Building Awareness of Women’s Empowerment
History has shown that women have been the most disadvantaged group globally. That has been the case for all women regardless of culture, race, region, or religion. Across the world, gender equality is a basic human right. It is fundamental to having a peaceful and prosperous world.
However, girls and women continue to face significant challenges. In less-developed nations, girls are often seen as less valuable than boys. Instead of being sent to school, they are usually made to do domestic work at home or are married off for a dowry before adulthood.
Certainly, gender inequality has been the cause of numerous issues affecting women, including sexual and domestic violence, lower pay, lack of education, and access to medical services. For a long time, women’s rights activists have fought earnestly to address this disparity, battled to change laws, or rioted to request that their rights be acknowledged and upheld.
The Feminist Movement gave rise to a series of social and political campaigns for reforms on women’s issues. Since its inception, it has held the belief that women are entitled to political, economic, and social equality.
So, What Is Women’s Empowerment, And Why Is It Important?
Women’s empowerment involves promoting women’s sense of self-worth, ability to determine their own choices, and right to influence social change for themselves and other women. Empowering women is essential to the health and social development of families, communities, and countries.
When women live safe, fulfilled, and productive lives, they can reach their full potential, contribute their skills to the workforce, and raise happier and healthier children. Women can also help fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large. Looking at recent facts and figures, we can better understand the need and urgency for women’s empowerment.
According to UNICEF reports, as many as 12 million underage girls are married yearly. Globally, women perform at least two and a half times more unpaid domestic work than men, from cooking and cleaning to fetching water and firewood and caring for children and the elderly. As a result, women either have less time to work paid labor or longer hours, mixing paid and unpaid labor.
From these statistics, empowering women might seem difficult. Still, the good news is that the world is becoming increasingly aware of the need to combat gender inequality. Empowering women does not require a miracle. It takes me, you, and the next person. We can start from the comfort of our homes and communities.
How Can We Play Our Part?
Although grassroots movements and organizations have done so much to effect change, here’s how we can play our part and have an impact.
According to a report released by the World Health Organization, at least 1 in 3 women experience violence in their lifetime. We need to make some noise about these issues! We lay the building blocks for the change we want when we have such conversations through social media or in person.
When you see people make insensitive comments about women and women’s rights, call them out. Ignorance is never an excuse. Share local pro-women events with your circle, and let us amplify women’s voices on the front lines.
Volunteering with a women’s rights organization is the perfect opportunity to learn more about women’s rights and contribute to change. Volunteers make a valuable contribution to the fight for women’s empowerment. You can help with research, event planning, or communications work.
March Against Inequality
Be proactive, sign up for matches, spread the word, and bring a friend along. Women’s marches and protests have made real strides in securing support for women’s movements since the early years of women’s activism. These protests and matches offer a platform where women and everyone else demand action for women’s rights and realize actual results.
Support Women’s Movements and Organizations
A growing number of organizations have been set up to tackle women’s inequality and gender-based violence. One recurring problem they face is the issue of proper funding. Funding is crucial to achieving the goal of gender equality and women’s rights.
You can visit your local fundraisers to find out if they also champion the cause. Or you can search for women-specific organizations in need of such funding. Your donations will go a long way.
According to the UN, “gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is not just a goal in itself, but a key to sustainable development, economic growth, and peace and security.”
That goes without saying—society gets better for everyone when women’s rights are upheld and taken seriously. The civil and fundamental human rights of all can only be fully upheld when we have an all-inclusive society.
One hundred years after women gained suffrage and with a growing number of women in the workforce holding elected office and running for president, the time for drastic societal changes explicitly guaranteeing equal rights regardless of sex is long overdue.
There is more work to be done. It is a continuous struggle, but we will not be deterred. Together, we shall achieve greatness all for one and one for all!
TROORA MAGAZINE | MAY 2023
WRITTEN BY GEORGE DIKE
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LIBRARY OF CONGRESS | KAROLINA GRABOWSKA | GIACOMO FERRONI | YORCHLLAVADU