While the term “women empowerment” is pretty self-explanatory, it is often met with a lot of cynicism and misconceptions. Companies and media love to slap this term on their ads, social media posts, and other platforms, but it’s more than just a buzzword.
The term “empowerment”, according to the World Bank, is the process of increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make their own independent choices and the power and ability to transform these choices into desired outcomes and actions.
As such, women empowerment is all about enabling women everywhere to be able to make their own decisions in their lives. This is a process that is achieved through education, raising awareness, and the imparting of various skills required to be independent and free of oppression.
Women empowerment does not only provide personal benefits to women across the globe. It is actually crucial for the development of any nation. For years, the patriarchal system of our society has always perpetuated gender-based biases and oppression, and women empowerment encourages and makes it possible for the oppressed gender to participate more freely in the process of social, cultural, political, and economic developments of a country.
The main goal of the women empowerment movement may be the upliftment of women, but it also tries to eradicate many social and economic injustices such as lack of education and poverty. It is important to take into consideration the difference in cultural norms when discussing and executing the process of empowering women because failure to do so can lead to a plethora of misconceptions and miscommunications.
Common misconceptions about women empowerment
Over the years, women empowerment has been subjected to different misconceptions. Here, we discuss what these misconceptions are and try to understand where they stem from and why they are wrong.
- Women empowerment tries to bring men down
This is one of the most common misconceptions, and it couldn’t be more wrong. Women empowerment is not about bringing men down and discouraging them from participating in social and economic activities. It is all about creating a level playing field for both men and women so that everyone will have the same access to resources and opportunities to build better lives for themselves. By uplifting women, men will not suffer.
- Women empowerment has one single goal across cultures and communities
Women empowerment understands that there are different approaches to upliftment and empowerment based on cultural differences. As such, the process can be viewed as a multi-dimensional movement that helps women gain control over their own lives and enable them to lead a dignified life.
- Women empowerment can only be supported by women
Anyone who believes that everyone, regardless of gender, should be empowered enough to make their own choices independently is a supporter of women empowerment. There is no rule that men cannot support the movement. In fact, there are many men who have openly supported the movement, including well-known public figures across the globe.
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