Why Women's Empowerment is Vital for Development
Studies show that women empowerment is associated with development. Socially and economically, woman’s involvement adds value to the structure. It affects how ideologies are remodeled into moral and modern sensibilities. More than a fight for gender equality, women empowerment promotes change and order.
As the United Nation describes it, women empowerment is about encouraging women to embrace and cultivate their worth:
“…a women’s sense of self-worth; their right to have and to determine choices; their right to have access to opportunities and resources; their right to have the power to control their own lives, both within and outside the home; and their ability to influence the direction of social change to create a more just social and economic order, nationally and internationally.”
The more women feel empowered, the more the world will shift to a path that welcomes change and sustains gender equality.
So you might ask: how is women empowerment a vital factor in social and economic development?
Women's empowerment promotes women’s rights and gender equality.
Women empowerment is not about gaining authority; it is about women gaining access to basic needs such as education and livelihood. Women empowerment is not only about women but also about redistributing power equally to other marginalized sectors. Through it, we’re breaking the patriarchal norms that marginalize women and other genders.
It is central to giving women’s basic rights and promoting gender equality. Empowering women close gender pay gaps in the workplace. From an economic perspective, exercising women empowerment opens new opportunities and access to decent work that will lead to meaningful and significant change.
It makes the economy grow.
Women can impact change and influence people to improved productivity. Studies found that women’s economic involvement boosts productivity that leads to income equality among other positive outcomes.
According to Women in Work Index 2019 on the economic findings of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), employing more women helps to boost the OECD GDP:
“Everyone has a stake in ensuring women have equal opportunities in the world of work. The evidence is clear. Our Women in Work Index shows that improving female participation in work across the OECD could boost OECD GDP by US$6 trillion, while closing the gender pay gap could boost GDP by US$2 trillion.”
Women bring a different perspective.
Women offer new perspectives on how things should be done which creates new possibilities and opportunities.
Women often have a different approach to circumstances. When we empower women, they can bring their unique perspectives that can benefit organizations as a whole. This challenges norms that will lead to better decision making.
To achieve this, we need to invest in women which means giving them access to education and opportunities to upskill, re-skill, and hone their talents. These are basic rights that are crucial for women’s and girl’s growth. Doing this will help bring more opportunities that will help the global productivity of the labor market. As Melinda Gates said, “When we invest in women and girls, we are investing in the people who invest in everyone else.”