“There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women”
Empowerment can be defined in so many ways but when we talk particularly about ‘women empowerment’ it generally means accepting their thoughts and give them equality as you would do to any man! All that can be possible when we strongly emphasize their participation in political structures, several decision making bodies and economic spheres.
This means making them powerful to make them capable to decide for themselves. When they will become powerful enough to decide for themselves, to choose for themselves and unleash their real potential that’s when we call empowerment of women.
When we empower one woman we empower the whole family of hers and probably the next generation. And ultimately it will lead to the development of that family, that house and the people around her. As Kofi Annan said there is no better tool for development than the empowerment of women.
One can easily question how can empowering women will lead to empowering the whole country? But the fact is they are the half population, how can a country develop if only half of its population is making efforts?
But how can we say one person is empowered or not? It’s when a person is able to access the opportunities available to them without limitations or any kind of restrictions such as education, profession and one’s way of living. It’s when a person can do whatever they want to do or choose their future, career, and profession.
In order to make women empowered, we have to provide them with education, literacy and raising awareness about their rights and their opportunities. We can do so, by training them and making them a skillful person.
It’s when they stand up for themselves and make their own choices through the different problems of society.
But can we empower them by constantly reminding her that she is only a “woman”? No, we have to redefine gender roles! We have to provide equality and all those opportunities that are not provided to them otherwise!
We can say that empowerment is a process, not a product. It’s not something to “give” instead it’s something that we believe. For example, you can just give “empowerment” to women you will have to make them capable enough that they empower themselves.
It will only happen when they will come from a position of disempowerment.
If we talk about economic empowerment of women then it clearly refers to the ability of women to enjoy their rights, from control and benefiting from their resources (income, assets, and their own time) to managing the risk that will eventually help them to improve their economic status and well being.
If a woman is economically empowered then the whole nation, communities and groups can be benefitted.
Let’s talk briefly about the economic and political empowerment of women, which is the most important form of empowerment.
Political empowerment refers to the policies which empower women in both the public and private sphere and promotes gender equality! The most popular policy that has been suggesting to make women empowered is to secure a quota for a number of women when it comes to policymaking and their position in parliament.
According to a survey, only 23.6 percent of women hold a position at lower or single house parliament across the whole globe.
One can say political empowerment also refers to give all the women a fair chance to be elected along with the ability to run offices. Increasing voting rights also have been suggested to improve the political empowerment of women. We have to come up with some kind of reforms or policies that give women control over resources like property rights.
Political empowerment also improved by increasing the bargaining power and agency in households. We should keep in mind that these things kept in mind so that we can move on to broader participation.
The economic empowerment of women is the most important task. One can say a woman is economically empowered when she has access to formal government, mobility outside the house, economic independence and lastly the purchasing power.
For all of these, we have to introduce every woman to the formal markets. Thus can be done if we make better policies for their job training and support. But most importantly they have to have access to the formal education opportunities which can make their bargaining power higher.
If they are provided with better opportunities they will get access to a job, which will give them daily wages and ultimately make them economically independent and increase their decision making power!
Another such way which can increase women employment in our society is to provide them with strong property rights and land rights as in third world countries or developing countries it’s often seen that a quite a large number of women are legally restricted from their own property just on the basis of their gender.
But the biggest factor that can enhance women’s empowerment in the field of economy is to provide them with employment and giving them equal identity as one will give to the males in our society.
Although it’s seen that a segment of women of color doesn’t get access to equal opportunities as any other woman in the world. So it’s important that we come up with solutions that will encourage women to go outside of their house and seek the opportunity that they deserve and do what they are best at!
No one can deny the fact that women are as strong as any other male and they are as capable of being what they want as anyone else. Women don’t want privileges above men they want equality and opportunity.
Empowering women will not only help the women themselves but with each empowered woman, the whole nation and humanity will grow. Women empowerment is a necessity for every nation, community or any group to grow and develop!