Speakers at the seminar, including chairperson of the National Commission for Women Mamta Sharma and former IPS officer Jija Hari Singh, said that while there are many laws and schemes for women, most women are not aware of these.
"Only about 25 per cent women, not just in rural areas but even in urban areas, actually know of rules that can protect them and schemes that can help them improve the quality of their life," said Mamta Sharma.
"What is the point of having a lot of schemes from the government when these are not implemented properly, she asked, adding that this is why focus needs to be on building awareness, especially in schools and colleges", she asked. She further said that, not just men but women also needs to be sensitised because the aim is to change the mindset of society.
She also added that,"There are at least 43 special legislation related to women, yet we are seeing a steady increase in crime against women," remarked Jija Hari Singh, retired IPS officer. Coming down heavily on ministers and those in power who blame the woman's dressing as an excuse for crime against her, Hari Singh said that this is nothing but defence of the rapist. "Those who make such comments are those who have similar thoughts in their minds. Men need to be sensitised urgently."
Economic benefits of women empowerment:
- Most women across the globe rely on the informal work sector for an income. If women were empowered to do more and be more, the possibility for economic growth becomes apparent. Eliminating a significant part of a nation's work force on the sole basis of gender can have detrimental effects on the economy of that nation.
- In addition, female participation in counsels, groups, and businesses is seen to increase efficiency.
- For a general idea on how an empowered women can impact a situation monetarily, a study found that of fortune 500 companies, those with more women board directors had significantly higher financial returns, including 53 percent higher returns on equity, 24 percent higher returns on sales and 67 percent higher returns on invested capital.
- This study shows the impact women can have on the overall economic benefits of a company. If implemented on a global scale, the inclusion of women in the formal workforce (like a fortune 500 company) can increase the economic output of a nation.
One empowerment strategy is to assist marginalized people to create their own nonprofit organization, using the rationale that only the marginalized people, themselves, can know what their own people need most, and that control of the organization by outsiders can actually help to further entrench marginalization.