School Papers

The the subject of women empowerment inspiring us

The ability to be seen as equal or competent
as men, to be able to have a voice, to earn respect from others and to have the
chance to gain opportunities – all define women empowerment. Women are becoming
empowered and young women like me are becoming more educated on the subject of
women empowerment inspiring us to be more active in our role in becoming
empowered and recognizing the role education plays! The article entitled “Women’s Empowerment: Education as
a tool for achieving equality’ discusses the effective ways that poverty can be
reduced through the empowerment of women (Carmon,
2013). Many aspects of culture
and arts depict unity amongst women of different races who by working together
hold the power to the world in their hands (Kouanchao,2011) while poems such as ‘Phenomenal Women’ portray the discrimination and judgement women face
every day while forgetting that women make the world prosper continuously
(Angelou, 1978) all pointing to the need for women empowerment!

 

Definitely education is an essential means of
empowering women with the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence needed for
them to participate in a country’s growth and development. While
many sources focus on the definition of women empowerment, reasons for
uneducated women, the positive impacts that educated women have on poverty, and
organizations created to enforce women’s rights; I, as a female student, feel
disappointed in the factors preventing women from gaining an education but
inspired that many individuals and organizations are trying to fix the problem
by working and inspiring others to take action. Today, the world
is slowly making progress especially through education which is said to be the key for women as they pass on their knowledge and skills to their children
in a full cycle thus helping their economies grow.

 

To further understand my topic on women
empowerment through education, I used several sources many of which used many
visual graphics to depict the treatment women get when they lack empowerment
and are illiterate, strategies for educating women, and the many
benefits and opportunities that can be created from educating women. All of
these sources support the idea of educating women to benefit a country’s growth
and development.

 

Education is an important aspect in a female’s
life that can help a nation grow stronger. My research for this paper was an
eye-opener that made me a better person by connecting me more to the issue, and
making me more empathetic towards the heart wrenching reality of the struggles
women still face to this day. This research has motivated me to make changes
that will improve the education system in my country in small ways such as sharing
my knowledge and offering help to those who aren’t given the same opportunities
I have. Even the smallest step can make a difference. I believe that a
milestone for women empowerment is meaningful education because it enables them
to respond to challenges, confront traditional roles, change their lives, and
eventually the world.

 

Education for women empowerment is important
because ? of women in the world are uneducated, although they deserve the right
to have an education and reach their full potential.

(Source). Women
are denied access to an education in many developing countries such as Guatemala,
Pakistan, and Somalia. In countries where education is a last resort, women are
faced with immense criticism by being told they are inferior, illogical, weak, and vain.

(Source) But what
is the root of such hateful allegations? Normally the women who lack access to an education are
held back by ignorance and are destined to ensue a life of poverty and oppression.
Poverty restricts women from buying any basic necessities that would help them
lead a basic good life and attend school. As a result of the lack of education,
women are refused job opportunities that would enable them to support
themselves and their families.

Unfortunately, some cultures and traditions are not enthusiastic about women
becoming educated. In some countries, their culture does not allow women to think beyond marriage
and family and since they are uneducated as mothers they will be unable to
educate their children; hence, over many generations, they will not participate
in building their nations either. Poverty,
discrimination, and gender inequality is a consequence from lack of education. For
example, Guatemala faces extreme poverty and illiteracy and is also claimed
to have the largest gender gap in Central America which means woman are placed last
in their society. This affects the women’s self-confidence, worth, and dreams.
What happens when women are educated?  If
we follow Mandela’s premise which is that, ‘Education
is a powerful weapon to in act change in the world’ then women can change the
world by being educated and therefore help decrease poverty rates, discrimination, and gender
gaps. Educated women create the revolution of ideas and change. Educated women
are more likely to make their own decisions regarding their well-being and that
of their families such as when to get married and have children. It is also
more likely that they will send their children to school. In some countries,
governments cannot provide for basic education and so organizations such as STARFISH
which has objectives that is committed to the education and empowerment of
young women; creating new leaders that come together to enable a collective
impact for young girls, families, and communities. They help women empowerment
by incorporating scholarship,
professional mentorship and peer support to unravel the capabilities of each
girl that makes them unique and special. The girls are able to display their
ongoing courage and perseverance, acquiring knowledge and experience about
systems, health, finance, and much more. More importantly the young women are helped to locate
their internal strengths, powered voices and the skills to be
an effective leader and role model; Woman will support each other to seek
education and finally end the continuous cycle of suffering and poverty one by
one. Hopefully, countries like Guatemala and Somalia will begin to heal by becoming
more open to providing their women with education and empowerment and in return
under the new circumstances these countries will be able to prosper.  Like Starfish, I believe that together we need
to rise and be the voice for women calling for their right to an education and
right to guide to their own futures to help build their nation. In Belize, a huge Women’s Empowerment Rally was held
in 2016 and women of all walks of life attended so that they could make their
voices be heard; one action among many that need to be taken to try empower the
women of Belize with theme of ‘20,000 Strong-Imagine a Belize without Women.’

 

An effective way to reduce poverty is
investing in a girl’s education. This measure was recognized in the UN
Millennium Development Goals; there was an evident progress in gender equality
yet there is still a lot that needs to be done in every country, and at every stage,
in order to achieve equality and women’s empowerment.  The UN states that ’empowerment means moving
from enforced powerlessness to a position of power.’  They state that education is an essential
means of empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence
necessary to fully participate in the development process of a nation and that
sustainable development is only possible when women and men enjoy equal
opportunities to reach their potential.

 

It is evident in many countries including
Belize that women and girls experience several inequalities which are further reinforced
by barriers in the economic, social, political and environmental spheres. In
Belize, just recently there was only one elected female parliamentarian and now
there are three women out of thirty-one members in the House of
Representatives. A ‘Women in Politics Program’ trained women to become more
involved and they are participating more for sure! Obstacles to women’s
economic and political empowerment and violence against women and girls are
barriers to sustainable development and the achievement of human rights, gender
equality, justice and peace.  All over
the world, either by law or custom, women are still denied the right to own
land or inherit property, obtain access to credit, attend school, earn income
and progress in their profession free from job discrimination. Women are
significantly underrepresented in decision-making at all levels. While the
economic benefits of educating girls are similar to those of educating boys,
recent findings suggest the social benefits are greater. (reference)

 

It has been shown many times that women have
the potential to change their own economic status and that of their communities
and countries in which they live if they are given a fair chance and
opportunity to participate. While many women’s economic contributions
are unrecognized, their work undervalued and unappreciated, women are aiming
for more as they are attending universities in greater numbers as can be seen
in the records of University of Belize 2017 graduates consisting of 62 % females and 38 % males. (UB Records May 2017)

 

Unequal opportunities between women and men
prevent women’s ability to lift themselves from poverty and secure better
options to improve their lives but they are determined to move ahead.  This further supports that education is the
most powerful instrument for changing women’s position in society and investing
in women’s and girls’ education is one of the most effective ways to reduce
poverty. We need more consistent
advocates of women empowerment
through education wherever we are, especially considering
that women’s education is a critical component of development policy and
planning, and central to sustainable development.

(UN Report 2017)

 

A good example is The Golda Meir Mount Carmel
International Training Center (MCTC), who has addressed the connection between
gender, poverty reduction and sustainable development for over five decades.
They place education at the core of women’s ability to contribute to all
activities, working to enhance knowledge, competency and skills, including in
the development process and in their contributions to civil society. They gather senior women
and men from the public and private sectors – ministers, members of
parliaments, heads of women’s associations, representatives of international
organizations and representatives of the judicial, business and academic
sectors – to discuss progress achieved and gaps remaining in the implementation
of the Millennium Development Goals from a gender perspective and the
development of new sustainable development goals.

 

Education is important for everyone, but it is
a critical area of empowerment for girls and women as soon in so much
literature. This is not only because education is an entry point to opportunity
but also because women’s educational achievements have positive ripple effects
within the family and across generations therefore affecting development of a
nation. Since education is much more than reading and writing, it must be seen as an essential investment that countries must make for
their futures, a crucial factor in reducing poverty and achieving sustainable
development therefore we must educate and invest in education for women
empowerment and national development!