What does “women’s empowerment” mean? It refers to the process of giving women control over their choices and access to the opportunities and resources that allow them to thrive. While there’s been progress, gender inequality remains a persistent issue in the world. Empowering women politically, socially, economically, educationally, and psychologically helps narrow the gap. Here are five essays about women’s empowerment that everyone should read:
This editorial from the “Empowering women for gender equity” issue of the journal Agenda explores the issue’s themes. It gives a big picture view of the topics within. The issue is dedicated to women’s movements and activism primarily in South Africa, but also other African countries. New women’s movements focus on engaging with institutional policies and running campaigns for more female representation in government. Some barriers make activism work harder, such as resistance from men and funding, If you’re interested in the whole issue, this editorial provides a great summary of the main points, so you can decide if you want to read further.
Agenda is an African peer-viewed academic journal focusing on feminism. It was established in 1987. It publishes articles and other entries, and tutors young writers.
Originally published during Women’s History Month, this piece explores five initiatives spearheaded by women in the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship community. Created by women for women, these innovations demonstrate what’s possible when women harness their skills and empower each other. The initiatives featured in this article embrace technology, education, training programs, and more.
Pavitra Raja is the Community Manager for social entrepreneurs in Europe, North America, and Latin America. She’s consulted with the UN Economic Commission for Europe and also has experience in legal affairs and policy in the private and public sectors.
Because of gender inequality, women’s health is affected around the world. Factors like a lower income than men, more responsibilities at home, and less education impact health. This is most clear in developing countries. How can this be addressed? This essay states that empowerment is the key. When giving authority and control over their own lives, women thrive and contribute more to the world. It’s important that programs seeking to end gender inequality focus on empowerment, and not “rescue.” Treating women like victims is not the answer.
Axa is a leading global insurer, covering more than 100 million customers in 57 countries. On their website, they say they strive for the collective good by working on prevention issues, fighting climate change, and prioritizing protection. The company has existed for over 200 years.
Ana Revenga and Sudhir Shetty
What are the benefits of women’s empowerment? This article presents the argument that closing gender gaps doesn’t only serve women, it’s good for countries as a whole. Gender equality boosts economic productivity, makes institutions more representative, and makes life better for future generations. This piece gives a good overview of the state of the world (the data is a bit old, but things have not changed significantly) and explores policy implications. It’s based on the World Bank’s World Development Report in 2012 on gender equality and development.
Ana Revenga and Sudhir Shetty both worked at the World Bank at the time this article was originally published. Revenga was the Sector Director of Human Development, Europe and Central Asia. Shetty (who still works at the World Bank in a different role) was the Sector Director, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, East Asia and Pacific.
In this era of female empowerment, women are being told they can do anything, but can they? It isn’t because women aren’t capable. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. As this article says, women have “more to do but no more time to do it.” The pressure is overwhelming. Is the image of a woman who can “do it all” unrealistic? What can a modern woman do to manage a high-stakes life? This essay digs into some solutions, which include examining expectations and doing self-checks.
Tamara Schwarting is the CEO of 1628 LTD, a co-working community space of independent professionals in Ohio. She’s also an executive-level consultant in supply chain purchasing and business processes. She describes herself as an “urbanist” and has a passion for creative, empowering work environments.