The Women, Peace and Security index is an important tool to determine the overall well-being of women in the countries associated with the United Nations (UN). Since its commencement 3 years ago, this index reflects the changes adhered by the government when it comes to equal opportunities, justice and reduction in disparities. Over the years the index projects a positive trend but there is still a mountain to climb. As of 2022, India ranks 148/170 which isn’t ideal with India having a massive female population of 663 million. Though there has been an improvement in previous numbers there hasn’t been any drastic change.
The countries which are at the lower tier in terms of ranking should take cues from the upper-tier countries in order to make advancements for women. The biggest contributing factor is the promotion of education which serves as the most powerful weapon when it comes to women empowerment. Free and compulsory education for all and not just for women can ensure that young men are also well educated in terms of treatment of women so that in the future there can be a scenario of mutual respect.
Since women receiving higher education or a university-level qualification are significantly lesser than men in number, there is a disparity in acquired skills in order to get the necessary jobs. This can be one of the reasons employers curtail from offering prominent positions let alone a job to women. It is pivotal that government should provide them with the necessary skills in order to get jobs. Though many multinational firms do provide well-paid maternity leaves to many new mothers, this isn’t the case with other small-time firms that choose their termination from their companies. With government intervention and strict laws, this case can be reversed so that women are able to enjoy motherhood without the stress of unemployment.
Still, there are many women who are dependent on their husbands, sons, brothers and fathers for financial security and often struggle when the person earning meets with a tragedy. It becomes essential to have independent monetary freedom which ensures that they can live a life of dignity without getting into the vicious cycle of the debt trap. In order to achieve this, women should be urged through government campaigns to have a savings account in any bank and efficient use of various policies with respect to women are enforced.
Though many scenarios of equality are still reachable to urban women, rural India consists of 70 per cent of the population where women don’t even have a say in their own household. With primitive ideologies still intact in many states where the issues of female foeticide, dowry, child marriage, women’s illiteracy, sexual violence, and domestic abuse are still prevalent issues, there has to be rapid change right from the grass level.
The Indian Parliament proposed a reservation bill that allotted 33% seats in the state legislative assembly and the parliament which still hasn’t hit the home turf. Now in this day and age, the bill should demand a 50% share, that is still a distant dream. With mechanisms, policies, and interventions in place for the betterment of women’s life on paper, the ground reality should reflect the same which is not the case. On the optimistic side, many women have come forward to leave a mark as entrepreneurs, athletes, political leaders, social reformers, CEOs and much more. They serve as an inspiration to countless young girls who are just beginning to spread their wings. In order for an optimal society that has a harmonious balance can only be achieved when women and men walk shoulder to shoulder and the many oppressions are extinguished. Men and not just women need to carry forward the torch for equality too if they wish to see a society where women are secure and everyone’s future is blossoming with peace.