Gender equality is a human right, but our world faces a persistent gap in access to opportunities and decision-making power for women and men.
Globally, women have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men. Women have less access to basic and higher education, and have less political representation. They are also exposed to greater health and safety risks.
Guaranteeing the rights of women and giving them opportunities to reach their full potential is essential not only for attaining gender equality, but also for meeting a wide range of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Empowered women and girls contribute to the health and productivity of their families, communities, and countries, creating a ripple effect that benefits everyone.
Gender equality is, first and foremost, a human right. A woman is entitled to live in dignity and freedom from want and fear. Empowering women is also an indispensable tool for advancing development and reducing poverty. Empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of whole families and communities and to improve prospects for the next generation. The importance of gender equality is underscored by its inclusion as one of the eight Millennium Development Goals. Gender equality is acknowledged as being a key to achieving the other seven goals. Yet discrimination against women and girls – including gender-based violence, economic discrimination, reproductive health inequities, and harmful cultural and traditional practices – remains the most pervasive and persistent form of inequality. Women and girls bear enormous hardship during and after humanitarian emergencies, especially armed conflicts. There have been several organisations and institutions advocating women rights, promoting legal and policy reforms and gender-sensitive data collection, and supporting projects that improve women’s health and expand their choices in life.
Empowerment and equality
When a woman can plan her family, she can plan the rest of her life. When she is healthy, she can be more productive. And when her reproductive rights including the right to decide the number, timing and spacing of her children, and to make decisions regarding reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence are promoted and protected, she has freedom to participate more fully and equally in society. Gender equality means a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, outcomes, rights and obligations in all spheres of life. Equality between men and women exists when both the sexes are able to share power and influence equally; have equal opportunities for financial independence through employment or business; enjoy equal access to education and the opportunity to develop personal ambitions. A critical aspect of promoting gender equality is the empowerment of women, with a focus on identifying and redressing power imbalances and giving women more autonomy to manage their own lives. Women empowerment is vital to sustainable development and the realization of human rights for all. Wherever women’s status is low and family size is large, it becomes difficult for families to thrive. Population, development and reproductive health programs are more effective when they improve the educational opportunities, status and empowerment of women. When women are empowered, whole families benefit, and these benefits often have ripple effects on future generations. The roles that men and women play in society are not biologically decided; they are socially decided. And they are changeable and constantly changing. Although they may be justified as being required by culture or religion, these roles vary widely with location and they keep changing with time.
What makes a woman empowered?
Women’s empowerment is the process of empowering women. Feeling entitled to make your own decisions creates a sense of empowerment. Empowerment includes the action of raising the status of women through education, raising awareness, literacy, and training.
Unemployment is one of the common problems of a developing society. Women consist half of the population of any society. Unemployment and in-equal opportunities in work places for women can be eradicated with the help of women empowerment. Whenever women are facing unemployment, their true potential is underutilized. To make use of the strength and potential of women, they must be provided with equal opportunities. You can motivate them by providing any special gifts. The best time to empower women is now.