Importance of women empowerment and the concept of equality between men and women are universal issues. They are about helping women to make decisions in their life without any restriction of the society.
Think of women’s empowerment. What did come to your mind first? Gender equality, freedom of choice or self-love? All these are related to women empowerment. But how does the empowerment happen? How important is that?
Discrimination against women is widespread all over the world. Though about 50% of the world’s population is women, the majority of them are denied basic rights like voting, education, freedom of speech, etc.
Furthermore, there are still some issues and questions about acceptance of the concept of women empowerment in many developed countries, whereas developing countries are far from achieving the desired status.
If you want to learn more about the importance of women empowerment and about the necessary steps for women’s empowerment, just keep on reading.
The meaning and importance of women empowerment
I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.
Generally speaking, empowerment is important for everybody regardless the gender. Everybody deserves to live a life that he or she chooses. Nevertheless, many girls grow up in environments where they are taught to be self-sacrificing and demure, which are counterproductive for the concept of women’s empowerment.
What does women’s empowerment actually mean? Of course, it means different things to different people, but there is one thing common for everybody; that is the importance of women empowerment not only for them but also for their families and communities.
The concept of women’s empowerment refers not only to improving the social, economic, legal and political strength of the women but also ensuring equal rights for them. But above all, women’s empowerment means making women confident enough to protect their rights and voice their issues. For instance:
- have a chance to control her personal life and body
- have equal social status to participate in social, religious and any other activities,
- to be able to make their own choices and decisions,
- to feel free to live their life with a sense of respect, self-worth, and dignity,
- realize financial and economic choices,
- get equal opportunity for education and employment without any gender bias,
- get a secure and comfortable working environment,
- practice equal rights for social and economic justice.
Why women’s empowerment is the key to sustainable development
- Under-employment of women
About 50% of the world population are women and a large number of them are unemployed. Therefore, the world economy suffers greatly because of the unequal opportunity for women at workplaces.
- Women are equally competent and intelligent
There is a common delusion that women are not as competent and intelligent as men. However, nowadays women are even ahead of men in many aspects.
Previously, women were not allowed to get a higher education like men. But today, when many women have access to education, it encourages them to demonstrate their talents that will be helpful not only for them but for the whole world.
- Global development of society
The main importance of women empowerment is that there will be a general development of the society as what they earn does not only benefit them and their family, but it also helps develop the society.
The importance of women empowerment is visible in other benefits for the society as well. Nowadays, when women have a wider range of opportunities, they become independent and are able to stand on their own and earn for their family which develops country’s economy.
- Drastic decrease in domestic violence
Empowered women are more inclined to voice domestic violence. Those women who are never taught about their rights and are not empowered to protect themselves are afraid to seek help when facing violence. If all women are empowered and all of them speak up about the violence and harassment, it will definitely cut down the number of such cases.
- Reduction of poverty
Besides the traditional role of women as moms and housewives, there are millions of other things that women can do. Supporting their families and building careers are things women can do equally with men. If all women have a chance to work, this will significantly reduce poverty in the world.
Thus, this all comes to prove that the benefits of empowering women are not exclusive to the women.
Necessary steps for women’s empowerment
One of the most important and necessary steps for women’s empowerment is the decline of gender disparities in all spheres. Interestingly, when women have monetary power, people see them as equal members of society. Thus, by their contributions to their communities, they achieve more self-respect and confidence. Simply said, integrating women as full members of a community will have many positive effects.
Another essential step for women’s empowerment is their participation in decision-making processes and in political, social and economic activities that have been argued to be the most beneficial form of gender empowerment.
Political participation, such as the opportunity to vote or the opportunity to run for office is one of the necessary steps for women’s empowerment. So, when women have the power to do what they want, it is easier to establish equality between men and women.
Another important tool for women empowerment is the Internet. The growing access to the web has enabled women to empower themselves by using Internet’s various tools. During the past decade, women have begun to use social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. In particular, they organize campaigns and voice their opinions for equal rights without feeling oppressed by anyone.
But above all, one of the most necessary steps for women’s empowerment is education. Improving education helps women to raise their levels of health and nutrition and increases their self-confidence. When women are self-confident, that are able to be the best versions of themselves, find better jobs and engage in public debate.
Crucially important is that education increases women’s awareness of their human rights and their actual ability to claim those rights. In spite of significant improvements in recent years in the sphere of education, gender inequalities persist and it is not universally available yet.
To sum up, the true meaning of women empowerment is to make them well educated so that they will be capable to take their own decisions, be independent and not rely on men.
Therefore, we can conclude that status of women could be enhanced by women themselves and nobody else. The famous slogan of UNESCO is the most appropriate to quote.
Educate a man and you educate an individual; educate a woman and you educate a family.
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