International Women's Day 2020: What empowerment should actually mean

a smiling girl

You may shoot me with your words,
                You may cut me with your eyes,
            You may kill me with your hatefulness,
                But still, like air, I’ll rise.
                        ~ Maya Angelou (Still I rise)

Yes! You can rise above everything, and fulfill your goals, especially if you are a woman! 

In a society that’s mostly hegemonized by men, a woman’s true potential is often underemphasized, at times to the extent of looking down upon it.

The need for her education and enlightenment was considered outlandish until about six decades ago, and is regretfully so in many places around the world even till now.

However, despite all the impediments, the last few decades have also witnessed many women leaders taking over challenges head on, not losing their ambition, and acquiring their bout of success. 

Several world renowned organizations have come forward with numerous measures like ensuring hygienic and safe working conditions, offering her jobs that were previously considered only to be a man’s forte, while some going on to offer equal salary for both male and female workers in an attempt to drive away discrimination and ensure empowerment. But, is the real meaning of empowerment limited to just this copy book definition? Well, it’s much beyond! 

Liberty is not bound by economic, societal or cultural empowerment. It symbolizes the ability to speak up without fear, having a structured thought process and faith in oneself despite all odds.

A woman should feel liberalized regardless of her economic or social orientation, and that can only be propagated through literacy. Being literate again does not imply possessing a particular specialization certificate or limiting knowledge to books alone. Literacy can take the forms of awareness about rights, surroundings and more specifically the ability to discover one’s talents.

A woman working in the fields or at a plantation should feel equally empowered as her counterpart chairing a global company – that’s literacy, that’s liberty! Nothing to hold her back, question her integrity or restrain her in any other way. Once a woman is made to realize that she herself is the change that she wanted to witness someday, only then can her self-confidence shoot up. 

The most impactful change however, that is needed to bring about this kind of empowerment is the change in the mindset of the masses, specially the patriarchs. A woman needs a man neither to ascertain her identity nor to make her feel empowered, but it’s only with their support that a society of equal rights can be built up. 

So, from now on, let not fears bind you or stop you from having your will! For you are unique, you are one of a kind, you are who you are! 

Quote on facing fears