Women's empowerment is not just an issue of social justice but also makes good economic sense. According to a recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) report 40% of the world's workforce comprises women. Therefore, the condition of women not only affects them adversely but also the country as a whole. If almost half of the workforce is unable to achieve its full potential isn't it an enormous waste of human resource? The elimination of gender disparity requires us to work at the political and socio-economic level. Steps taken by the Government such as the recently passed Domestic Violence Bill are welcome but huge efforts still need to be made. The key to their empowerment lies in free and equal participation in the democratic process, right from the village level to the Parliament. A lot of skeptics are quick to point out that most women elected to the Panchayati Raj Institutions are proxies for male members of the family. But the truth is that these rural women with little education have come into their own and things will only get better with time. This I can say from personal experience.
Marching Forward this Women's Day - Mahila Swashakti March, 08.03.2013
On the occasion of International Women's Day, the Flag Foundation of India, under the leadership of Mrs. Shallu Jindal, organised the Mahila Swashakti March in Kurukshetra on 8th March, 2013. Swashakti, a Sanskrit word, blends two characters where 'swa' means self and shakti means power. It conveys the Jindal family's vision to transform the women of Haryana into self-empowered individuals.
The march is an endeavour to create consciousness among women to take ownership of their empowerment, to create an environment for social change to improve the quality of their lives.
According to Smt. Savitri Jindal, MLA from Hissar, Haryana, "the objective of the Swashakti March is to encourage women to participate in generating awareness around women's issues and creating an environment that is responsive to the needs of women."
Mrs. Shallu Jindal, Vice-President of the Flag Foundation of India said, "We believe this will go a long way in bolstering the efforts that the district administration is making to address the issues of women's security, women's health, female feticide and financial security of women."
Thousands of women from across Haryana participated in the Swashakti March. These women will, in future, act as ambassadors in spreading awareness on social issues like health, nutrition, social taboos, women laws etc.