Women Empowerment: An Empirical Study in the Context of Political Harmony
Life is but balance. It has balance between matter and matter, matter and spirit and that between spirit and spirit that defines life in the most beautiful sense. The present work is intended to identify strengths and deficits in urban and rural women of Odisha in the context of women empowerment and political harmony.
The present investigation primarily concerns psychological empowerment which is operationalized in terms of self-efficacy belief system. Self-efficacy refers to the extent of belief that the individual can competently execute a program of action. Similarly the project is also based on a fundamental assumption that the characteristic pattern of transformational leader (involving sensitivity to environment, vision and articulation, risk-taking and unusual strategy) is instrumental in augmenting political harmony-a condition of equilibrium involving political parameters.
At an empirical level, two hundred adults (100 males and 100 females) participated in the study. Half of them were sampled from urban setting and the other half were from rural setting of Odisha. They were individually administered three sets of psychometric measures. The measure of empowerment involved scales of generalized self-efficacy and political efficacy. The measure of decision-making profiles included dimensions of sensing, intuitive, thinking and feeling mode of decision making. The measure of political harmony included dimensions of vision and articulation, sensitivity to environment, personal risk and unusualness of strategy.
On the basis of application of appropriate statistical analyses, it was possible to test three major hypotheses. The first hypothesis states that women display lower self-efficacy (psychological empowerment) than men. The second hypothesis states that women demonstrate lower leadership potential than men. Thirdly, urban participants have greater self-efficacy and leadership potential than rural participants. Furthermore, self-efficacy is significantly associated with leadership potential.All the hypotheses were empirically supported. The findings were explained in the light of current conceptualizations. Intervention strategies were suggested with a view to making up deficits in self-efficacy and leadership potential in women in general and rural women in particular. It was asserted that the proposed intervention would be useful in ushering in political harmony in women vis-à-vis men.
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