Thought of the Moment
Shivamma then politely told me something that rings in my ears even now. She told me that empowerment was not just weekly meetings and discussions; it was not just about laws, demanding our rights, and seeking out our entitlements. She said for a woman, it was also about providing the physical, emotional and the intellectual space and freedom for allowing all these things to happen in a conducive environment. She said this in her own simple way.
It was about ensuring that she had piped water at her house, fuel that did not demand going to the forest each day and spending hours chopping it; an livelihood with a steady income and finally the security that a good school and hospital that is accessible, affordable and available to her and her family. Only when all this happens, she felt that she would have the time and the freedom to fully and effectively participate in the Sanghas. And only when we think of providing these basic necessities to the millions of Shivammas around India will empowerment mean anything for them.