Women & Girl Child Development and Empowerment

Women constitute nearly half of the workforce of India, however, due to the prevalence of patriarchy they have not been able to enjoy a respectable position in society at par with men. Since time immemorial, women have participated in all social and religious affairs, so it is a must that their chastity, modesty and dignity is protected to ensure their dignified position in society.

Without removing social stigma, progress and development cannot be achieved. For this, both government and non-government organisations need to come forward and play an active role in creating awareness in society.

Social reforms have been initiated in the past by the likes of Raja Rammohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Mahadev Govind Ranade and Jyotiba Phule, among others, who tried their best to bring changes by academic and social education of the masses. It is their legacy that needs to be carried forward and JND Charitable Trust has undertaken to bring to reality the dreams that were initiated by the social reformers.

Education and economic participation are the primary factors that ensure the empowerment of women. Education is essential for empowering women in all spheres, be it political, legal, economic and health awareness. Economic empowerment of women is a vital element of strong economic growth of any country and it also enhances their ability to influence changes to create a better society.

Women empowerment goes hand-in-hand with child development. The environment at home influences the behaviour of children both negatively and positively. An empowered woman will be able to hone a child’s skills so that it can contribute for the betterment of a society and build a strong nation. It is a known fact that children spend more time with their mothers and are influenced strongly by them during their biological, psychological and emotional changes. So, it becomes important that women are better educated and empowered for a wholesome development of children. The more women talk to their children, the faster their vocabularies grow and the better their intelligence develops.

Good nutrition is the bedrock of lifelong health, physical, intellectual and mental development. Healthy eating can stabilize children’s energy, sharpen their minds and help them focus. A well-educated woman would know what is best for children and work in the proper manner to ensure that their development does not suffer.

JND Charitable Trust will be working to strengthen women’s education, help them in building infrastructure and industry and assist them in getting financial services to achieve their objectives.

In India, the girl child faces a lot of neglect and abuse so much so that discrimination starts when they are conceived. Female foeticide has led to a sharp decline in the ratio of girls to boys. Illegal ultrasound examinations have made it possible for families of pregnant women to learn the gender of the child, ending in abortions.

In 1984, UNICEF figures reported that out of the 8,000 abortions that took place in Mumbai (then Bombay), 7,999 of them were girls. Also, a special report on the girl child and labour by International Labour Organisation (ILO) states that more than 100 million girls between the ages of 5 and 17 are engaged in child labour, out of which over 50 per cent of them are in hazardous industries, and 20 per cent of those are below 12 years old. However, the actual figures may be more.

JND Charitable Trust aims to educate people to save the girl child, much like the campaign started by the government of India with the slogan "A happy girl is the future of our country". Even the UN has many initiatives that aim at the welfare of the girl child, which will be closely followed by us.