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Women’s Self-Empowerment Is a Good Thing

03 Jan

January 4-10, 2010 is Women’s Self-Empowerment Week. The national recognition of women’s self-empowerment is intended as an opportunity for women (and men) to reflect on the important roles that women occupy in society. Another intended goal is that women recognize and observe the vareity of ways we contribute to making our families and communities better.  Although, I am a big fan of women’s self-empowerment, I belive the idea has gotten a bad rep. More specifically, “women’s self-empowerment” or “female empowerment” has become synoumous with “feminism” or “women’s liberation”– which is not the case.  I won’t bore you with the historical development of women’s liberation or identify some of the mulitple branches of feminism that make it diverse and appealing to different groups of women — that’s for another day.  What I will do is offer three reasons Why Women’s Empowerment Is a Good Thing.

  1. Women’s Empowerment = Self Determination: If you have ever done something, that is out of the normal from your family or community, then you know how difficult it is to face detractors with the goal of succeeding. For me this is the most important aspect of women’s empowerment: The ability to determine your own path and pursue it in ways that are meaningful to you. Whether we like it or not, there are still many, many cultural, social, familal, and religious expectations for women. Go to college, get married, stay home with your children, volunteer in your community or church. I’m not suggesting any of these options are bad, but rather to highlight if a woman chooses not to get married or have children it may actually be a result of a thoughtful choice, and not because she “can’t get a man.” Importantly, it takes strong women and men to go against the grain, try things that have never been done before, and be a trail blazer. The world needs those people. Innovation does not come from maintaining the status quo — it comes from creative people willing to step outside the box and try something different.
  2. Women’s Empowerment = Sense of Self-Worth:  If you have ever dated someone that felt as though their entire self-worth depended upon your opinion of them, then you understand very well why a sense of self worth beneifits us and everyone around us. In addition to self-worth as self-esteem and confidence, self-worth means that you look inside yourself and see what makes you unique, valuable, and an important person in the world. Self-worth is one of those qualities that attracts certian people to us — the type of people that want to be part of your orbit because great things happen to and for people who are confident and secure.
  3. Women’s Empowerment = Committment: I’ve never heard anyone dicuss women’s empowerment as committment, but I think it’s a defining characteristic of empowered women. Women that are self determined and have a strong sense of self worth understand the importance of committing to something and following through to it’s natural ending point. If you really think about it, committment is counter-cultural. We try to teach our children and ourselves to keep our committments, but we often fall short. This means that to maintain a committment is to challenge oursleves to do something that is … beyond the status quo.

Now, I can’t say every woman calling herself empowered believes any of this, but I can say that your relationships and interactions with self-empowered women are most likely enriched because of these attributes. What do you believe are the best characteristics of self-empowerment?

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9 Comments

Posted by on January 3, 2010 in self empowerment

 

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9 responses to “Women’s Self-Empowerment Is a Good Thing

  1. lettrist

    March 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    um feminism gave self-empowerment a bad reputation????? please.

     
    • Erika Pryor

      March 22, 2010 at 5:31 am

      Lettrist, By no means do I mean to argue that “feminism gave self-empowerment a bad reputation,” but rather to identify how feminisim isn’t always considered a positive or productive political position, and because of the use of “self-empowerment” and “feminism” interchangably — the same connotative feelings have been mapped onto “feminism” from “self-empowerment.” Thanks so much for your response. I’m hoping you visit the site often. Feel free to offer up a subject or two you might like to read more about here — I could engage in intellectual conversations all day.

       
  2. online stock trading

    February 2, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking your feeds too now, Thanks.

     
    • Erika Pryor

      February 9, 2010 at 11:39 am

      So glad you are enjoying the content. I look forward to reading your comments and interacting with you more. Also, feel free to make suggestions. I’m always up for learning new ways to enhance the site and make it more engaging.

       
  3. Courtney

    January 4, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Dr. MP,

    This article is thought provoking and necessary. I especially like the last point you make about commitment. I, too, believe that has gotten lost in the society that we live in. I think more men and women need to read and understand these tenets of women’s self empowerment because it is a GOOD THING!

     
  4. Cheryl @StartupBizTalk

    January 4, 2010 at 4:35 am

    Great post! I had no idea that this week was Women’s Empowerment week; what a great week for that as we approach the New Year. I love this point you make; “The ability to determine your own path and pursue it in ways that are meaningful to you” I think that it is especially meaningful for women, after we find the paths for everyone else in the family, it’s important that we live out OUR dreams and get everyone else on board too.

     
    • Erika Pryor

      January 4, 2010 at 8:21 am

      I agree, women are frequently pulled in multiple directions and asked to take care of so many others. This means we often put ourselves last. I was glad to find that the first week of the year dedicated to women’s role, contributions, and abilities. Thank you so much for your feedback. Happy New Year!

       
  5. Heather Stubbs

    January 3, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Excellent article, Erika! I especially like the point about self-worth. As a public speaking trainer, I’m convinced that one of the reasons people fear public speaking so much is because they base their sense of self-worth on OTHER people’s opinion of them. What if that opinion is negative? Does that mean we’re no good? It’s so important to remember that we answer to ourselves first! Nobody else’s opinion has the slightest bearing on our value as a human being.

     
    • Erika Pryor

      January 3, 2010 at 8:45 am

      Thanks so much for your feedback Heather. Self-worth is such an important characteristic for anyone — man or woman. It can make such a huge difference in how you approach life and the difficult situations that we all encounter.

       

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