Women Empowerment by SrideviNathamuni


           The women empowerment essentially means that the women have the power
or capacity to regulate their day - to – day lives in the social, political and economic
terms – a power which enables them to move from the periphery to the centre stage.


               The social empowerment of women include the base of gender inequality,
 sex ratios, life expectancy rates and fertility rates which shows the general status of
 women in terms of literacy, economic growth, availability of health care facilities,
 educational status of women, age at marriage, literacy rates and participation of
 women outside the home.
 Various issues that are associated with the social empowerment of women.


             Violence against women is a real fact and need to acknowledge the real
 tragedy behind this crime. It totally shatters the women from the core psychologically
 as well as physically. Women need to be educated and made aware of their rights and
 they should be encouraged to stand united against the biased and discriminating social
 environment which directly and indirectly affects their psychological and physical self.
 The oppressive structures of the women need to be changed and oppression of women
 need to be stopped. The change can be possible through social empowerment of
 women at the grass root level with education and awareness.


           The social empowerment of women are actually addressing various issues
which might be applicable to different parts of the world for improving the overall
status of women. Some of the prominent issues relate to Education for women, Health
for women, Nutrition for women, drinking water and sanitation for women and their
family, housing and shelter for women and their family, environment and the
connection with women, participation of women in the field of science and technology,
care for women under difficult circumstances, fighting the violence against women and
rights of the girl child.


           Women have always contributed to the society and the economy in the form
of a helping hand in agriculture and food production in the developing countries and in
the form of part time and temporary workers in developed countries.

            Economic empowerment of women can be initiated by working on some
fundamental issues like training and education of women for gainful income generation,
in aspects of their life.

    Recognizing that education and training are important for economic
     empowerment of women in the short term as well as long term periods.

    Empowering women who are part of the labour force by increasing awareness
     regarding the rights of an employee.

    Work on the communication skills of women so that they become self-confident
     and master the technique of advocacy and negotiation.

    Encouraging and supporting women entrepreneurs to develop marketable models
     of enterprise through expert guidance and “Skills development” support.

    Planning educational and training modules for women based on their
     professional as well as home commitments and helping women to balance
     between the two.

    Educating and training women to gainfully engage in markets and institutions
     where they primarily go for generating income.

    Proving opportunities to women for interlinking and interacting across border for
     economic empowerment.

    Building and strengthening networks where women come together from different
       nations and regions for common goals of economic empowerment of women.


          Formal education to build skills and abilities that an individual needs to feel
competent is critical for enhancing psychological empowerment. Education,
Employment and earning increase women’s financial independence therefore they are
regarded as powerful means of empowerment. The components all contributed to a
person sense of empowerment.

           Impact or self – determination which refer to an individual, are perceived
degree of influence over outcomes in one’s work and family environments. The term
choice for women means providing women with genuine opportunities to have not only
their voice heard, but giving them real power to control and influence over work
processes and results. It is also defined as women need to choose, to initiate and
regulate actions or to choose the process and work behaviors at work; and should be
perceived as an opportunity to make a choice.


              If a work is to be done by women managers or employees they should feel
that it is a valuable work. They evaluate the job based on their own values and feel that
they are doing something meaningful.


            It refers to personal development in job and profession. Empowered women
feel more professional growth in their career as employee or managers.


          Women’s must feel that they are competent to engage in the behaviors
required by the organization or family. Competence and self – efficacy refer to enable
the women to be confidence in their capacity to make the choices.


           Empowerment is connected with trust. Trust creates an atmosphere for
empowerment and grows in such an atmosphere. We can’t empower women, but can
create an environment in which they can empower themselves.
Hypothesis of research are formulated as

H1: Formal education leads to psychological empowerment of women.

H2: Organizational work leads to psychological empowerment of women.

            Self help group is group of rural poor who have volunteered to organize
themselves into a group for eradication of poverty of the members. They agree to save
regularly and convert their savings into a common fund known as the Group corpus.
The members of the group agree to use this common fund and other funds receive as a
group through common management.


              SHGs were started and formed in 1975. In India NABARD initiated it in
1986-1987. The effort was taken after 1991-1992 from the link of SHGs with the banks.
A SHG is a small economically homogeneous affinity group of the rural poor
voluntarily coming together to save small amount regularly, which are deposited in a
common fund to meet members emergency needs and to provide free loans decided by
the group.

       SHG enhance the equality of status of women as participants, decision- makers
and beneficiaries in the democratic, economic, social and cultural spheres of life. SHG
is a media for the development of saving habit among the women. The Basic principles
of the SHGs are group approach, mutual trust, Organization of small and manageable
groups, group whesiveness, sprit of thrift, demand based lending, women friendly loan,
peer group pressure in repayment, skill training capacity building and empowerment.
        In Tamil Nadu the SHGs were started in 1989 at Dharmapuri Dist. At present
1.40 lakh groups are unction with 23.83 lakh members.


    Create a common fund by the members through their regular savings.

    Flexible working system and pool the resources in a democratic way.

    Periodical meeting. The decision making through group meeting.

    The Loan amount is small and reasonable.

    The rate of interest is affordable, varying group to group and loan to loan.

             SHG is group of rural poor who have volunteered to organize themselves
into a group for eradication of poverty of the members. The group formation will keep
the following guidelines

    Generally a SHG may consist of 10 to 20 persons. In difficult areas like deserts,
     hills and areas with scattered and sparse population and in case of minor
     irrigation and disabled persons, this number may be from 5-20.

    All members of the group should belong to families below the poverty line. The
     group shall not consist of more than one member from the same family. A person
     should not be a member of more than one group.

    The group should devise a code of conduct to bind itself. This should be in the
     form of regular meetings, functioning in a democratic manner, allowing free
     exchange of views, participation by the

    The group should be able to draw up an agenda for each meeting and take up
     discussions as per the agenda.

    The members should build their corpus through regular savings. The group
     should be able to collect the minimum voluntary saving amount from all the
     members regularly in the group meetings.

    The members in the group meetings should take all the loaning decisions through
     a participatory decision making process.

    The group should be able to prioritise the loan applications, fix repayment
     schedules, rate of interest for the loans advanced and closely monitor the
     repayment of the loan installments from the loanee.

    The group should operate a group account preferably in their service area bank

    The group should maintain simple basic records such as minutes book,
      attendance register, Loan Ledger, General Ledger, Cash Book, Bank passbook
      and individual passbooks.

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