Women Empowerement

Some Facts about women empowerment:

Despite getting suitably politically empowered, women in India continue to lag behind on almost all crucial developmental parametres like education, health and economic participation.
So why isn't women’s political empowerment—a fact acknowledged by the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest ‘Global Gender Gap Report 2009’, which ranks India at an impressive ‘24’ on the variable of ‘political empowerment’ for its women when measured against 134 countries—translating into better living conditions for Indian women?
After all, they constitute half the country’s 1.2 billion population and make up a whopping 340 million voters out of a total electorate of 710 million. The country’s President (Pratibha Patil), the leader of the ruling Congress party (Sonia Gandhi) and Speaker of the lower house of Parliament or Lok Sabha (Meira Kumar) are all women.
Overall, too, there has been an upswing in the number of women candidates each general election. This year, for instance, 556 women candidates contested the polls as against 355 in 2004 and 284 in 1999.
Consequently, a record contingent of 58 women legislators marched into the Indian Parliament this year. Furthermore, the ruling United Progressive Alliance government’s landmark ruling—introduced in June to reserve 50 percent of village councils and city municipalities seats for women—is also seeing more and more women plunge into politics. All these developments are nothing short of remarkable for a country whose political matrix has always been male-dominated.
However, experts point out that while the importance of political empowerment cannot be undermined in a patriarchal society like India’s, that alone cannot guarantee parity for women. An equitable share of educational opportunities, health benefits and literacy is vital too.
According to Brinda Karat, Politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and the author of ‘Survival and Emancipation: Notes from Indian...