Woman empowerment is the need of the hour. Mahatma Gandhi had said, “If you educate a man you educate an individual; but if you educate a woman, you educate an entire family.” Yes, in a developing country like ours, education of women is the need of the hour. In fact, education helps to increase the woman’s awareness and show her how much she can do to better her own life and the life of her children. I believe that it would help to improve the quality of life of women in the rural areas and the economically backward, paying particular attention to education and health care of women and children. Great emphasis should be given to educate the mother and empower her financially and mentally, so that she can educate her own girl child and also inculcate the values of good health, nutrition and education.
Empowerment is also about women realizing that they should embrace change. Creating awareness is so important, drawing public attention to instances of injustices towards women. Educated women and professionals can work together to focus on issues – like literacy, learning of skills and opportunities for entrepreneurship, through kitchen and cottage industries. They can also participate in programmes on social issues and health care.
Today, I feel proud that women have achieved so much. But we still have a long way to go. Women empowerment is not just about one day in the year. It should be an on-going process, so that each of us can focus on the areas that need change and do our bit. The woman has to realize her own potential and strength as an equal member of society.
Changes cannot come from outside and by force. It has to come from within the society. The change can be complete when society recognizes that the woman has a distinct identity, her own dreams and ambitions and every right to realize them. To women, I also want to say “Believe in yourself and your own abilities. Keep learning. Do you dream of being successful? Don’t stop! It is important to dream. Then have the faith and courage to realize the magic of your dreams.” Indeed, let each woman redefine her place in the world, giving it her own colour and fragrance, to make this world a better place.