The concept of women’s empowerment was introduced in the year 1985. The empowerment of women is all about rights and equitable societies.
Empowerment includes the action of raising the status of women through education, raising awareness, literacy, and training.
Women have suffered a lot through the years at the hands of men. In earlier centuries, they were treated as almost non-existent. As if all the rights belonged to men, even something as basic as voting. As times evolved, women realized their power. There began the revolution for women’s empowerment. Women's empowerment came in like a breath of fresh air. It made them aware of their rights and how they must make their place in society rather than depending on a man. It recognized the fact that things cannot simply work in someone’s favor because of their gender.
However, we still have a long way to go when we talk about the reasons why we need it. Women's empowerment is all about equipping and allowing women to make life-determining decisions through different societal problems.
Discrimination of women from the womb to the tomb is well known. As issues of women’s empowerment and gender equality gain momentum globally, nations across the globe are implementing incredible measures to reduce the gender gap and promote economic equality.
Here are the essential ways to empower women:
1. Boost her self-esteem
You will see the magic happening when you encourage women/ girls to put forth their opinions instead of telling them to shut up. From their childhood, girls are given a picture of a so-called 'perfect girl'. They are told to be quiet, calm, modest, and whatnot, in short, we can say that women are supposed to be people-pleasers. And growing up, they know these are wrong but they are afraid to express themselves because there is a picture of the perfect girl in her subconscious mind.
So, motivate the women around you, and make them feel special and strong. Encourage your friends to speak up, make sure they know the value of their opinions so that they’re never scared to use their voice. Celebrate her self-expression from a young age. There’s no “right way” for girls to dress or speak. And whenever you hear your friend start to explain her actions, after listening for a few minutes, gently remind her that 'just because you want to' is a sufficient reason.
2. Shut down the negativity
Women are often held to unrealistic beauty standards a wonder women displayed in magazines, on TV, and more recently on social media. They get bullied for their appearances, there exists an image of beautiful girls in our imaginary world. They should be the slim, perfect body, fair color, etc. And I don't understand why, but people tend to get offended when you do not fit in their criteria, and the problems will be multiply when you are women of color.
Lift women by taking a stand against negative comments online, at the office, in school, and wherever you go. Combat negativity by promoting body positivity, intelligence, and authenticity. Don’t be afraid to shut down negativity directly and honestly. Appreciate them for the talents they have got, accept them the way they are. Don't try to change them by bullying or trolling for their skin color, weight, height, or anything. Everyone is beautiful in their way, and it is very disgusting to use the word 'ugly' to define someone's appearance.
Recognize the unconscious biases you might have against other women based on their race, age, sexual orientation, gender expression, physical abilities, body type, and socioeconomic background. Uplift the voices of women of color in your field who are facing additional biases in the workplace.
3. Support Women-Run Businesses
We are well aware of the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. Financing female entrepreneurs often lack access to financial and human capital, which impedes business growth. Not only that, many women with sufficient skills to start a business give up on their dreams because of the obstacles they face. The role of women as business owners is gradually increasing all over the world. The number of women entrepreneurs is increasing. However, their power in use and control over the household and business-related resources are still limited.
In 2012, the World Economic Forum identified women entrepreneurs as “the way forward”. Yet, despite this, women entrepreneurs still struggle to take their rightful place in economic life. Even though more and more women are starting businesses globally, they still manage fewer businesses than men and run businesses in less profitable sectors that grow more slowly and are ultimately more likely to fail.
Supporting their business gives them a sense of security.
4. By giving proper education
It is so fascinating to say that we are in the 21st Century, yet the right to girl's education has been denied in many parts of the world. And there are various reasons for that like safety, unavailability of schools nearby or just because people think it's not so important.
According to UNICEF, around the world, 132 million girls are out of school, including 34.3 million of primary school age, 30 million of lower-secondary school age, and 67.4 million of upper-secondary school age.
The only way a society or nation can move forward and aspire to economic growth and development is not just through girls education but especially among women citizens. It enables them to respond to challenges, confront their traditional role, and change their life. Education educates a person and helps her realize that she is a vital part of society. Occupational achievement, self-awareness, and satisfaction are among the many things that will be ensured by an effective girl's education. It gives them the power to make their own decisions, stand up for their rights, and say NO to harmful traditional practices.
Click the link and read about the reasons why education empowers women and girls:
Educating the world’s women and girls is clearly the key to transforming the cyclical nature of poverty into a cycle of prosperity. Click here.
5. Giving job opportunities
Studies have reported that raising female employment to male levels can directly impact GDP growth rates, increasing it by 34% in some countries. Countries’ productivity can increase by as much as 25 % if discriminatory barriers against women are removed. The lack of safe working conditions, social security benefits, and a fair wage induce women to opt-out of employment—unless critical for their basic sustenance.
In 2016, men held 78.8% of S&P 500 board seats, while women held 21.2%. Women are still fighting daily for equal rights in the workplace even though more women are attending and graduating from college, and more women are in leadership roles than ever before.
Women’s employment is observed as a prominent tool for women’s empowerment. Participation in the labor market is an effective strategy to strengthen women’s condition inside as well as outside the home. Women Employment and income-generating activities improve the economic position of women, which then leads to a good treatment she receives.
If you see them experiencing unfair treatment in a meeting or on a paycheck, say something. Women must work together to empower one another in the workplace. Work as a positive and powerful team of women employment, and you’ll make things move.
6. Be Open and Honest
You never know when, where, and how your life story inspires someone to stand out from the crowd and do something unbelievable. It's not easy to share your experiences and be vulnerable, but it can give voice to thousands of women.
Without women like Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai, and Susan B. Anthony—among many others like them—women wouldn’t have the rights we have today. Thanks to these ladies who gathered the courage to speak out and share their struggles. And their stories have brought positive and real change.
When you see a woman taking it upon herself to share her story and let herself be vulnerable, acknowledge that act of bravery. Let her know you see her, and you honor her truth.
7. Signal-boost other women
It's not only men's responsibility to help women. As a woman, when given access to leadership teams, conference lineups, speaking roles, and media sourcing where people overwhelmingly prioritize men and male voices, see how you can lend a hand to other women who also deserve a spot on the stage.
Sometimes empowering yourself means stepping back and allowing someone else into the spotlight. Always think, is there another woman who knows more about this issue than me? And if yes, give her the opportunity.
Also, read Ways You Can Help Empower Women in Your Local Community: Click here.
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Contributor: Jyotshana Rani
Jyotshana is very keen to express her views on new topics and wants readers to remember her through her writing. She is passionate about reading and believes that words wield the power of changing the scenario and she uses them to encourage people to the best of her knowledge