The Empowerment of Women - Sandeep Dileep

The Empowerment of Women - Sandeep Dileep

There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women” – Kofi Annan

From the beginning of time, women have played a major role in the working of a society. Their contributions are evident if we pause and examine the history of medicine.  According to historians, in the primitive stages of mankind’s survival, the cure for many diseases was derived from plants. It is said that women were the closest to being able to study, understand and nurture nature and it was they who were often able to tend to the sick and the wounded. In most world religions, women have often been given the status of the “divine” and are always closely associated with nature. For instance, in ancient Egypt, Merit Ptah who is believed to have lived somewhere around 2700BC is described as a physician in the scriptures and is widely believed to be the earliest woman to be named in the history of science. Moreover, women have most importantly been the symbol of motherhood. My mother has always proved my belief to be true when I repeatedly say to everyone around me that they are the guardian angels sent to each family. She is always ready to make the ultimate sacrifice and choice in life helping to shape up the lives of her children who would eventually go on to inherit the earth. Famous personalities such as Helen Keller, Margaret Thatcher, Annie Besant, Abigail Adams are just some of them from the long list that stand as a reminder of the power that women holds in our daily lives.

Indian born American astronaut Kalpana Chawla created history when she became one of the first Indian women to go into space. After her tragic death aboard the space shuttle Challenger, her iconic image as a role model was cemented. She inspired female population of India that “dreams do come true” especially in a country where gender equality is still a debated issue.

Often stated blindly that women are the weaker sex, scientific research have proved that  women are more stronger than men both mentally and emotionally and are more capable of socialization and peace-making. Women also live longer than men. In recent years, women empowerment has been one of the hot topics discussed in international forums due to the growing physical and moral atrocities against women. To reinstate this, here are some of the shocking statistics on women abuse that I would like to bring in to light in this hour of darkness:

·         44% of the victims are under the age 18.

·         80% are under age 30.

·         Every 4-5 minutes, someone is sexually assaulted.

·         Each year there are about 293000 victims of sexual assault.

·         68% of the sexual assault is not reported to the police.

·         98% of the rapists will never spend a day in jail.

·         Approximately 4/5 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victims.

·         47% of the rapists are a friend or an acquaintance.

These statistics are the shocking reminder of the atrocities against women. Popular actress Emma Watson known for her roles in the movie franchise “Harry Potter” has started the “HeforShe” movement. The movement had taken a revolutionary step in feminism when they asked that men be educated and made more aware of the crimes that have been committed against women. It even proclaimed that the world desperately needed more male feminist leaders than females themselves in order to make a real change. Let me conclude with a quote from the speech made by Ms. Watson in the 2014 UN Women speech, “Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive…both men and women should feel free to be strong…it is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing ideals.”