Friday, 18 March 2016

MGNREGA: road to women’s empowerment

MGNREGA stands for “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act” and is responsible for the development of the rural India. Here let us see how MGNREGA is lending a helping hand to the rural women and ensuring their empowerment. What do you mean by ‘empowerment’? It means to make someone more confident and stronger in their viewpoints, in controlling their lives, taking decisions themselves and claiming their rights. When there is poverty people do suffer but usually it is seen that women suffer more than men because they are less empowered. In terms of resource distribution the women are the neglected ones. Also the concept of empowerment is applicable to those who are less empowered or are powerless being it women or men, class or caste, individual or a group.

Women suffer from many disadvantages as compared to men. They are devoid of the basic amenities and facilities which are necessary for their growth and development. Gender inequality is on the rise and one needs to look into this matter so as to erase this concept of inequality from the minds of the people as well as the society. Poor women are all the way facing more difficulties compared to other women. Being poor and being a women makes them face a lot of difficulties and disadvantages. In India rural women have many responsibilities like taking care of children, family, working as a labor, looking into the farms for cultivation, rural handicrafts, attending the domestic animals and many more; the list seems endless.

The topic of women empowerment has been discussed from time immemorial but this problem still exists in Indian society. Women discrimination is to be eliminated from all the sections of society; this was the resolution that was passed by the first U.N. General Assembly. It emphasized the need of freedom and achieving equality for women in social, political, cultural, economic areas of activity. The World Bank has stated that empowerment of women should be the first key aspect in every developmental programs. It is the role of the state to adopt positive measures so as to curb the problem of discrimination.

Also poverty is a major concern in today’s society that leads to discrimination. Both are directly related to each other. To curb discrimination, the society has to overcome the problem of poverty. The MGNREGA plays a significant role in ensuring proper economic growth; reducing poverty by introducing various schemes that may help in the upliftment of poor women. Since the very first five year plan the development of women has been taken into attention in terms of health, education and employment. The NREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) programme is one such attempt to empower the rural women. It is a unique scheme that guarantees right to work. NREGS is expected to raise the employment, earning, and thereby improving the empowerment status of women in general.

Article by Anisha Dutta
She is a content evangelist who believes that the Science of today is the Technology of tomorrow. 
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