The present panel aims at relating the three important concepts of empowerment, development & quality of life in the context of women, who are recognised universally as a disadvantaged group despite endeavours at international, national and local levels to provide them an equal position with men.
Just as beauty is not an area of reality but its aspect, so too is quality in relation to life. This is further asserted by the WHO which defines Quality of Life as "an individual's perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. It is a broad ranging concept affected in a complex way by the person's physical health, psychological state, personal beliefs, social relationships and their relationship to salient features of their environment." These statements indicate the importance and far reaching effects of QoL on an individual. The principles of humanity, equality and justice assume that individuals are entitled to enjoy and improve their existing QoL. But such uniformity of opportunity does not exist and that is why one speaks of 'empowering' the weaker sections and developing special policies to bring them at an equal footing with the national mainstream. Empowerment attempts to make a person 'powerful' enough to take one's own decisions and lead a life of equality and respect. Further, in seeking 'development' we seek happiness and better quality of life. Thus, the three concepts, viz., empowerment, QoL and development are closely interrelated and panel proposes to bring this interrelation in the context of women, for whom it is universally accepted fact that although they contribute equally in the society's activities, their role and contributions are hardly ever recognised or acknowledged.