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Orissa Review * January – 2006 Empowerment of Indian Women: A Challenge of 21st Century Dr. Dasarathi Bhuyan Women s empowerment is a new phrase in the vocabulary of gender literature. The phrase is used in two broad senses i. e. general and specific. In a general sense, it refers to empowering women to be self-dependent by providing them access to all the freedoms and opportunities, which they were denied in the past only because of their being women . In a specific sense, women empowerment refers to enhancing their position in the power structure of the society .

The word women empowerment essentially means that the women have the power or capacity to regulate their day- to- day lives in the social, political and economic terms -a power which enables them to move from the periphery to the centre stage. The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its preamble, fundamental rights, fundamental duties and directive principles. The Constitution not only grants equality to women but also empowers the st ate to adopt measures, a position; indiscrimination in favour of women.

Within the framework of democratic polity, our aws, developmental policies, plans and programmes are aimed at women s advancement in different spheres. India has also ratified various international conventions to secure rights of women. The women s movement and a widespread network 60 of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) having strong grass-root presence and deep insight into women s concerns have contributed in inspiring initiatives for the empowerment of women.

Women today are trying to understand their position in the society. Women have become increasingly aware of sexual inequalities in every sphere of life and are seeking ways to fght them. The Indian women have cast of their ageold shackles of serfdom and male domination. She has come to her own and started scaling the ladders of social advance with proud and dignity. Women of India are now uplifted and emancipated and granted equal status with men in all walks of life-political, social, domestic and educational.

They have a franchise, they are free to join any service or follow any profession. Free India has, besides her woman prime minister, women ambassadors, women cabinet ministers, women legislators, women governors, women scientists, engineers-doctors-space researchers-giant IT pecialists, women Generals, women public officers, Judiciary officers and in many more responsible positions. No distinction is now made in matters of education between boys and girls. Their voice is now as forceful and important as that of men.

They are becoming equal partners in making or dismissing ot a government. Hindu law has been changed and modified. Far-reaching changes have been introduced in the Hindu Marriage Act. Women have been given right to divorce in certain cases. Besides this, the Hindu Succession Act has given to the daughter; the right to the property of her parents. Our Constitution has given equal rights to women. No distinction has been made on the basis of caste, religion or sex. Their rights have thus been safeguarded.

Thirdly, three percent reservation for women is apt to be enacted in the future. Women Empowerment- still an illusion of reality: Not- withstanding the remarkable changes in the position of women in free India, there is still a great divergence between the constitutional position and stark reality of deprivation and degradation. Whatever whiff of emancipation has blown in Indian society, has been inhaled and enjoyed by the urban women, their population elonging to the rural areas are still totally untouched by the wind of changes.

They still have been living in miserable conditions, steeped in poverty, ignorance, superstition and slavery. There still exists a wide gulf between the goals enunciated in the Constitution, legislations, policies, plans, programmes and related mechanisms on the one hand and the situational reality on the status of women in India, on the other. The human rights scenario in the country continues to be dismal and depressing. Women are being brutalized, commodified, materialized and subjected to inhuman exploitation and discrimination.

Although, gender discrimination has been banned by the Constitution and women have been guaranteed political equality with men, yet there is a difference between the constitutional rights 61 and the rights enjoyed in reality by women. Even after half a century of independence, barring a few exceptions, women have mostly remained outside the domain of power and political authority. Although they constitute about half of the citizen and over the years their participation by way of voting has increased, yet their participation and representation in law making and law implementing bodies are not very satisfactory.

No doubt the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment acts have provided access to women in the decision making process at the grass-root level but their representation in the Parliament and state legislatures is woefully poor. Insecurity does not allow the women leaders to identify leadership at the grass-root level. In politics when a man proposes, they themselves depose. In reality women representatives are ornamental in nature and political consciousness is found lacking among them.

They are affected by the caste and class divisions, feudal attitudes, patriarchal nature of the family and village-social, environmental, ethnic, eligious separatism and the like. They are members on record only. Allegedly, they are not consulted while taking decision. Thus, women representatives are not free from male dominance in the village administration and no significant change in the power equal is observed in the villages. In these days of scam-ridden politics, the increasing role of money and mafia in elections keeps most of the women away from politics.

Increasing violence and vulgarity against them intimates women and consequently they preter to stay out ot politics. What are the reasons tor this sorry state of affairs ? Issues may be various and varied, however a few basic issues deserve specific mention : Lack of awareness Lack of social and economic empowerment Lack of political will Feebleness of accountability mechanisms Lack of enforcement by the police force Lack of gender culture The question arises, how great er participation of women in politics can be achieved ? Generally, the answer is suggested in the form of ‘reservation’.

However, mere reservation will not solve the problem unless and until women are given commensurate powers to function effectively and they themselves become more conscious and aware of their rights and duties. More steps to be taken There can not be any dramatic movement in the system Just by including women members in Gram Panchayat. At the same time, it is also essential to shed certain stereotyped prevailing notions about role and importance of women in socio- economic development. Women should be encouraged to play a more active part.

The male representatives have to establish a rapport with female representatives and give due respect and attention to their views. In the process of development and decision-making women have to operate along with men. Of course, there is some wareness among women due to reservation for them in the Panchayat’ Raj Institutions (PR’s). But there is need for appropriate training and education relating to different aspects in functioning of Panchayats to make women members conscious enough about their effective role and representation in the Panchayat Samiti.

This kind of training can be organized at the district or block level immediately following the election. We have to understand that 62 women representatives can play a vital role in the formulation and implementation of various women and child development programmes. This would increase the efficacy f such programmes. For instance, the women representatives and Gram Panchayat should have sufficient control over the primary education, primary health care and running of the public distribution system.

The state must pass and enforce legislation so that the status of women in society is brought to a respectable level through the long arms of the law. In 1985, a separate department of Women and Child Development was set up. In the Sixth Five Year plan, a separate chapter on Women and Development was included. The government had started and implemented major programmes like Support to Training-cumEmployment for Women (STEP), Mahilakosh, Women s Development Corporation, etc.

However, legislations and efforts of the state have not made deeper in-roads into the rural and urban areas. For example, sex determination of foetus still continues in all the rural regions of the country despite the enforcement of legislation on Pre-natal Diagnostic Technique (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, which was passed in 1994. The women of India must o ppose this sex determination of foetus, eve-teasing, bride burning, child marriage, exploitation in the offices, lower wages for labour etc. men from all walks of life must unite and must give priority to their education, growt n and the prosperity ot their tamilies. Police should accept more temale officers and constables so that they are able to deal with the female victims of our society. Female infanticide, female torture, Sati and dowry must be banned in the country. Women must become literate, as education is beneficial for them as well as their families. The family web is woven around the women.

She has to be up to the mark and educated so that she could fend for herself and her family during the hour of crisis. The status of women would improve only if they educate themselves and grab every opportunity to become stronger and more powerful than before. The discussion brings a major conclusion to light-the status of women could be improved by women themselves and nobody else. It is the modern era of satellites, achievements and technology-based gadget. Why should women be left behind ?

There should be a better and fuller understanding of the problems peculiar to woman, to make a solution of those problems possible. As these problems centre round the basic problem of inequality, steps should be taken to promote equality of reatment and full integration of woman in the total development effort of the country. The main stress should be on equal work and elimination of discrimination in employment. One of the basic policy objectives should be universal education of woman, the lack of which tends to perpetuate the unequal status quo.

The popular UNESCO slogan should come in handy: educate a man and you educate an individual; educate a woman and you educate a family. Women will have to empower themselves from below in order to compel the government to empower them from above . Further, there is need for a change of values and behaviour in the society, a need for positive socio- cultural and economic empowerment and above all the will power and strong determination of women to Join politics.

Education can play a vital role in bringing about the desirable behavioural changes among the women and make them well equipped in terms of knowledge, competence and capacity to deal with different political problems. It may be concluded that women have shifted traditional assumptions about their roles and capabilities. There has been a marked change, and it has been for the better. Many of its benefits however have yet to touch the ajority and all of us continue to experience various forms of gender discrimination.

If laws designed to address the concerns of women are to have a dramatic and positive impact on women s lives, they must be sensitive to the social, economic and political disempowerment of women throughout the world. The most important measure of their success should be the extent to which they enable woman to interpret, apply and enforce laws of their own making, incorporating their own voices, values and concerns. Dr. Dasarathi Bhuyan is a Lecturer in Political Science, at Bellaguntha Science College in the District of GanJam.




Corrections System in the US – summer 2019


Institutional Affiliation


Date Submitted

Corrections System in the United States

Part I

The criminal justice system in the United States should begin with direct observation or reporting of the incident; after the facts, the police officer or anyone who witnessed the damage or crime should be questioned. Furthermore, it will instantly trigger a law enforcement investigation. Furthermore, if there is enough evidence to substantiate the case and authenticate the probable reason for the arrest, the investigation may lead to an intake at a detention or prison institution. Once the offender has been booked, the prosecution might choose to keep working on the case or charge it in court for further processing. Most jurisdictions allow for an initial appearance to take place shortly after an arrest; at this point, the court may be presented with evidence, and the court will determine if there is probable cause to keep the offender. The preliminary and initial sessions are combined in a serious case, and the magistrate or judge decides if the offender is free to go on judge’s recognizance because there is no probable cause (Schmalleger & Smykla, 2015).

Part II

The problem can be tackled by addressing the position of the US corrections system; however, in the story, the correctional system is far from what it is destined to be. The correctional system does not necessitate reform or correction of those who are placed in a facility. Many legislation, including the Crime Bill of 1994, were passed that were not beneficial. States were required by the bill to implement mandatory minimum punishments. In the United States, the policies led to mass incarceration and the separation of families for minor infractions. Furthermore, the regulation allowed youngsters to be prosecuted as adults during the past two decades. It is the most careless and ineffective crime law ever enacted in the United States. It eliminated certain educational initiatives that helped inmates change, resulting in a worsening of the system (Schmalleger & Smykla, 2015). Even for children, the statute aided courts and governments in developing criminal sex registration. For the past two decades, there has been ample evidence that the strategy is more harmful than beneficial, that incarcerating small criminals for long periods does not help them become better people, and hence does not improve public safety.

Part III

Examining American Recidivism is a good place to start; it can be as high as 80% for un-rehabilitated offenders with the worst criminal records. The United States has a punishment that ranges from rehabilitation to prison. Since the passage of the 1994 crime bill, it has been business as usual, as the prison system has evolved into a big company. This case’s business cannot run without the return of clientele, thus the jailed. Furthermore, do not believe that the correctional system rehabilitates anyone, making it ineffectual. The inmates in the United States’ prisons are treated like animals, and they yet expect a person to emerge. So, given their current circumstances, how can people expect to be greeted by humans? To stay alive, they turn to drugs, overcrowding, and committing new crimes while inside the prison. As a result, when a prisoner completes his sentence, he or she is enraged.

Part IV

Whether or not mandatory minimum sentences are a disaster in the United States, the correctional system was a political tool used by Bill Clinton’s administration to get access to the government. Bill Clinton, on the other hand, never considered the pledges of being tough on crime after he won the election; rather, the position only helped him win the election. The main argument at the time was high crime rates, which made it a propaganda tool. It gave the impression that the Clinton administration was the only Democrat with a conservative viewpoint on crime. As a result, it attracted and ranked more Republican votes (Brooker, 2013). As a result, mandatory minimum sentences made little difference in crime rates, failing to rehabilitate offenders for more than two decades.

Part V

As a member of the legislature, my purpose for a proposal to eliminate mandatory minimum sentence ways is to help such legislation and guide our nation forward to keep residents safe and rehabilitate offenders. Furthermore, I would begin by arguing how awful the country’s criminal system has gotten, as seen by the astonishing perception the nation cannot hide. There is no need to persuade on the negative and parasitic nature of the prison system’s growth; if the country continues on this course, the corrective mechanism may never be effective (Brooker, 2013). Finally, I will offer legislation that would result in the adoption of social learning practices through the implementation of cognitive-behavioral strategies. Although liberal, the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of long-term and educational jail programs were investigated.

Part IX

Retribution, retaliation, deterrence, just deserts, reformation or rehabilitation, incapacitation, and restoration are some of the functions of sentencing in the United States. Revenge is the first type of punishment for anyone who commits a crime with the primary goal of exacting revenge for a wrong they have done. Retribution is a monetary penalty in which victims are compensated for the crimes committed against them by receiving compensation for lost time at work or expenses incurred as a result of the conduct. Deterrence is an old western notion in which the punishment of others serves as a lesson to all individuals, preventing them from repeating the same acts (Schmalleger & Smykla, 2015). Desserts focus on whether or not the punishment is appropriate for the criminal. In many significant transgressions that include capital offenses, incapacitation is currently the predominant form of punishment. Rehabilitation, restoration, or reformation is a sort of punishment that takes a less harsh approach and aims to change the criminal’s thinking before he or she is released and becomes a contributing part of society.

Part X

The method is usually used to catch first-graders stealing cereals from a grocery store stand. Returning the stolen stuff, on the other hand, may not be enough to rehabilitate the offenders and prevent them from committing the same crime again (Brooker, 2013). Assisting offenders should be done as part of the actual aid, not as an enabler. I believe that by combining education and treatment, the therapeutic practice of supporting criminals in the early stages of delinquency can reduce recidivism.

Part XI

Deterrence is a notion that states that if a person commits a specific violation, he or she will be subjected to a specific and harsh punishment, which will deter others from committing similar offenses. In general deterrence, the system leverages the instances of other people’s convictions and crimes to prevent other people from committing the same infraction by taking a strong stance against it (Brooker, 2013). Specific deterrence uses specific instances to eliminate crimes in society by imposing specific sanctions, such as the death penalty, to dissuade criminals.

Part XII

Supporters of three-strike legislation argue that they have a deterrent effect on all cruel crimes. Because the policies have failed to prevent any offenders from doing horrific acts in the past two years, the criminals have been incarcerated, and no one has taken on the responsibility of educating them (Josi & Sechrest, 1998), even though the US correctional system has a significant deficit of education and therapy. However, the fact that the majority of violent crimes are not premeditated is a significant factor to consider when determining whether or not a person’s conduct will change even if they are imprisoned (Schmalleger & Smykla, 2015). It also puts the other inmates in danger, as well as the cell guards who keep an eye on them. The violent acts are committed out of rage, in the heat of passion, or under the influence of mind-altering drugs or substances. When people take the time to assist the person on the first-grader to depart, the life sentence may be saved.


Indefinite sentence to my fellow senators will not function on its own; we must work together and trust that the laws will influence each part of society, including our families and their families. Wouldn’t one want their child to get the help they need if their daughter or son commits a crime and deserves to be there? It’s why we elected senators: to make our country a better place (Schmalleger & Smykla, 2015). Let’s use indeterminate sentences in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy. Let us hold the community accountable for its future, reform or rehabilitate our community’s citizens, and learn from them. We already have funds on hand. We spend billions of dollars to keep individuals in jails and prisons. Why can’t we spend all of this money to keep them out?


Brooker, J. (2013). Thatcher in the 21st Century. Alluvium: 21st-Century Writing, 21st-Century Approaches, 2(4). doi:10.7766/alluvium.v2.4.03

Josi, D. A., & Sechrest, D. K. (1998). The changing career of the correctional officer: Policy implications for the 21st century. Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Schmalleger, F., &Smykla, J. O. (2015). Corrections in the 21st century. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education. Retrieved from https—