First let us understand what is women empowerment and sustainable development, to determine the link between them.
Our Common Future by the World Commission on Environment and Development defined the concept sustainable development as the development which “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Sustainable development focuses on 3 main factors
- economic development,
- social development and
- environment development.
As we are over-utilizing resources across the world, we are jeopardizing our future generations. Overconsumption and overproduction of resources lead to exhaustion of planets life support systems. Economic development directly depends upon the environment, focusing on quality of life of everyone around.
What do we understand by the word Empowerment? Well, empowerment can be described as the individuals having the power over their lives and are able to create it.
Women Empowerment is the process of empowering a women to take charge of their lives and create it, for their own betterment.
A Woman given right to determine her own choices, and access to opportunities and resources providing her with plenty of options she can pursue is empowered.
An empowered woman has a sense of self worth and has control over her own life. An empowered woman can influence to create change in the social and economic order.
Link Between Sustainable Development and Women Empowerment
The equality factor in humankind is to provide or give equal opportunities, rights and responsibilities to all genders. Many societies gender roles are already decided irrespective of one’s consultation and this in turn builds a gender inequality.
Women, over the decades, are expected to take care of the family without pay. women depend financially on men and have very less or no financial security.
A decrease in gender inequality has a direct relation to increasing a country’s economic growth.
Unfortunately, women all around the world face lot of difficulties. Many of them drop out of colleges or resign the jobs to provide unpaid care to their families or by a few social-cultural norms.
Due the unforeseen issues in women’s lives there is a increase in economic dependency on male. Women happen to be at high risk to end up in poverty as the financial dependency is higher. Gender inequality is a part of economic development and social development issues, not just a socio-cultural concern.
First of all sustainable development, from the perspective of meeting the current needs, calls for equitable distribution of resources. Women involvement in Decision-making process at all levels nationally and internationally is very much needed.
Women’s empowerment is a process that needs to be seen from economic, social, cultural, and environmental concerns, and not just a socio-cultural issue alone.
Sustainable Development Goal 5 addresses “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. Gender equality is not just one of the sustainable goals, but also a important factor for economic development, social development, and environmental development.
[ For Sustainable Development Goals Visit https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300 ]
women’s empowerment towards sustainable development
- Both men and women need to have equal resources.
- Decision making process needs to involve women as well.
- Pay needs to be same for both the genders at work.
- Gender inequality should be a economic, social, cultural, and environmental concerns.
- Decrease in gender gap will have positive impact on nation’s economy.
A step toward empowering women will lead our path toward achieving sustainable development.
” A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes. ” By Sheryl Sandberg