The status of Women in Bihar : The uprising.

Women all the world are subjected to harsh treatments in every walk of life; be it in the fields of political authority, moral authority, social privileges, control of property and even in the domain of family too. This male dominant society is finally witnessing a drastic change by switching from a patriarchal hierarchy to a feminist society. The uprising of feminism all over the world has had its influence on India as well. There are various measures adopted to bring about a change in the status of women all over the country. The state of Bihar is one such backward region of the country which is working towards the uprising of the status of women under the leadership of Nitish Kumar. The population of Bihar according to the most recent research is 103,805,000 where around 43,243,795 comprises the male population and 39,754,714 constitutes the female numbers, where the ratio of male to female is 50:50 women are still being given a secondary position in our society. This problem is not only persistent in Bihar alone, but in almost all parts of the country.
Yet in the last decade we have witnessed Bihar making colossal progress in terms of uplifting the status of women.
The state of Bihar was under the grip of mis-governance and ‘Gunda Raj’ for almost 15 years of the Lalu-Rabri rule. This dented a major setback in the progress of the state. The pre-Nitish Kumar rule had seen the worst per capita income in Bihar during the 1980’s and 1990’s. The crime rate of the state was unrelentlessly increasing too. The infrastructure was among the worst in the country. The declining progress rate of Bihar was affecting the female folks more than the male.
One of the most remarkable progress of the Nitish Kumar government is the growth of literacy rate among the female. In order to perpetuate literacy among women, a Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yojna was initiated which has played a very significant role in the raise of the status of women. In the chief minister’s words ” among several welfare initiatives taken by our government over the past four years, the Mukhyamantri Balika Cycle Yojna is very close to my heart. It has changed the face of Bihar with lakhs of schoolgirls riding bicycles to their schools everyday with a purpose. Prior to the launch of this project more than three years ago it was rare to find a schoolgirl riding a bicycle even on the streets of Patna. But now, you can watch score of confident-looking schoolgirls pedaling away with gusto everywhere- from the narrow lanes of the remote villages to the bustling roads of the cities across the state.”
One of the major factors for the backwardness of the state is the over-dependence on agriculture. The proportion of the rural wokforce employed in agriculture has stooped down from 78 percent in 2004-05 to 67 percent in 2010. This has created opportunities for the female to go for skilled jobs. This initiative will help not only in deducing the rate of girls dropping out from high school but will also prove to be a significant step towards women empowerment.
The second major tool to propagate women empowerment in Bihar was the introduction of 50 percent reservation for women in panchayats . Women in Bihar are now seen everywhere in political circles and at the panchayat level. Bihar was the first Indian state to voluntarily raise the reservation of seats for women in panchayats and district boards to 50 percent. This initiative had inspired various other Indian states as well. The 50 percent reservation given to women in panchayats has had a positive influence which gave them the confidence to shed away their inhibitions and come forward by breaking the shackles of dependency. Panchayat election in the year 2011 witnessed the enrolment of three lakh women candidates from the entire state. These members are making a change in society. The chief minister of Bihar has shown appreciative change of perspective as compared to the other politicians when it comes to the cause of and tools of preventing rape. He strongly expresses his unorthodox views that rape is the result of a perverted and sick mindset. It is of vital importance to change the outlook of man regarding women. It is remorsefully unfair to put conditions on only 50 percent of the population to watch their behaviour and dressing sense in public, are the views upheld by the chief minister.
Therefore good governance is not only a conjecture in present day Bihar but the government stands firm on their plans of changing the status of women in the state. The government has taken serious actions in various zones to promote welfare of women and plans to continue the positive work in the future to eradicate the continuous evils against women.



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