The term empowerment is used in a lot of ways and in many different contexts. We can hear people talking about female superheroes in films that empower women, the importance of education for empowerment, or how certain legislative decisions are disempowering women. This suggests that empowerment is a very broad concept and one that has a lot of importance in different fields. Let’s take a look at how it can be defined and why it is so important.
What is Women Empowerment
Women Empowerment Definition
There is no single definition of empowerment. It can be viewed as a psychological concept and a political one. However, we can define it by outlining the key elements of the term. By looking at the word, we can see that empowerment is tied to the word “power”, so an important aspect of the idea is giving or being given power. But what type of power it is?
For a very long time women had limited say in what happened to them. Their fates were decided by the men around them, which is true for many women today who live in particular countries or even in specific communities in the U.S. or Europe. There are many families where women’s lives are decided by those around them and often their life’s path is tied exclusively to motherhood, housekeeping, and other “traditional” pursuits associated with their gender.Even among more progressive places where women have the option to decide what they want to do, they are still facing more limited options.
Gender-based discrimination, limiting beliefs (e.g., that women are not fit to be scientists or that all women prioritize family over other things), violence against women, and many other things make their lives more difficult and limit the choices that these women have. Many women experience their lives to be more limited by concerns over their safety, ideas about their gender, and other factors that men do not necessarily experience. Many women feel disempowered, that is, they feel that they cannot make their own choices freely, that they do not have control over their lives, or that they lack the rights and authority to follow the path that they want.
Empowerment is, then, giving women more opportunities, resources, and tools to take control of their life. It happens on many different levels. Politically and legally, empowerment is tied to equal rights and other forms of legislation that recognize female autonomy, right to their bodies, and power to make decisions that concern them. Not all countries have laws that empower women. For example, countries like Saudi Arabia only recently allowed women to drive and continue to have legislation that limits women’s rights to travel alone, make their own decisions, or find protection against violence. Legislation is essential for female empowerment but it is not enough.
Education as a key element of Women Empowerment
The second aspect associated with empowerment is education. This refers not only to an equal access to education for female and male students but also the availability of sexual education, knowledge about one’s rights, and other topics that allow women to take control of their bodies and their lives. Limiting education is a tool for disempowering women, so providing opportunities is a way of giving greater power and control.
The Psychology behind Women Empowement
But empowerment is not just about laws and opportunities. It has a lot to do with psychology. Many women feel disempowered due to the beliefs that they have, a low self-confidence, or learned helplessness, a state in which they feel they cannot change their circumstances no matter how they try. Women who experience this are likely to feel that they don’t have control, that they are not autonomous, and that they are somehow less capable or less able than other people to manage their decisions.
Empowerment can lead to improvements in a psychological sense. It means helping women feel that they are autonomous and able to take responsibility for their lives. Women feel more confident and able to decide what they want. They can let go of limiting gender beliefs and pursue the careers that best suit their interests and abilities.
The importance of Women Empowerment
Empowerment is very important on a social and individual level and is a powerful short-term and long-term solution. On the short-term, it enables women to make better choices for themselves. It helps improve their lives in the here and now and make them more confident, more independent, and better able to work and grow. It makes them more likely to be proactive and respond to the violence or discrimination they face in an active way. On the long-term, empowered women can help build a better, more equal society. They can improve the state of science, social development, politics, and many other fields by taking a more active role and bringing changes due to their unique perspectives and abilities. Empowered women who choose to be mothers are more able to raise free-thinking and empowered children who will shape a better world.
Currently, the need for female empowerment is being recognized in many places and across many fields. Even media and entertainment have tried to provide stronger role models, showcasing powerful women in roles that used to be available for men only. Many countries have expressed their commitment to female empowerment through the laws they pass and the programs they have to help women make better decisions. There are educational programs, opportunities, support groups, and many other private or institutional tools that seek to support female empowerment. However, there is also a significant pushback on an individual and social level. Just as many recognize the importance of empowerment, many fear it and try to limit women’s opportunities by controlling their bodies, calling for “traditional values”, or lamenting the loss of “femininity”. This can be seen politically, for example, with many politicians on the conservative side, and on an individual level through the views expressed by a variety of individuals. These people can work to limit female empowerment by perpetuating discrimination, enforcing strict gender roles within their families and communities, and working to create unfair laws that control female bodies and limit their autonomy.
The fight for empowerment continues. Today, women have many resources and support that has never been made available in history. But there is still a lot of work to be done on a social and on an individual level. Female empowerment can improve the lives of women as they are now and also contribute to a better society today and in the future. It is important for each woman to find what empowers her and work to change her own beliefs. Learning to love yourself, be autonomous, and feel confident in your decisions in today’s world gives you a lot of power.