary pads and medicines for menstrual health issues also have become very expensive to be affordable by all women. It is very obvious that every woman needs them. It a basic health necessity. Women of below poverty line cannot access such a basic health necessity.
Women empowerment also lies in allowing the woman to choose and decide for herself on how many times she is ready to conceive a child. People of very conservative families do not have proper family planning and also do not consider the opinion of the woman. This would deteriorate the overall health and development of the woman and would lead to bad parenting and development of psychological issues to both the child and the mother. The reason just being not giving the right to the woman to choose.
Non consensual sex is also a major issue with stunts the health empowerment of women. This also includes marital rapes.
Sexual education is not given properly in many schools which is why most sexually transmitted diseases are caused among women.
There is a lot of pressure that society puts on women today. They are required to be skinny (not healthy), have tiny waist lines, thigh gaps etc. This is brought into existence because of the growing pop culture, media, movies etc.
This leads to body shaming (both skinny and fat shaming), which is a modern-day issue to be acknowledged. This often leads to comments and bullying among teenage girls.
Society portrays an ideal female to have extremely thin waist lines, be skinny, slender and fair skinned(which is extremely racist) etc.
Constant eve teasing, stalking incidents and the general comment about how a woman shouldn’t do something following a common notion of what the roles are acceptable for women in society constitute emotional abuse. The continuous harassment, be it in form of nasty comments, objectification or oppression are all causes due to which women are not able to achieve their full potential in society. There is constant scrutiny on how they should dress, walk, talk and behave.
But girls are not taught to embrace their bodies and become fit, healthy and strong. This leads to psychological problems like anorexia and bulimia.
In most houses, a woman is expected to take care of children and in-laws at home, cook, do house hold chores and also work for money. But her stress is never acknowledged. She is expected to be the person who is always sacrificing for the husband. Woman’s desires are not fulfilled in such families. It just adds up to extra stress. If women in such families were given enough time to rest and have enough time for themselves, they would be mentally much healthier and happier.
What role can we play?
The most important thing one can do is treating woman equally and taking care of her health too. We can use internet as a tool to prioritize women’s health issues and making people aware of these very generic issues that are considered taboo.
Educating the rural masses by non-profit organisations and by progressive thinkers and organisation leads women towards empowerment.
More campaigns for awareness are to be created. The government has to make serious efforts to make sanitary pads affordable for every woman.
We can donate to the united nations foundation which has held up projects that prioritize women’s health.There are also some prominent non-profits that help empower women:
1.She Should Run
2.Girls Not Brides
3.The Malala Fund
4.Women in Défense
5.Women for Women International
6.Every Mother Counts
We can play a major part by volunteering or funding for these organisations.
Women’s health empowerment is something that is to be taken into priority for the sake of overall development of our societies. It is a very important issue, which usually remains unnoticed. There are a lot of hinderances that would be encountered when the taboos around health empowerment of women are being curbed.
Achieving better overall health of women of all races would brighten up the societies to a next level. Women will be able to work with their full potent.
“for women are not only the deities of the household fire, but the flame of the soul itself.”
― Rabindranath Tagore