Globally women have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, less access to basic and higher education, greater health and safety risks and less political representation. Guarantying the rights of women and giving them opportunities to reach their full potential is critical not only for meeting a wide range of international development goals. Empowered women and girls contribute to the health and productivity of their families, communities and countries creating a ripple effect that benefits everyone.
Gender equality means that men and women have equal power and equal opportunities for financial independence, education and personal development.
Women empowerment is a critical aspect of achieving gender equality, it includes increasing a women’s sense of self-worth, her decision making power, her access to opportunities and control over her own life which includes inside and outside the home respect and her ability to effect change, yet gender issues are not focused on women alone but on the relationship between men and women in society.
Education is key area of focus. Although, the world is making process in achieving gender parity in education, girls still make up a higher percentage of out-of school children than boys. Approximately one quarter of girls in the developing world do not attend school. Typically, families with limited means who cannot afford costs such as school fees, uniforms and supplies for all of their children will prioritize education for their sons. Families also rely on girl’s labor for household chores, carrying water and child care, leaving limited time for schooling. An educate girl is more likely to postpone marriage, raise a smaller family, has healthier children and send her own children to school. She has more opportunities to earn income.
The first step is to be informed running away from the information will not make gender injustice around the world less of a reality. It takes individual consciousness to create collective awareness.
The second step is empowerment
Working together to give women the real opportunity of making their own choices, especially the most vulnerable ones but how can this reality is changed? It isn’t easy. Still there are many people working for gender equality around the world.
Women’s empowerment is not an optional agenda it is an urgent priority it can serve as the driving force to restore hope and the ability to advance in the face of the most challenging circumstances. Development goals will be shared and embraced by all as we strive to protect the rights of women and girls who constitute half the world’s people and create societies where all can live with hope and dignity.