Economic empowerment of women is the key to ensure their social empowerment. Discuss in context of India.

Our constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender and strives for equal pay for equal work (DPSPs). This depicts the link between economic and social empowerment.

Economic empowerment – Key to ensuring social empowerment:

  • Economic empowerment brings independence in decision making.
  • Women who earn a decent living can make life choices independently.
  • Enhances reproductive choices through better access to contraceptives.
  • Enables empowerment to raise voice against injustice, gender-discrimination, and violence. e.g., MeToo campaign against workplace violence.
  • Economic participation enhances awareness of rights.

However, economic participation is not the panacea:

  • Issue of glass ceiling & wage gap. According to global gender gap index, India has among the highest wage gap in the world.
  • Child care burden falls disproportionately on women.
  • Safety concerns and patriarchal attitude at workplace.

Thus, way forward is to promote economic empowerment along with enhanced social safeguards such as maternity benefit act, care economy for true upliftment of women.

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