“A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman,” Melinda Gates (Kidadl, 2021). Female empowerment is all about equipping women and allowing women to make all the decisions related to their life. This includes raising women’s status through education, career, literacy, training, and other aspects of life. Female empowerment is defined as promoting a woman’s self-worth and their ability to do things based on their own choices and their right to influence social change for themselves and others (Kidadl, 2021).
The combined voice of women is powerful and it can uplift all communities globally. In the United States, women comprise almost 47% of the workforce, control up to 80% of consumer spending and own more than half of the investable assets in the country (Ferasat, 2019). Globally, women have been dealt the short end of the stick across most sectors and facets of life, from leadership to salary equality to basic human rights. Women are the solution to the problems affecting them, and they can take steps to uplift each other to attain gender equality.
1. Support girls and women in crisisWomen and girls in war zones or unstable areas are at the highest risk of abuse, child labor, trafficking, child marriage, and other offenses. These women and girls can be protected by equipping skilled, local staff to offer training, education, counseling, medical care, small business loans, and other programs that reach women and girls as well as boys to end cycles of gender-based violence (WorldVision, 2020).
2. Mentor a girl Girls growing up in the United States and in other countries are held back by poverty, teenage unplanned pregnancies, drug and substance abuse, and teen violence. These girls could really use a mentor to guide them in the right direction and give them hope for a better future. Through peer-to-peer mentorship, girls learn to be confident leaders from a tender age. As the girls and their mentors build a supportive network, they learn valuable skills in a safe environment with peers who understand the difficulties and challenges they face (Girltalk, 2022).
3. Sponsorship at workIt has been said that the biggest decisions about your career are often made when you are not in the room (Ferasat, 2019). A sponsor goes beyond traditional, social, emotional, and personal growth and advocates on your behalf at the workplace. It takes a lot for a woman to be noticed at the workplace, even after meeting expectations and getting the work done. Sponsors are always fighting for you, in spaces where you can’t put in a good word for yourself.
Sponsors may also offer the much-needed career coaching and guidance that can help one in making informed decisions at the place of work.
4. Invest in womenInvestors have impact funds to power social and economic change by advancing women globally. Women-owned businesses are then able to get loans to grow their businesses. When these women-owned businesses grow, they create new opportunities and more profits for women worldwide, leading to financial growth and a more robust economy. Studies show that women reinvest 90% of their income back into their families and communities. Investing in a woman translates to investing in the whole community; when women thrive, we all thrive.
5. Stand up for womenWe all need to speak up and speak out whenever we witness injustices against women in our societies. Supporting each other helps everyone advance at work, start businesses, buy dream homes, reach big life goals and achieve even more. Advancing women in our communities and workplaces is important both for attaining gender equality and also for meeting a wide range of international development goals. Empowered women empower other women, which starts a chain reaction of empowerment.
The government needs to work hard to change the existing position of women and achieve gender equality, which will have a positive spillover effect on the sustainable development of the country.
Ferasat, K. (2019, March 12). The Secret To Women's Empowerment Is Women. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeslacouncil/2019/03/12/the-secret-to-womens-empowerment-is-women/?sh=58e4bd811291
Girltalk. (2022). GIRL TALK CREATES CONFIDENT LEADERS. Retrieved from Girl Talk: https://mygirltalk.org/
Kidadl. (2021, November 18). 100 Best Female Empowerment Quotes To Inspire You. Retrieved from Kidadl: https://kidadl.com/quotes/best-female-empowerment-quotes-to-inspire-you
WorldVision. (2020, October 8). 7 ways to empower women and girls. Retrieved from World Vision: https://www.worldvision.org/gender-equality-news-stories/seven-ways-empower-women-girls
Sarah Hobson, Ph.D. specializes in supporting teams, departments and schools, businesses, and government agencies in building inclusive innovative change-making communities who understand how to connect well with and join diverse populations in providing needed sustainable resources for all youth and families.