Empowerment means the act of giving somebody more power. Women’s empowerment is very essential for our society. About fifty percent of the total population of the world is women. Women all over the world enjoy less power comparison to men. As they are 50% of the world’s population, they should be given power equal to men. Without their empowerment, no nation can prosper in the long run. Their participation is to be ensured in development work. It is a matter of great importance for them. Women development and the empowerment of women are the two inseparable factors that are to be guaranteed at all levels of state administration.
One upon a time women had no power. They had no freedom of speech against exploitation. In the past they were chained within four walls. They were regarded as the instruments of sexual enjoyments. The liberal thinkers in the 19th and 20th centuries raised their protesting voices against the harassment of women and advocated their rights equal to men.
The UN is actively working for women development as well as for empowerment. World women’s day was declared in 1975 and a women decade was observed between 1975 to 1985. The objective of women decade is women development, establishment of rights in the family, society and work fields.
First world women conference was held in Mexico in 1975. The first and foremost factor for women development is education. Without education no nation can prosper. Education makes a man useful to the society, to the country and to the world. Education is necessary for awakening consciousness among women.
Women are under the jaws of household maintenance, child birth and child rearing. They are working in the indoors and in the outdoors. But they hardly get the recognition of their rights. Women participate in the manual labour in the garment industries like their male counterpart. They work for 21 hours a day which is more than that of the males. Women can do any work like men. But they have less power comparison to men.
There is a progressive action programme for the empowerment of women in the NGO sector. ADAB, a top level NGO has five women in the executive committee. Many voluntary organizations are working for creating consciousness, income generating sources and investment oriented schemes so that women can strive for self employment.
There are a lot of hindrance to women empowerment and women development. Women are compelled to work at low wages in agriculture or other non-recognized sectors. Most of the women of Bangladesh are working in the garments factories at low wages. They are poor. Poverty has compelled them to work at low wages. Poverty is the hindrance of women development. Lack of education is also the hindrance of women empowerment.
The role of women representation in local bodies and state politics is ensured to accelerate the process of the empowerment of women in Bangladesh. Women’s empowerment has been accelerated all over the world. At present, women are playing a very important role in respect of national and international affair.
There is no alternative to make women economically, socially and politically self-reliant. Discrimination between males and females will be resolved and the coming generation will come across a new greener world.