Empowering Women: Engaging the World
There is no universal definition of empowerment but according to the World Bank, “empowerment is the process of increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes” http://web.worldbank.org).
For a long time, the world has known that empowering women is the key to social transformation that leads to economic growth and political stability. Empowerment is a process whereby you become an agent of change. You go from the “I can’t mindset” to “I can.”
Women empowerment is more than just women being on an equal footing with men, it is the development of a place where women make their own decisions. Women develop the pathway for their own personal welfare and to benefit society.
Women globally are rising to ensure equal rights for themselves and others and to develop a belief in and of themselves. Women are finding the confidence to claim the right to live their lives with a sense of worth. To have control over their lives in and outside of their homes and the workplace.
Women empowerment is “this is me, and here I am.”
What does Women Empowerment Mean?
Society should recognize women as ahead of men in many socio-economic ways. Women have ruled the home and the world behind the scenes, and now they need to let their voices be heard.
Women constitute at least 50% of the world population. Many women are unemployed or underemployed. Economies suffer because of unequal opportunities for women in workplaces. Think. If women were paid the same as men for the same jobs, economies would spring forward.
Women are intelligent and competent, and they always have been so above what society portrays of women. Empowered women to look up to is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice who co-founded the Women’s Rights Law Report in 1970, the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU, and who is always ensuring that women voices are heard.
Oprah Winfrey, motivated by the unequal pay she received at the start of her career, Winfrey made it her life’s work to empower women and build up an empire designed to show women how to grow and thrive.
Maya Angelou knew how to speak, write and inspire African American women to overcome gender and discrimination. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work that has inspired empowerment for women for over 50 years.
Women are talented, many more so than men. At one time women were not allowed higher education and their talents were wasted. Today, however, women are empowered to reach for the stars and become the voice of multinational companies, governments, and give their all for developing society.
Women Empowerment is leading to decreased domestic violence. Since 1994, the Bureau of Justices Statistic has reported that nonfatal incidents of domestic violence have declined by 67%. Women are becoming empowered to say, “hell no” when abused and beaten down.
Every single woman deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Women demand the right to become educated and given a safe working environment to provide for their families.
Empowering women through advocacy groups (like Women Empowered or WE) gives women a platform that allows them to develop financial literacy, investment knowledge and provides the information and resources to become partners in community leadership positions.
Women are no longer the Suffragettes who changed the voting laws, nor are women the 1960s bra-burning revolutionaries who fought for equality. Women are now the empowered citizens of the world teaching and showing the world that women are equal partners with men. Empowered women can revitalize economies, politics, society, and families.
Women empowerment will always be an ongoing process. We need to remember “across generations there is as much to learn as there is to teach.”
To further paraphrase Gloria Steinem, [Empowerment] has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life fairer for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.” (Gloria Steinem).