The present paper looks at the history of development and empowerment and discusses the impediments to development and empowerment in India. It focuses on the three major issues in India today, namely, the attitude towards, Girl child, Gender violence and Globalization, which have to be dealt with as a priority in bringing out the development and empowerment of women in the present era. If we look back into the history about the discussions and debates related to the issue of development and empowerment, we can see some broad trends. The whole debate on development states that there were number of women who organized and mobilizing around the globe for their rights. The development planners and policy makers did not have any interaction with these groups and they considered feminism as irrelevant to development and it was viewed as a luxury for the better of women in the industrialized countries. Hence, the first stage, main stream development models gave rise to jargons like, “basic human needs”, “meeting the needs of the poorest of poor”, “growth with equity”. This phase viewed development as an administrative problem whose solution lay in transferring vast amount of resources and technological innovations from rich to poor countries. As compensation to this followed, integrating women into the development process. Education and employment as a means of income generation became indicators of women’s involvement in the development process, but again under this phase a large chunk of rural women were left behind. Today women have addressed the question of development from a feminist perspective. They have raised important questions on issues of child care, reproductive rights, violence against women, family planning, transfer of technology and rural development and given the concept of development a new meaning. If development leads only to an increase in production, then it tends to reinforce and exaggerate the imbalances and inequalities within and in between societies. Development has to be an integral process with economic, social and cultural aspects leading to the control of one’s life situation.
Today women have addressed the question of development from a feminist perspective.
The concept of 'empowerment' of women is the product of post 1975 women's movement.
For a girl discrimination begins even before birth.
The many forms of violence against women and children are to be understood as gender violence.
Globalisation has created a vast divide between the haves and the have-nots.