Empowering Women – My personal view!
Lately empowering women has translated into helping married women with children to leave the home and pursue a career, however empowering women should refer to a broader spectrum.
Empowerment to me, means giving all women, of all ages and background the education/knowledge, confidence and equal opportunity to take on the role they see fit, encouraging personal growth, giving them tools to pursue the best life in the interest of their well being and their family’s. Helping women reach their full potential and help them develop their talents.
Government and institutions seem to have used this term casually and redefined its meaning as a way to encourage more woman to go back to work after they have had children as to contribute to the country’s economy. However woman who freely choose to stay at home, manage a household and look after their children’s upbringing are contributing just as much as any other woman towards society (shaping the character of future citizen’s is just as important if not vital for any country’s growth and development). Instead women are now led to believe that this is not about choice anymore and the only right way is for a woman to leave her children (even in the age of infancy) so that she may pursue a career to be able to feel fulfilled and complete. Society now undermines woman who stay at home and looks down on them as being lazy, uneducated or talent- less. Most of the prejudice comes from women themselves who look down their noses at women who stay at home.
Having said this I salute all women who juggle both home and work life not because they are free to pursue a career but because they have financial obligations and cannot do otherwise. All women should be given the freedom to choose their role in society and given the right tools to pursue it. But choices made out of financial struggles are not choices that empower women and encourage personal growth.
I personally believe that once a woman decides to become a mother her first responsibility is to her children and their upbringing, not the grandparent’s or childcare centre’s responsibility but hers; at least until the child is old enough to go to school and has passed the age of infancy which is critical in a child’s growth and development. I know I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work from home whilst looking after my son but unfortunately this is not possible for every woman out there who might wish to do the same. Either way a woman should have the freedom to choose what is best for herself and her family.
I understand my views on the matter may not be popular but this is my personal opinion, formed on my personal experience as a woman and a mother. I would find it hard to endorse a cause unless I truly believe in it or the message being conveyed. Yes I agree, women need to be empowered now more than ever, it is what we are directing them towards that worries me. If it is more about conforming to social ideologies rather than about giving woman the power to manage their own life, then we are far from empowering women. Instead this somehow feels more like indoctrination set on a specific agenda.