1. highlighted in the book as criteria for measuring

1.     Thisbook addresses and examines sensitive issues and complex questions regarding “gender”which plays an important role in the development of the society. There are someextremely critical issues which have been highlighted in the book as criteriafor measuring and analyzing the gender empowerment.

It places emphasis on thefact that gender difference and stereotypes thereby attributed to each gendertype is sociological. This book propagates the idea that gender equality mustentail the perception that men and women are free to develop their best ‘self’and break away from the rigid-gender and prejudices in the patriarchal society.It is essential to empower women to achieve gender equality. Thus, empowermentof women encompasses several issues related to women like women empowerment andgovernment efforts, empowering rural women through local self-government, roleof education as a key factor for women empowerment, development and welfare,economic and political empowerment of women and role of women’s organizationsin women empowerment.

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This book is divided into five sections where eachsection focuses on the need of women empowerment in India and cases relating togender disparities.  The first section –Gender: Current Status  includes papersaddressing the socio-economic status of women by analyzing Human DevelopmentIndex(HDI), Gender –related Development Index(GDI) and Gender EmpowermentMeasure (GEM) ,Total Fertility Rate (TFR),male-female sex ratio, access tohealth  facilities, etc. The secondsection- Gender: Some Issues  coversissues related to gender discrimination , rights of  women, women literacy and empowerment  , economic empowerment of women and health policies.The third section- Policies towards Gender Empowerment emphasizes theimportance to equalize opportunities between women and men.

The major policiesevaluated in this context were related to health and nutrition, training and employment,legal safeguard and gender budgeting for women. The fourth section- Gender andRural Development talks about gender empowerment and development of rural womenand gender disparities in rural workforce participation rate. The fifth section-Gender: Select Interventions For Gender Development highlights ways ofempowering women through self-help micro- credit programme and gender budgeting.It places importance on education and health care facilities in order toimprove the quality of life of the female with special schemes in the Five YearPlans. Human Resource Development is a vital factor in alleviating inequalitybetween women and men. Rights of women must be protected .

The 73rdAmendment (1993) to the Constitution of India has provided for reservation ofseats in the local bodies for women creating strong foundation for theirparticipation in decision – making at local levels.