The Supreme Court has said that women have gradually shattered the glass ceiling to become “active agents of change”, and that their economic empowerment is the need of the hour, so that they can better enjoy equality. In a 38-page verdict, a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Abhay M Sapre said
“It is now realised that real empowerment would be achieved by women, which would lead to their well-being facilitating enjoyment of rights guaranteed to them, only if there is an economic empowerment of women as well. Public employment… would naturally lead to empowerment of women, which is the need of the hour.”
The verdict came while allowing a plea of a woman excise officer, Richa Mishra, who was barred from becoming Deputy Superintendent of Police due to her age limit. The court directed the Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission to appoint her by giving her relaxation of age.
Though it was earlier believed that women weren’t active agents of change, it is changing now. The bench observed:
“Women are no longer passive recipients of welfare-enhancing help but are being increasingly seen by men as active agents of change. The dynamic promoters of social transformation that can alter the lives of both women and men.”
Supreme Court said women are agents of change.
The Supreme Court also said that the focus is now shifting from better treatment for women to their economic empowerment.
“It is now realised that there is a bi-directional relationship between economic development and women’s empowerment, defined as improving the ability of women to access the constituents of development — in particular health, education, earning opportunities, rights, and political participation,” the bench said.
Women empowerment will bring equality, says SC
Quoting a study by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, the court noted that empowerment can accelerate development. “From whichever direction the issue is looked into, it provides justification for giving economic empowerment to women,” it said. The Court said that the empowerment of women is perceived as equipping them to be economically independent, self-reliant, with positive esteem to enable them to face any situation and they should be able to participate in the development activities.