Women’s empowerment (or female empowerment) may be defined in several ways, including accepting women’s viewpoints or making an effort to seek them, raising the status of women through education, awareness, literacy, and training. Women’s empowerment equips and allows women to make life-determining decisions through the different problems in society. They may have the opportunity to redefine gender roles or other such roles, which in turn may allow them more freedom to pursue desired goals.
Women’s empowerment has become a significant topic of discussion in development and economics. Economic empowerment allows women to control and benefit from resources, assets, and income. It also aids the ability to manage risk and improve women’s well-being. It can result in approaches to support trivialized genders in a particular political or social context. While often interchangeably used, the more comprehensive concept of gender empowerment concerns people of any gender, stressing the distinction between biological and gender as a role. Women empowerment helps in boosting the status of women through literacy, education, training and awareness creation. Furthermore, women’s empowerment refers to women’s ability to make strategic life choices which had been previously denied them.
Nations, businesses, communities and groups may benefit from the implementation of programs and policies that adopt the notion of female empowerment. Empowerment of women enhances the quality and the quantity of human resources available for development. Empowerment is one of the main procedural concerns when addressing human rights and development.
Women empowerment is when women have the freedom and choice to make their own decisions. They have the most potent right in deciding what’s right for them and what’s wrong for them. Women have suffered through the decades because they didn’t have any rights. They suffered in the hands of their male counterparts.
Women empowerment is one of the most critical and essential things that everyone should support. It is when women are given the most power and right to make decisions for themselves. Women have been subjected to injustice through decades. They have been treated as non-existent for decades.
Women’s Empowerment or Women Empowering is the process of giving women more power. It improves women’s sense of self importance. It also improves the ability to decide about their lives themselves. This makes them to stand on their own feet. It also includes giving women legal rights to change their societies. Many developing and developed countries are talking about women’s empowerment more. Empowering women economically make them to have their own jobs and incomes. Then they can manage their own resources and wealth. This helps them plan for many risks in life. It also helps to improve their well-being socially, mentally, and physically.
Gender equality and women empowerment are two things that always go together.
There are many ideas for women’s empowerment. There are seven well known purposes of the process. These are:
- Establishment of the high level collective leadership for gender equality.
- Equal treatment of men and women, along with respect and no discrimination or bias.
- To make sure of the health, safety and well-being of both men and women workers.
- Encouragement and development of women’s education and access to the jobs.
- Applying for the development of companies and marketing practices.
- Encouraging the equality of rights through massive awareness and proper backing.
- Looking at the projects meant to make men and women more equal and telling the public whether or not they worked and by how much.
Women empowerment refers to making women powerful to make them capable of deciding for themselves. 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 the times evolved, women realized their power. There on began the revolution for women empowerment.
Economic empowerment :-
Women’s empowerment and achieving gender equality helps society ensure the sustainable development of a country. Many world leaders and scholars have argued that sustainable development is impossible without gender equality and women’s empowerment. Sustainable development accepts environmental protection, social and economic development, including women’s empowerment. In the context of women and development, empowerment must include more choices for women to make on their own.
In the case women have the opportunity to settle for stable jobs, Women of color encounter a lack of equal accessibility and privileges in work settings. They are faced with more disadvantages in the work place. Patricia Parker argues that African American women’s empowerment is their resistance to control, standing up for themselves and not conforming to societal norms and expectations. In connection to power, feminist perspectives look at empowerment as a form of resistance within systems of unequal power relations. Within the societal setting of race, gender, and class politics, African American women’s empowerment in the work environment “can be seen as resistance to attempts to fix meanings of appropriate identity and behavior, where such meanings are interpreted as controlling, exploitative, and other- wise oppressive to African American women.” When talking about women’s empowerment, many scholars suggest examining the social injustices on women in everyday organizational life that are influenced by race, class, and gender.
Another methodology for women’s economic empowerment also includes microcredit. Microfinance institutions aim to empower women in their community by giving them access to loans that have low interest rates without the requirement of collateral. More specifically, they(microfinance institutions) aim to give microcredit to women who want to be entrepreneurs. The success and efficiency of microcredit and microloans is controversial and constantly debated. Some critiques claim that microcredit alone doesn’t guarantee women have control over the way the loan is used. Microfinance institutions don’t address cultural barriers that allow men to still control household finances; as a result, microcredit may simply be transferred to the husband. Microcredit doesn’t relieve women of household obligations, and even if women have credit, they don’t have the time to be as active in the market as men.
Since the 1980s, the push for neoliberalism prioritizes competitiveness and self-reliance as a measurement for economic success. The individuals and their identifying communities that do not meet society’s favored neoliberal standards are looked down upon and are prone to lower their own self esteem. Some groups who do not fit the preferable neoliberal image are the lower working class and the unemployed.
Political empowerment :-
Political empowerment supports creating policies that would best support gender equality and agency for women in both the public and private spheres. Methods that have been suggested are to create affirmative action policies that have a quota for the number of women in policy making and parliament positions. As of 2017, the global average of women who hold lower and single house parliament positions is 23.6 percent. Further recommendations have been to increase women’s rights to vote, voice opinions, and the ability to run for office with a fair chance of being elected. Because women are typically associated with child care and domestic responsibilities in the home, they have less time dedicated to entering the labour market and running their business. Policies that increase their bargaining power in the household would include policies that account for cases of divorce, policies for better welfare for women, and policies that give women control over resources (such as property rights). However, participation is not limited to the realm of politics. It can include participation in the household, in schools, and the ability to make choices for oneself. Some theorists believe that bargaining power and agency in the household must be achieved before one can move onto broader political participation.
Cultural empowerment :-
As a progressive society, standing for women’s rights and empowerment, we must stop viewing culture only as a barrier and an obstacle to women’s rights. Culture is an integral and huge part of diversity and a medium that seeks to ensure women’s equal opportunities. It recognises their freedom to take pride in their values, whether they are orthodox or modern in nature. This is not to say that centuries of abuse clothed in the spirit of culture should be allowed to continue, let alone be celebrated. Undoubtedly, traditions cloaked in the idea of empowerment should be objected to in light of feminism. For example, some research indicates that women only have an equal chance to have their written work published in peer-reviewed journals if the sex of the author is absolutely unknown to the reviewers. This is a result of historical habitual culture which has led to lack of representation of women in literary and therefore, strongly demonstrated why all cultural legacies cannot and should not be celebrated or encouraged.
There is a need for equal cultural rights for women to be acknowledged and implemented which would in turn help to reconstruct gender in ways that would rise above women’s inferiority and subordination. Furthermore, this would significantly improve the conditions for the full and equal enjoyment of their human rights on the whole as argued by the UN expert in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed.
Shaheed continues to add that the perspective and contributions of women must transcend from the margins of cultural life to the centre of the process that creates and shapes cultures around the globe today. “Women must be recognized as, and supported to be, equal spokespersons vested with the authority to determine which of the community’s traditions are to be respected, protected and transmitted to future generations.
Currently, people want to strengthen women empowerment. It is increasing day by day, across the globe. It is to remove the current situation on bad treatment of females and gender bias. According to a report from the United Nations (UN), around 750 million women and girls were married before being eighteen years old. And in another report, around 250 million women have undergone Female genital mutilation (FGM) across the world.
Women hold more than 30 percent of seats in national parliament in at least one chamber. It is one of the positive results of the dedicated efforts of women empowerment projects around the world.
ROLE OF THE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TO THE WOMEN EMPOWERMEN
Canon, a leading digital imaging company in India aims to grow its women workforce to 20 percent from the current 12 percent over the next two years. Speaking about the significance of its women workforce, president and CEO of canon India have said that Canon policies and initiative are in line with our vision to create stronger workforce where women can be leader just like they lead their homes. Women today are superwomen in true sense.
• Networking major Cisco recently launched project Athena which is a homecoming project for former Cisco women employees who would like to return to work after a break.
• Hinduja global solution which has over 32 percent women in their organization has employed a childcare initiative wherein the company has tied up with various pre-schools. As part of the tie-up, employees, children, are provided with subsidized schemes and corporate discount.
• On the same lines, online payment company PayPal has introduced a unique six-week pilot program called “recharge” designed to empower women technologists to return to work after a personal career break. The program is developed to increase diversity in technology, while also giving individual who want to return to work an opportunity to expand their experience and network.