“Women Empowerment” is a process by which women in a context where they are disadvantaged by structural gender barriers, acquire or reinforce their strategic capabilities and prominence, both individually and collectively to achieve an autonomous life, participating in terms of equality, access to resources, recognition and decision-making in all areas of personal and social life.
Also, this process of women’s empowerment must incorporate a critical view of the gender system to sex and of women’s historical participation deficits. It must be accompanied by strategies that enhance effective equality in access to basic resources, including education, health or quality employment. And it must incorporate recognition and revaluation of women for their contributions in any field of human activity and for their ability to fight for their rights and their emancipation, that is, a feminist genealogy.
Individually and collectively as an objective to be achieved it is necessary to face strategies for effective equality in all areas of life. And particularly to promote greater participation of women in the scenarios of power, until achieving joint participation.
The term “empowerment of women” as a strategy for equality and equity was promoted at the United Nations World Conference of Women in Beijing (1995) referring to the increased participation of women in decision-making processes and access to power. Currently, this expression also involves another dimension, the awareness of individual power and collectively held by women.
Principles for the empowerment of women
The principles for the empowerment of women offer a practical guide to know how to empower women that help women in the workplace and the community. This is an adaptation of the principles which are the result of the collaboration between “UNWomen” and the “Global Pact” organizations.
The six principles of empowerment
- Promote gender equality in management positions up to the highest level.
- Treat all men and women equally at work, respect and defend human rights and non-discrimination.
- Ensure the health, safety, and welfare of all workers.
- Promote education, training and professional development of women.
- Promote equality through community initiatives.
- Evaluate and disseminate the processes carried out in favor of gender equality.
Female empowerment from childhood on
Physical beauty is not synonymous with success, nor does happiness come with a long-awaited blue prince. There are still many stereotypes and gender barriers pending to go down in history. Many children still believe they occupy different immovable places in society. So there are still many more steps to be taken so that gender equality becomes a reality.
Learning to be brave, not perfect
Most girls are taught to avoid failure and risk and to focus on safe decisions, to be perfect in everything they do. On the other hand, boys are encouraged to take risks and feel powerful, never giving up. Why do we teach girls to be perfect and boys to be brave? No matter the gender they must know how to leave fear aside and face life’s challenges, learning from their values and successes, but also their failures and mistakes.
Gender stereotypes are acquired from childhood
According to research recently published. Girls begin to feel less intelligent since age 6. From an early age, gender stereotypes make a mark on the interests and aspirations of girls, who begin to avoid activities, related to boys, that they consider smarter.
Helping prevent violence and discrimination
In addition to fostering leadership and self-esteem in girls, it is also necessary to educate boys and girls on gender equality from an early age. At very early ages (0-12 years) prejudices hardly exist, favoring that they internalize a civic behavior based on equality and respect for oneself and others, leaving aside gender roles.
Because today’s girls will be the leaders of tomorrow
No matter how obvious it may sound, remember that today’s girls will be tomorrow’s women. That half of humanity will include workers, businesswomen, guardians, leaders. Global Policies (as the UN declares) should go towards investing in defending their rights and striving towards a more equitable and prosperous future.
Because world development without women is not possible, gender equality is not only an objective in itself but an essential means to achieve all sustainable development goals. Only with men and women living together in equality will it be possible to solve political conflicts, economic growth, and disease prevention, stop climate change and ultimately guarantee the sustainability of the world for future generations.