top of page
BWEE-004: Strategies for Women’s Empowerment

BWEE-004: Strategies for Women’s Empowerment

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for BWEE-004 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Strategies for Women’s Empowerment, you have come to the right place. BWEE-004 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in DWED courses of IGNOU.

Looking to download all solved assignment PDFs for your course together?

BWEE-004 Solved Assignment Solution by Gyaniversity

Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BWEE-004/AST-01/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: BWEE-004

Assignment Name: Strategies for Women’s Empowerment

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Answer any four of the following questions. Each question carries equal marks.

Q1) What do you mean by women’s empowerment? Explain with an illustration.

Ans) The term "empowerment" first became popular in the development field in the mid-1980s, particularly among women. A redistribution of power that challenges patriarchy and male dominance is referred to as women's empowerment. It is both a process and a result in the same sense. Gender empowerment entails altering the structures that reinforce and perpetuate discrimination against women and girls. Basically, it is a method of gaining access to, and exercising control over, material and information resources, particularly by women. Equality, autonomy, and respect for women, on the other hand, begin at home. The achievement of gender equality in the home serves as a foundation for empowerment in other spheres of life.

Women's emancipation is a concept that has its roots in the women's movement. It entails struggle and the acquisition of skills for dealing with oppressive forces. In order to improve the overall quality of life in a new society, conscious and deliberate intervention is required. Processes of individual and collective empowerment are involved. People frequently gain awareness, the ability to organise, act, and effect change as a result of their involvement in a group. So, empowerment is a process of increasing participation in decision-making (power and control) while also taking transformative action to achieve a desired result.

The term "empowerment" is heavily influenced by the word "power." It entails the exercise of material, intellectual, and ideological dominance. Land, water, forests, labour, and money are all examples of controllable assets. Information and ideas are both considered intellectual assets. When someone has ideological control, he or she has the ability to generate, propagate, maintain and institutionalise specific sets of beliefs. This control entails the ability to make decisions. « The process of challenging existing power relations and gaining greater control over power sources is referred to as empowerment. Power, on the other hand, will not be given as a gift to the "have not" group in society. The powerless must seize or develop power on their own behalf. Power must first be gained, then exercised, sustained, and preserved in order to be effective.

Gender inequality is an unavoidable fact of life that cannot be avoided. Because of patriarchal ideologies and values, women are subjected to systematic discrimination on a daily basis. All spheres of life, including the economic, social, political, and religious spheres, are characterised by inequalities and vulnerabilities that are less well-known to men. Even though rural women contribute significantly to the economy, they are regarded as "invisible" in both the economic and social spheres. Due to the widespread belief that women are unimportant in the labour market and the market economy, this is the case. In most women's lives, particularly in poor women's lives, overwork, poor nutrition, and poor health are the norm, as are repeated pregnancies, a lack of educational opportunities, a lack of financial resources, and deep-seated social prejudice.

The fact is that women are exploited and discriminated against in every aspect of their lives, and as a result, they need to be given more authority. It is necessary to alter the way men and women interact within the family and in society in order to achieve gender equality. To put it another way, the significance of quality of status and opportunity for both men and women must be recognised and put into action.

Example:  Domestically, the United States has empowered women through the passage of legislation such as the right to vote in 1920, the prohibition of gender discrimination in 1964, the prohibition of discrimination against pregnant women in 1978, and others. The participation of women in politics paved the way for greater gender equality. The first female speaker of the House of Representatives, the First Lady's presidential campaign, and the appointment of the first female justice to the Supreme Court were all historic events that provided insight into the growing social acceptance of women in positions of authority.

Q2) Critically examine policies and perspectives on women’s education in India.

Ans) Education has been perceived as an instrument to change the subordinate status of women. From the 19th century, social reformers, cultural revivalists and liberals all subscribed to this view. Efforts were made not only to provide women the educational opportunities, but it was coupled with other struggles against child marriage and the practice of sati and for the promotion of widow remarriage, and general change in people's attitudes. In more contemporary times, the New Education Policy of 1986 endorsed and acknowledged that education is a powerful instrument to bring about social change.

Starting in the 19th century, social reformers and missionary educationists, with the active support of the colonial state, made efforts to provide opportunities for women's education. This led to the expansion of schools and the recruitment of women teachers. At the same time, there was considerable debate during the reform movement regarding women's education and its purposes. Cultural revivalists, for instance, believed that women being custodians of culture, their education would further strengthen additional Indian culture.

For liberal reformers, educated women would be:

  1. Good companions for the newly emerging westernised men of upper castes.

  2. Efficient mothers.

During this period, education was essentially meant to strengthen women's role within the family. Consequently, a different curriculum was designed for girls. As a result of the social reform movement, however, access to schooling was opened up primarily to girls and women of the upper castes. There were many gaps and differences in access to the kinds and levels of knowledge through the colonial period.

Initiatives Taken During Freedom Struggle

The efforts of social reformers and missionaries laid the foundation for the development of public education for women. Gradual changes began with the involvement of women in large numbers in the freedom movement. This necessitated some redefinition of their gender roles. There was recognition of the public roles of women. Mahatma-Gandhi played an important role in channelising women's role in the freedom struggle, which meant involvement in the public domain. In the final analysis he too advocated women's education essentially to improve their traditional roles as wives and mothers within the patriarchal family.

State Policies on Education

These principles of equality became the basis of a variety of initiatives by the State. The field of education has always been seen as an important channel for development and achievement of equality. The educational policies and practices have often responded to changed perspectives and understanding. After independence, the State committed itself to the principle of equality and rejected the earlier educational policy of a different curricula for boys and girls. In 1958, the National Committee on Women's Education recommended a common curriculum for boys and girls. The Education Commission of 1966 endorsed the view that core curriculum should counter traditional gender stereotypes. Despite these views, educational policy and practice were premised on defining the primary role of women as housewives and mothers. This is an idea, as pointed out above, which was subscribed to from the 19th century.

For the first time, the educational policy of the country with regard to women's education got a jolt with the publication in 1975 of the comprehensive report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India, Towards Equality. This report drew attention to the abysmal position of women despite several developmental and educational programmes. The report highlighted the fact that the educational system far from changing social values and attitudes towards women, had on the contrary contributed to strengthening and perpetuating traditional ideas of women's subordination.

With the women's movement gaining strength in India during the 70's and 80's several problems and questions were raised regarding the status of women in India. In the field of education, for instance, it was recognised that the formal system, its structures, curriculum and teacher's attitudes were all contributing to strengthen gender bias and gender stereotyping. To address these problems different attempts began. Textbooks began to be critically analysed to remove gender bias; gender sensitisation was introduced as part of teacher training; women's studies centres were opened in universities. It must be noted that all this was part of the formal education system. The large percentage of girls and women who lived in rural areas and were outside the mainstream education were left relatively untouched. Though a large Non-Formal Education programme for working children was introduced, the socio-economic factors that inhibited access to even nonformal education were left unaddressed.

By the mid-1 980's policies on education for women reflected the growing understanding that the issue needs a holistic understanding and approach. The National Policy on Education of 1986 and the consequent Programme of Action which includes Education Channels for Empowerment for Women's Equality, in a radical move to identify the role of education as an instrument to bring about change in the status of women. It has been suggested that investment in girls and women's education has long-term implications not only for the individual woman but for society at large. There can be several economic as well as social benefits.

Q4) Discuss the role of credit support system in women’s empowerment.

Ans) The Government of India has developed a number of schemes and programmes to assist low-income women in obtaining credit. However, it is critical to examine these credit support programmes and determine whether or not they are effective in reaching their intended audience.

Credit Support for Rural Women

There are several programmes launched to provide credit support to rural women. The Integrated Rural Development Programme is a prominent one among all of them. The IRDP, launched in 1979, is by far the largest credit-based poverty alleviation 4 programmes of the government of India and it may well be the largest programme in the world.

The IRDP provides loan through commercial banks to households officially identified to be below the poverty line, to finance purchase of an asset which serves as the basis for self-employment. The assets for which loans are commonly disbursed include pump sets, milch animals. small animals, carts, equipment for cottage industry, provisional shop, repair centre, etc. The loan for the asset is subsidized by the government through an initial capital subsidy between 25% to 50% depending on the occupational and economic status of the beneficiary. IRDP has a target of 30% female beneficiaries.

It was in recognition of the fact that rural development programmes were not reaching the poorest women that the Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA), was launched as a sub-component of IRDP. DWCRA was started as a pilot project in 50 selected districts of the country; and later extended. The objective of the programme is to "organise women in socio-economic activity groups with the dual objective of providing self-employment opportunities and social strength to them" (seventh plan document).

DWCRA's aim therefore, is to organise women into groups for the effective utilization of credit under IRDP. Besides providing financial support for income generating activities, DWCRA also aims to increase women's access to other government programmes and welfare services. The scheme envisages formation of a group of 15 to 20 women. While the common interest that brings the group together may or may not be income generation, the support provided by DWCRA is intended to enhance the income generating capability of the women in the group. Mukhya Sevikas and Gram Sevikas in the development blocks are expected to spend adequate time in educating the women and to give special attention to the problems of the women's groups and discuss the proposed selection.

Each group is expected to identify a group organiser, who will take the responsibility of liaison work. A grant of Rs. 15,000 is given to each group for a revolving fund to be used for purchase of raw materials, marketing, childcare, etc.

With its emphasis on the group approach, DWCRA provides a sound method for women to come together in their attempt to set up profitable income generation activities. However, the programme implementation staff lack a clear understanding of what is involved in the formation of viable self-help groups and an adequate methodology to achieve the objective. And as in most cases of government initiative, DWCRA too has been the most successful wherever there has been NGO involvement.

Credit for the Urban Woman

Although the overall female labour force participation rate in cities is lower than in rural areas, actual female participation rates in cities are likely to be much higher than those reported in official statistics, and women's participation is growing at a much faster rate than men.

According to studies, self-employed women in the urban informal sector earn the most money, especially if they have money to invest in their business. Access to institutional credit for micro-enterprises is a major impediment to the growth of self-employment among female workers in cities. For those with access to capital, there are numerous opportunities for self-employment in service, trade, and petty manufacturing for urban women.

As a result, there is a high demand for credit to start microbusinesses, but urban women, like rural women, have difficulty obtaining institutional credit. In a six-city survey conducted by NIUA, 43 percent of women said they needed initial fixed capital and 63 percent said they needed working capital, but only 6% said they had sought credit from banks for an initial investment and less than 3% said they had sought loans for working capital.

Until recently, the government's Differential Interest Rate (DRI) scheme, under which banks are required to lend 1% of their previous annual advances to the "self-employed poor" for productive ventures, was the main source of institutional credit for poor urban women. (The borrower's annual family income must be less than Rs. 7,200 in cities and Rs. 6,400 in rural areas.)

The DRI scheme predates the IRDP and does not include any asset purchase subsidies. Credit is available under this programme at a heavily subsidised interest rate of 4%. In September 1986, GO1 launched the Self-Employment Programme for the Urban Poor (SEPUP), a new urban credit-based poverty alleviation programme similar to the IRDP.

Q6) Explain the role of women in livelihood security.

Ans) Women's livelihood security and environmental sustainability are linked because women are responsible for the majority of household maintenance tasks, which include the use and maintenance of land, water, and common property resources.

Women and Land

For women, land is not only an asset over which they must establish legal titles, but it also conceals their worth, their social status, and a sense of personal, social, and economic security.

Encroachment of land for non-agricultural purposes poses a significant threat to poor people's livelihoods, particularly rural women's, in terms of employment, shelter, and basic needs. With the encouragement of food processing industries as well as food export, much land will be directed to commercial crops, resulting in a decrease in food availability.

Due to gender disparities in access to essential items like food and health care within the household, this has disastrous consequences for the weaker sections in general and women in particular. Malnutrition is a significant issue for women. Increasing land pressure also means that women's working hours must be increased in order to locate and fetch fuel, fodder, and water, or to cultivate larger and less productive land.

Women and Forest

Forests are important to women because they provide them with fuel, fodder, and minor forest produce. Nearly 90% of their energy needs are met by non-commercial sources such as firewood, crop wastes, and cow dung. Over 28% of all energy consumed in India is collected by rural women in the form of firewood.

Forest depletion and degradation have had a significant impact on tribal communities' livelihoods, particularly for women. The tribal family has traditionally gotten more than half of its food from the forests, in the form of non-timber forest produce (NTFP), also known as minor forest produce by the forest department. Forests and other village commons properties are important to the poor, according to studies. The costs of forest degradation and declining availability of other village commons are disproportionately borne by women and girl children among forest dwellers, as has been well documented.

To collect fuelwood, fodder, and water, they must walk longer distances and for longer periods of time. A study conducted in Orissa and Chhattisgarh in the mid-1980s found that forest distances had increased from an average of one kilometre in the early 1960s to around seven kilometres two decades later. The woman had to walk an extra three hours to collect the NTFP as a result of this. Furthermore, older women and children who had previously assisted her are now unable to walk this distance. As a result, the housewife, whose traditional responsibility is to ensure a steady supply of food, fodder, water, and fertiliser, is forced to work harder and collect less food than in the past.

Women and Water

Water scarcity in villages and pollution of water bodies are forcing rural women to work harder, as well as exposing people to waterborne diseases. Irrigation project construction on a large scale has displaced millions of people, including women. Women, on the other hand, are underrepresented in planning and decision-making in general, and in particular in water management policies, which are central to their lives.

In the agricultural sector, women make up the majority of the workforce. They are also the primary producers and earners in the household subsistence economy in the rural sector. Women are employed in large numbers in areas such as nursery raising, plantation, weeding, and minor forest produce collection. Women have been displaced from their traditional role as fish sellers due to the monetization of the fishing industry in the face of increased exports, even as the local community is denied access to good nutrition once the fish is sent out to the large urban and export markets.

Women and Resource Management

Women have traditionally been the managers of natural resources as well as being reliant on them for survival. Women's knowledge and ability to protect the environment and natural resources while using them for survival, nourishment, employment, or herbal medicine is astounding. They make sustainable use of natural resources.

Food insecurity, famine, large-scale desertification, wastelands, and ground-water pollution have all resulted from the capacity of private and bureaucratic vested interests to exploit these resources, as well as the takeover of agriculture for cash cropping under the expert guidance of FAO experts and others. The Chipko movement, in which women have taken the lead, has become a model for women all over the world as a form of protest against environmental degradation.

100% Verified solved assignments from ₹ 40  written in our own words so that you get the best marks!
Learn More

Don't have time to write your assignment neatly? Get it written by experts and get free home delivery

Learn More

Get Guidebooks and Help books to pass your exams easily. Get home delivery or download instantly!

Learn More

Download IGNOU's official study material combined into a single PDF file absolutely free!

Learn More

Download latest Assignment Question Papers for free in PDF format at the click of a button!

Learn More

Download Previous year Question Papers for reference and Exam Preparation for free!

Learn More

Download Premium PDF

Assignment Question Papers

Which Year / Session to Write?

Get Handwritten Assignments

bottom of page