India on Women Empowerment
A Miniature Sheet consisting of 4 nos. of commemorative postage stamp on the Women Empowerment :
Issued by India
Issued on Sep 2, 2015
Issued for : The Department of Posts organized a nation-wide competition inviting entries for the designs of commemorative postage stamps on the theme “Women Empowerment”. Based on selected entries a set of four stamps and a miniature sheet on the theme are being released.
Stamps, FDC, Brochure & Miniature Sheet : By Suresh Kumar based on the paintings by Gurmeet Singh, Athul S Raj, Pratheek Roopjith, Rupam Roy, Avinash Kumar Jha and R. Amitha Shree.
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Miniature Sheet, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 500 Paise each
Stamps Printed : 0.5 Million x 4 Stamps
Miniature Sheet : 0.2 Million (2000 p)
Printing Process : Wet Offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
- Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) focuses on gender equality and women’s empowerment not only in terms of human rights, but also because they are a pathway to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development.
- The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women.
- Within the framework of a democratic polity, our laws, development policies, Plans and programmes have aimed at women’s advancement in different spheres. The National Commission for Women was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1990 to safeguard the rights and legal entitlements of women. The 73rd and 74th Amendments (1993) to the Constitution of India have provided for reservation of seats in the local bodies of Panchayats and Municipalities for women, laying a strong foundation for their participation in decision making at the local levels.
- Even though the women’s movement and a wide-spread network of non-Government Organisations, which have strong grass-roots presence and deep insight into women’s concerns, have contributed towards inspiring initiatives for the empowerment of women, there still exists a wide gap between the goals enunciated in the Constitution, legislation, policies, plans, programmes, and related mechanisms on the one hand and the situational reality of the status of women in India, on the other.
- Gender disparity manifests itself in various forms, the most obvious being the trend of continuously declining female ratio in the population in the last few decades. Social stereotyping and violence at the domestic and societal levels are some of the other manifestations. Discrimination against girl children, adolescent girls and women persists in parts of the country. The underlying causes of gender inequality are related to social and economic structure, which is based on informal and formal norms, and practices. Consequently, the access of women particularly those belonging to weaker sections including Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Other backward Classes and minorities, majority of whom are in the rural areas and in the informal, unorganized sector – to education, health and productive resources, among others, is inadequate. Therefore, they remain largely marginalized, poor and socially excluded. The evolution of property rights in a patriarchal system has also contributed to the subordinate status of women.
- Women’s equality in power sharing and active participation in decision making, including decision making in political process at all levels is required to be ensured for the achievement of the goals of empowerment. Measures to guarantee women equal access to and full participation in decision making bodies at every level, including the legislative, executive, judicial, corporate, statutory bodies, as also the advisory Commissions, Committees, Boards, Trusts etc. are also required to be taken. Women-friendly personnel policies help to encourage women to participate effectively in the developmental process.
- Since women comprise the majority of the population below the poverty line and are very often in situations of extreme poverty, given the harsh realities of intra-household and social discrimination, macro-economic policies and poverty eradication programmes are required to specifically address the needs and problems of such women.
- Equal access to education for women and girls is another important issue where special measures to eliminate discrimination, universalize education, eradicate illiteracy, create a gender-sensitive educational system, increase enrolment and retention rates of girls and improve the quality of education to facilitate life-long learning as well as development of occupation/vocation/technical skills by women require to be emphasized.
- A holistic approach to women’s health which includes both nutrition and health services requires to be pursued where attention needs to be given to the needs of women and the girl at all stages of the life. The reduction of infant mortality and maternal mortality, which are sensitive indicators of human development, continues to be a priority concern.
- Since coordinated and convergent efforts are needed to ensure survival, protection and empowerment of the girl child, the Government has announced Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative which is being implemented through a national campaign and focussed multi sectoral action in 100 selected districts low in CSR, covering all States and Union Territories. This is a joint initiative of Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development. The objectives of this initiative are prevention of gender biased sex selective elimination, ensuring survival & protection of the girl child, and, ensuring education and participation of the girl child.
- Besides, Operational strategies in the form of action plans, institutional mechanisms, proper resource management, legislation, also require to be pursued vigorously.
- Gender Sensitization in various forms is required to be taken up by all concerned. The Mass Media is to be sensitized and encouraged to develop codes of conduct, professional guidelines and other self-regulatory mechanisms to remove gender stereotypes and communicate social messages relating to women’s equality and empowerment.
- Text : Based on material from the internet.