What do you feel is the current situation of women in terms of female empowerment in your country?
What I found about women across the world, including India is that women’s safety is shrinking, despite the 21st century paradigm that women are safe and living better lives. Women and children are the worst bearers of wars and civil unrest that happens across the world. If you look at the ground level, I feel women are far more unsafe than they were before. At the same time, there is more awareness and mindfulness among women about their rights and entitlements. They are aware about their access to equal opportunities with respect to their career. But these things haven’t fully translated into an egalitarian status for women. If you observe closely, women in power or women controlling wealth are fewer in comparison to men. Women’s visibility is less, and they are not fully incorporated in decision making processes as we would wish to see.
How could ordinary women become change makers in society?
There are no ordinary or extraordinary women. For me an empowered woman is not someone who is out there doing a lot of activism. A woman can be a simple homemaker and be brilliant at what she does and still be as empowered and strong as you can imagine. It is her choice. I have met some of the strongest women who positively contribute to society in the rural areas of India. Women have the power within them to make these changes; they just have to recognize it.
What is your personal idea when it comes to female empowerment?
Empowerment is not some kind of charity that someone should provide women from the outside. Women are already strong from within and they just have to first recognize it, actualize it and act upon it. Empowerment is realizing that we already are empowered.