The empowerment and autonomy of women and improving their political, social, economic, and health status is a highly important end. In addition, it is essential for the achievement of sustainable development. The full participation and partnership of both women and men are required in productive and reproductive life, including shared responsibilities for the care and nurturing of children and maintenance of the household. In all parts of the world, women are facing threats to their lives, health, and well-being due to being overburdened with work and their lack of power and influence. In most regions of the world, women receive less formal education than men, and at the same time, women’s own knowledge, abilities, and coping mechanisms often go unrecognized. The power relations that impede women’s attainment of healthy and fulfilling lives operate at many levels of society, from the most personal to the highly public.
What is Women’s Empowerment?
Women’s empowerment can be defined as promoting women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices, and their right to influence social change for themselves and others. It is closely aligned with female empowerment – a fundamental human right that’s also key to achieving a more peaceful, prosperous world. Women’s empowerment and promotion of women’s rights have emerged as a part of a major global movement and are continuing to break new ground in recent years. Days like International Women’s Empowerment Day are also gaining momentum. But despite a great deal of progress, women and girls continue to face discrimination and violence in every part of the world.
Why Empowerment is important?
Empowering women is essential to the health and social development of families, communities, and countries. When women are living safe, fulfilled, and productive lives, they can reach their full potential. contributing their skills to the workforce and can raise happier and healthier children. They are also able to help fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large. A key part of this empowerment is through education. Girls who are educated can pursue meaningful work and contribute to their country’s economy later in life. They are also four times less likely to get married young when they have eight years of education, meaning that they and their families are healthier.
How World Vision is helping Empower Women?
When women and girls are supported, they gain opportunities to speak up for their rights, and also to advocate for their communities. They are also able to rise in social standing, and they can feed this into future generations. This means women’s organizations, women’s empowerment policies, and women’s charities can gain momentum and contribute to a stronger world.
World Vision supports women and girls by:
- Our sponsorship program. When you sponsor a girl, you not only help give a girl opportunities she may have been denied – but our community-focused approach means that her whole community benefits, too.
- Helping girls and women learn advocacy skills at all stages of life so that they can use their voices effectively for their own rights.
- Partnering with communities, faith leaders, and governments to challenge and correct harmful social norms that keep women and girls from their potential.
- Raising awareness around the causes of poor health and wellbeing that are related to gender.
- Empowering women and girls through water, sanitation, and hygiene; health and nutrition; livelihoods training; and education programs to increase their opportunities and ability to reach their full potential.
Achieving change requires policy and programme actions that will improve women’s access to secure livelihoods and economic resources, alleviate their extreme responsibilities about housework, remove legal impediments to their participation in public life, and raise social awareness through effective programmes of education and mass communication. In addition, improving the status of women also enhances their decision-making capacity at all levels in all spheres of life, especially in the area of sexuality and reproduction. This, in turn, is essential for the long-term success of population programmes. Experience shows that population and development programmes are most effective when steps have simultaneously been taken to improve the status of women.