A life full of peace, love, freedom and dignity as well as happiness is a life that every human being on earth dreams about regardless of caste and ethnicity, creed, colour, class, nationality, region and gender as well as sexual orientation. This dream comes true in an environment where citizens are aware and empowered to exercise their rights to best exploit the opportunities for their all round development along with their access to sharing the development benefits in an equitable and sustainable way that is possible only when the local development planning as well as community development processes are democratic, inclusive and gender responsive.
Engendered development interventions contribute to ensuring gender equality and social justice through gender mainstreaming and social inclusion throughout the development processes. Engendered development helps to materialize good governance empowering people to be a part of it making the most of it for their all round development. Engendering development is empowering people for their inevitable role in bringing about equitable and sustainable social transformation. This is the very essence of engendered development that could be endangered if not engendered. Gender equality in sustainable development is both a governance issue as well as a human rights issue. Engendered development treated as a mere development issue is not gender just.
Gender inequality and prevalence of gender based violence is a governance failure and abuse of human rights, as well. Gender equality and women empowerment are complementary to each other like two wheels of a cart of life. Empowering women is empowering the whole humanity holistically. For this to happen, gender sensitive governance along with positive change in collective mindset of all concerned is needed. Gender equality and social justice could be materialized and good governance could be translated into reality as a part of people’s everyday life if the existing policies and guidelines are effectively implemented at the grass-roots level in an equitable and sustainable way, further empowered by conscientious political commitment and citizen’s participation as a result of positive change in collective mindset of society.
Legal bases for equality without equity provisions are lifeless and equity provisions without legal bases are meaningless. Both equality and equity should go hand in hand complementing each other to ensure gender equality and social justice.