Describe this statement That to awaken the people it is the women who must be awakened if she is on the move then the family moves and village moves and nation moves. (2023/150 Words)
Empowering Women: Catalyst to Progress for a Community and Nation
The famous saying who enlightens the world, ‘to awaken the people, it is the women who must be awakened. Once she is on the move, the family moves, the village moves, the nation moves,’ underscores the essential role that women play in societal advancement. As future administrators and policy-makers preparing for the UPSC exams, it is important to understand, analyze, and critically evaluate this assertion from the Indian perspective.
Firstly, it’s important to point out that the statement under discussion aligns with the principles of women empowerment. The empowerment of women signifies strengthening their social, economic, and political status, thereby promoting equality and justice. One classic example from the Indian context would be the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). Since its inception in 1972, SEWA has been instrumental in improving the lives of many women by promoting self-employment in rural and semi-urban parts. This movement constitutes a demonstration of the direct correlation between empowering women and societal advancement.
Secondly, when a woman is educated and equipped with skills, she can significantly contribute to her family’s progress. An educated mother, for instance, can actively participate in the decision-making processes in her family – from healthcare choices to financial decisions. This participation leads to a more well-rounded development of the family, and by extension, the community. A study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research in India substantiated this statement and revealed that an increase in high school education among Indian mothers correlated with a decrease in infant mortality rates.
Moving further from the family and local community to the village level, women’s empowerment can significantly contribute towards rural development, too. The role of women in MGNREGA as ‘mates’ (supervisors) and Gram Panchayat leaders highlights this. These empowered women not only help in implementing the scheme but also contribute to developing their villages by initiating infrastructural works and ensuring government resources reach the ground level efficiently.
At the national level, women’s empowerment contributes considerably to the country’s economic growth. As per the 2019 National Sample Survey, women’s participation in the labor force was considerably low, around 18-20%. If barriers to women’s participation are eliminated and they are given the required skills and opportunities, it could add considerably to India’s GDP.
Despite sincere efforts to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, challenges persist. Child marriages, domestic violence, gender wage gaps, and discriminatory norms remain major roadblocks. For aspiring UPSC candidates, designing and implementing policies to overcome these hurdles ought to be on their target list.
In conclusion, the idea behind the statement that ‘if women are awakened, the nation moves,’ holds water in the Indian context given women’s significant yet largely untapped potential. Empowerment of women can lead to robust societal progress from the grassroots right up to the national level. It is a topic of immense relevance to UPSC aspirants as gender issues, and women’s development is a recurrent theme in the Civil Service Examination, both in terms of Indian society and governance.