Education and women empowerment: Co-partners in social development

Pratisha Deka, Pratisha Deka
Education is an important aspect of developed nations and it is proved that nations without education cannot develop at its full as it cannot take full advantage of its human resources. Human resources are one of the major resource/asset of any nation. Woman make almost half of the population of any country, thus their involvement in the development cannot be ignored. According to Sen and Batliwala (2000) "Empowerment is the process by which the powerless gain greater control over the
more » ... ces of their lives. It includes both controls over resources and over ideology .... [Includes, in addition to extrinsic control] a growing intrinsic capability-greater self-confidence, and an inner transformation of one's consciousness that enables one to overcome external barriers...." The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development stresses that the empowerment and autonomy of women and the improvement of their political, social, economic and health status is both a highly important end in itself and necessary for sustainable human development (UNFPA, 2007). Education plays as a key component in addressing the immediate and long-term search for gender equity and Women's Empowerment in India. In the last few decades, there has been steady increasing awareness of the need to empower women in order to improve their socioeconomic status to be able to cope and also contribute effectively in this period of economic crisis. In this paper an effort has been made to bring into attention certain pivotal aspects of Education as one of the most important means of empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process.