Women Empowerment & changing economic scenarios

By AMNA MALIK

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Women empowerment and economic development are closely related. Gender and development can play a crucial role in addressing these shortcomings. The empowerment of women and girls is one of the most effective ways to achieve higher economic growth and better living standards among the millions of people in developing countries in our region. Gender inequality undermines economic growth, human development and poverty reduction.
Elevating the economic role of women through technical support and improved access to financial services will reap greater social benefits. The relationship of gender and development is a central issue in development research and policy today. Some of the great interest in the topic stems from empirical findings suggesting that empowering women may not just be a worthy goal in its own right, but may in fact promote overall economic development. Women and girls often have limited access to and control over resources, impeding their ability to participate in local economies and value chains.
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To address gender constraints and create more equitable opportunities for their active participation, it is important to help them create value within existing activities. Understanding gender dynamics in a given context is critical to successful, sustainable, and inclusive impacts that women and men see as benefiting the entire household, their community, and the society as a whole. Getting women into the workforce is an important step. But empowerment is limited when women enter the labour market on unfavourable terms. This includes women’s engagement in exploitative, dangerous or stigmatised work as well as low pay and job insecurity.
There is overwhelming evidence that gender equality will help reach SDG targets on economic growth, family poverty reduction and human development. Achieving greater gender equality remains a big challenge notwithstanding the important gains that have been made in women’s education and employment outcomes in recent history. Women empowerment is not merely a term but it carries a lot more than that. The economic prospects are changing worldwide. Women have a role to play and society is responsible to provide them an environment where they can further flourish their abilities.
 It is not only imperative to create the sense of being empowered but take it as a responsibility to further add in the development of the society. Empowerment is the process of increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes. For human development, increasing women’s participation in the global economy is essential not only for gender parity, but also for overall income growth. Economic empowerment means, at bottom, the ability to monetize one’s skills and talents. Access to financial products and services is believed to be a key enabler of women’s economic empowerment.
But access to finance alone is not transformative. Gender barriers still constrain women from making positive changes in their everyday lives. It focuses on increasing access to appropriate financial services for women, while also challenging gender inequalities in power relations, social and cultural norms, and regulatory frameworks. Besides empowering women with better choices and resources, it aims to make positive changes in the relationships between people and financial institutions.
It also aims to improve relationships within households, support networks, markets, and communities. Increasing access to and use of quality financial products and services is essential to inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction. Increasing women’s financial inclusion is especially important as women disproportionately experience poverty, stemming from unequal divisions of labor and a lack of control over economic resources.
Women play a significant role in the world’s economy. The income of a woman contributes to the household income and a woman is more likely than a man to invest her resources into the welfare of her family. Create opportunities for learning and training; educate women, Increase access to productive resources and assets, like land or equipment, support female entrepreneurship, and more.

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