According to the World Bank:
Empowerment is the process of increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes.
Therefore, we can describe women empowerment as to give the authority or the power to women. Women Empowerment is recognition of women’s basic human right and creating an environment where they are treated as equal to men in every aspect (economically, politically, socially and individually).
According to Jim Kim, The president of World Bank also believes that countries pay a big prize by failing to realize the potential of women. And ending gender equality will make so much sense in our society as well as economy. Currently women account for 38% or even less in some parts of the world versus 62% of men. If women earned as much as men they would add an additional $160 trillion in human capital worldwide if only we bridge the gap and empower them.
The crime and violence against women is on rise worldwide and it hampers the development tremendously. Many organizations and NGO’s are working worldwide towards this cause.
Smile Foundation, an NGO based in New Delhi with its presence in 25 other Indian state has taken few initiatives empowering young girls and women.
Mission Education is one such initiative in which the underprivileged children are provided with basic level education and healthcare. The 50% of the children benefitted are girls and it is a national level programme.
Healthcare is another initiative in which free medical services are provided mostly to the Urban slum dwellers, rural areas where proper healthcare facilities are not available and other underprivileged. Smile on Wheels programme is another initiative in which mobile healthcare in urban slums and remote rural areas and it has provided health services to more than 10 lakh children and families.
According to statistics 66% of the total beneficiaries are women and girls.
Another initiative taken by smile to empower the underprivileged youth is Smile Twin E- learning Programme STeP. In this programme the underprivileged youth is trained in English, computer, soft skills and other required skills. Till now more than 22,000 youths are trained and more than 14,000 have been placed in more than 150 brands across different projects in India. In this programme also 52% of the beneficiaries were girls.
Swabhiman i.e. Self-respect in English in another initiative which identifies adolescent girls and women and develops them into Change Agents, who in turn actively contribute to the community mobilization process.
Till now Swabhiman has empowered and successfully made a difference to the lives of over 500,000 women and girl children.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said, “To awaken the people, it is the women who must be awakened. Once she is on the move, the family moves, the village moves, the nation moves”.
Therefore empowering women and rebuilding the society would take the nation on a path of greater development.
To know more about the projects in Smile Foundation for the empowerment of women please visit https://www.smilefoundationindia.org/swabhiman.html