Women have always been ahead in every field by walking shoulder to shoulder to men. There’s no any field where women aren’t working and the politics is no exception to that. To empower the women in India to pursue their career in politics, National Women’s Empowerment Day in India is celebrated across India.
The day is celebrated to honor the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act passed by the Parliament in April 1994 provided a constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj institutions in India. Among the salient features of the act was one-third of the total number of seats in the panchayats being reserved for women in the general category, SC/ST category and one-third offices of chairpersons at all levels being reserved for women.
This is a very big step towards the empowerment of women in India. Hence to create more awareness about this, schools and colleges across India celebrate the National Women’s Empowerment Day by organizing various activities, events and competitions like debates, speech, essay writing, group discussions, quizzes etc.
In this article, we have given you all the information you would be needing to celebrate the National Women’s Empowerment Day. Information such as history, purpose, importance, date, theme, quotes, slogan, celebration ideas, assembly activities, event ideas about the National Women’s Empowerment Day is given in this article. So, let’s start.
National Women’s Political Empowerment Day 2019 Date, Theme, Information, Essay, Speech & Article
History of the National Women’s Political Empowerment Day
It was a landmark amendment to the Indian Constitution in 1993 that added a new chapter in women political empowerment in India. The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act passed by the Parliament in April 1994 provided a constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj institutions in India. Among the salient features of the act was one-third of the total number of seats in the panchayats being reserved for women in the general category, SC/ST category and one-third offices of chairpersons at all levels being reserved for women.
It was a turning point in the political history of India as they say that give women political empowerment and listen to their voices soar above the skies. It ended the under-representation of women in the Indian political arena, especially at the grass root level. Since then April 24 has been celebrated as the National Women’s Empowerment Day in India.
Purpose of celebrating National Women’s Political Empowerment Day
The amendment was made possible by the heavy campaigning done for the same by the Institute of Social Services (ISS). Every year thousands of Panchayat members gather on this day at the function organized by the Institute of Social Services to exchange their views on the theme for the year and also to share their individual experiences at the Gram Panchayat level.
At the award function, women members are felicitated for their work in the year gone by and they are educated about the various provisions of the Panchayati Raj Act. Smt.Lalitha Kumaramangalam in her inaugural address at the 23rd Women’s Political Empowerment Day celebration 2016, said ‘If you feel we wouldn’t know what to do, then teach us; this should be the spirit of elected women representative’. The day is celebrated by addressing the crowd by dignitaries and women achievers, followed by Q & A sessions and cultural programmes.
Importance of National Women’s Political Empowerment Day 2019
India is the biggest democracy in the world and the role that women elected representatives can play in shaping it, is paramount. 60 percent of the Indian population is marked by the rural sector and the Gram Panchayats are their first point of contact with the political system. The adequate involvement of women at this level, especially women belonging to the SC, ST, OBS and other religious minorities, will alter the pace at which economic development takes place in India.
The theme for the National Women’s Political Empowerment Day 2019
Every year the national women empowerment day is celebrated around a theme which is women-centric in nature. Some of the themes for previous years were:
- Panchayats, Women and Safe Drinking Water
- Panchayats, Women and Sustainable Development Goals
- Violence Against Women: Role of Panchayats
- Panchayats, Women, and Right to Food
- Panchayats, Women, and Health for all
The theme for the year 2018, which marks the 25th anniversary was ‘Swachchh Panchayat: Swachchh Bharat’ which takes forward the clean India mission and motto of the Prime Minister of India.
The theme for National Women’s Political Empowerment Day 2019 is “Panchayats in Disaster Management”.
Roles of schools and colleges in women political empowerment
Every year, women’s day is celebrated with a gusto not only in India but across the world. However, the celebrations and awareness about this day are limited only to the elected women representatives of the Gram Panchayats. Information about Panchayati Raj system in India and historic amendments like the 73rd, do form a part of the school and college curriculum but the road stops there.
Adding the achievements of women representatives to the curriculum and devoting five minutes on this day to talk about women political empowerment will create more awareness in the youth about the changes being brought by women at the grass root level. Several campaigns have been directed towards creating awareness about women participation in governance.
Print media campaigns like posters and handbills and events like Nukkad Nataks(street plays) and Mashaal Jaloos have been organized to this effect in states of Haryana, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Orissa to name a few. In Rajasthan, a 15-minute radio programme was aired in the local language, which talked about the panchayat elections, procedures and conduct of the Gram Sabha.
Student bodies should volunteer to educate women at the time of elections about filing nomination correctly so that they get the opportunity to contest without their nomination being declared invalid. They can use social media to create hashtags like
- #womenpower #grampanchayat
- #womenpanchayatresps etc. to generate interest.
Quotes, Slogans on National Women’s Political Empowerment Day
Some very powerful quotes, slogans have been penned and spoken about women political empowerment in India:
- ‘It is she who nurtures a citizen as a mother, as a sister in his childhood, and later in the life as his wife. These empowered citizens eventually make an empowered country.’ – PM Narendra Modi
- ‘Many women who manage to win elections and become panchayat leaders struggle to cope with the work and need training. The government should invest in providing them to enable them to be better leaders’ – Priyanka Kumari, Hazaribagh, Bihar at the award function in the year 2005.
- ‘They have done good job jobs and silenced their critics with their dazzling work. They have done a lot- be it opening schools, installing hand pumps or fighting for girls education. Their hard work and good leadership skills teamed with self-confidence and intelligence are the reasons behind their success.’ – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and prominent actress Ms. Sharmila Tagore at one of the National Women Political Empowerment Day award functions.
Statistics and the way ahead for women political empowerment
The 73rd amendment led to 247,115 elected panchayats in the country with more than 2.9 million elected representatives out of which women constitute more than one million. Last year the government launched a nation-wide training programme for Elected Women Representatives of Panchayats (EWRs). It is a comprehensive course for women panchayat leaders, initiated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
The inclusion of the reservation of women at the Panchayat level has started to make its mark but there is more work to be done in this area with respect to giving women representatives the actual power and not just the formal power on paper. The elected women representatives have done commendable work till date in areas like health, sanitation, early child care, drinking water etc; issues which are pertaining to women but when addressed, have an overall impact on the development of the society.
Women still face a number of challenges and political impediments such as inadequate education, the absence of financial freedom and opposition presented by the patriarchal sects of the society and we are yet to witness a system where the women political leaders are empowered in the true sense.
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