What exactly women empowerment is all about?
Women empowerment is not only about women. Women empowerment is about empowering about half the human race, about the economy, about the society, about the future generations.
Women empowerment is all about restoring the dignity of women, by removing all forms of gender bias and facilitating their personal, social and financial independence.
It is all about putting control of their lives back in their own hands and re-enabling their right, power and ability to make decisions in all areas that touch their lives.
It is about acknowledging, facilitating and reinforcing their personal, social, political and educational rights to bloom and prosper as human beings.
It is about supporting women to freely assert their reproductive rights. It is about women not being scared, embarrassed or apologetic for any form of freedom.
It is about eradicating all social ills prejudiced against women.
Summarily, it is about paying back to the feminine gender all they have been deprived of since generations.
In traditional societies like India's, being a woman is difficult. Internal segments like women from the Below Poverty Line (BPL) and widows are even at a bigger loss. Severely constrained social and economic independence keep narrowing their chances of empowerment.
In India, nearly 1 out of every 12 women is a widow. About 3 out every 4 widows live in the rural areas. Gender imbalance is much more pronounced in rural areas and widow remarriages are extremely rare. Social taboos are stronger in the rural, interior India, which makes a woman's life tough and a widow's life even tougher.
Estimates suggest family income falls by 39% after the death of the husband. About 70% of widowed households (roughly two out of every three) report a monthly income of under Rs. 600 a month (well below 9USD). Opportunities for financial independence - one of the most significant indicator of women empowerment are negligible.
All in all, it is a miserable situation to be.
And that is what we have set out to change.