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Woman empowerment

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“There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing,” said Swami Vivekananda. Through the past centuries, societies in the world have been trying to fly on only one wing, denying women their rightful place. Education attainment and economic participation are the key constituents in ensuring the empowerment of women. Women empowerment inspires women with the courage to break free from the chains of limiting belief patterns and societal or religious conditioning that have traditionally kept women suppressed and unable to see their true beauty and power. This essay will further elaborate on how empowering women can be constructive at an individual level.

To begin with, “cultural rights are empowering, for they provide individuals with control over the course of their lives, facilitating the enjoyment of other rights” (Farida Shaheed, UN, 8 November 2012). Cultural rights can overturn female characteristics and capabilities, which, to a large extent, determine the scope of activities that a woman can undertake in a given society. For example, in the olden days a woman would only prefer praying at home whereas through cultural empowerment she would go to churches or religious places to interact with other people to share her ideas and beliefs. Women form cultural organizations and clubs and try to help the needy and poor people.

In addition cultural rights protect the rights of each person, individually and in community with others. A woman develops and expresses her humanity through values, beliefs, convictions, languages, knowledge, arts, institutions and ways of life. She also protects access to visible and invisible cultural heritage as important resources enabling such identification and development processes. Moreover, empowering a woman economically is an essential part of realizing rights. More women than men live in poverty. Economic disparities persist partly because much of the unpaid work within families and communities falls on the shoulders of women and because they face discrimination in the economic sphere. A woman’s economic empowerment is increasingly viewed as the most important contributing factor to achieve equality between a man and a woman. A woman should be given equal rights as a man to work and earn money. For example, if a woman works, she earns enough money to support her family, buy her desired wants and fulfill her dreams. By working a woman can learn a lot of things and broaden her knowledge. Hence, “ if women are empowered to do more and be more, the possibility for economic growth becomes visible” (Thomas, K. W. and Velthouse, B. A. (1990) Vol 15, No. 4, 666-681). Most of the women all over the world rely on the informal work sector for an income.

A study has proven that an empowered woman can monetarily have a lot of impact on the overall economic benefits of a company. For instance, a woman can be more educated or more physically active at work compared to a man. Furthermore, social empowerment of women is mainly associated with ending violence against women. “ Violence against women is a real fact and we need to acknowledge the real tragedy behind this crime” (Filipo Masaurua July 2004 ,Vol 24 / No 2). Violence against women totally shatters a woman from the core psychologically as well as physically. Therefore a lot of awareness should be made on this issue. For example the Women Crisis Centre helps a woman if she is undergoing violence. It is time that community development and feminist values are made an integral aspect of empowerment of women.

Finally, a woman needs to be socially educated and made aware of her rights and she should be encouraged to stand united against the biased and discriminating social environment. Education and awareness would be a big step towards the fight against gender based violence. For example, only through education and awareness we can connect with the vast majority of women living in various parts of the world and prevent them from falling to the numerous forms of possible violence in their life. We have to accept the fact that women are constantly under the threat of violence from various sides.

To conclude, empowerment of a woman needs to begin with her participation in different spheres of life. Education is a great determinant in this regard. To achieve empowerment, a woman has to be educated to be aware of her rights and privileges in a modern society. It is education which can bring about awareness in them related to their social status, injustice and differentiation made out to them. Besides, economic independence is a major factor which can contribute in empowering women. Education is the tool that can help break the pattern of gender discrimination and bring lasting change for women in developing countries.

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