According to the World Bank, women represent 49.56% of the world’s population, and yet women continue to face worldwide discrimination . In some parts of the world this inequality manifests in discrepancies in salary; in others, it is witnessed in access to healthcare or other essential resources outside the home. The momentum for change is slowly building, but it must be further bolstered. This article offers some suggestions on how to empower women on a global level.
Essential #1: Encourage Education
One of the most effective ways to empower women is to extend educational opportunities, as access to knowledge is itself a form of empowerment. Spearheading literacy efforts represents one major way in which education can be encouraged. According to The World Bank, more than 17% of the international female population is illiterate. This percentage adds up to more than 1.3 billion women who struggle with reading or cannot read at all, which presents a great barrier to communication and involvement in the community and participation in business. Beyond the basics of literacy, education in the realm of job skills can also take women great strides to advance. Teaching women around the world how to perform business-oriented tasks or talents can boost the likelihood they will go on to form their own business, which in turn can benefit the overall economy.
Essential #2: Increase Independence
Another essential in the pursuit of female empowerment is the cultivation of a sense of independence. Again, this autonomy can be scaled to different regions. In some areas of Nepal, for example, women are not allowed to leave their homes without permission, so programs that simply encourage women to physically leave the house can be crucial as well. Independence can also be encouraging intelligent financial decisions, such as opening an individual savings account. Even small actions such as this can encourage women to make more positive decisions in both personal and professional realms.
Essential #3: Help Promote Health
A final component to achieving women’s empowerment is the promotion of adequate and accessible health care. Women deserve equal participation in general health care initiatives, as well as education on preventative measures for various diseases and conditions.
Why Empowerment is Important
Womens’ empowerment can boost independence and self-esteem, make the female community much more active in their contributions to society. Beyond these individual benefits, though, studies show that empowerment of women can also be a boon to their families and their broader communities. Studies by the United Nations revealed, for example, that increased female participation in local business has been shown to boost the area’s overall economy. Higher education of women has also been shown, among other benefits to children, to decrease infant mortality rates in some regions. What these figures reveal is that the empowerment of women can help everyone.
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“Facts and Figures: Economic Empowerment.” United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
“Population, female (% of total).” The World Bank © 2017.
“Literacy rate, adult female (% of total).” The World Bank © 2017.
“Women’s Empowerment Principles.” United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.