As we are preparing to celebrate the International Women's day on the 8th March ,I am focusing all my efforts in the on this issue of women empowerment and inclusive growth to enhance development.
The Inter-American Development Bank (2010) defined women’s empowerment in terms of ’expanding the rights, resources, and capacity of women to make decisions and act independently in social, economic, and political spheres .I am very sure that for those of us who follow the current issues that we have seen women take over very powerful positions in politics and organizations. One would wonder why it took so many years for women to rise to high ranking positions of authority and responsibility.
For this Women Economic Empowerment and growth to come to a reality, there needs to be a Deliberate and conscious effort within the national development policies to empower women in all sectors. Surprisingly its taken so long for the world to realize that the population of women now exceeds that of men worldwide.
When one talks about women empowerment, most people take it to mean Gender balance but truth be told gender balance is a slow growing result of women empowerment. Majorly women need to be empowered in two sectors ,One is the Employment Sector and Secondly is the Education Sector so as to make them as competitive as their fellow counterparts the men when it comes to the Job industry.
These two largely positive macro-level findings are supported by a wealth of micro-level evidence to suggest that not only does women’s access to employment and education opportunities reduce the likelihood of household poverty but resources in women’s hands have a range of positive outcomes for human capital and capabilities within the household. Therefore strong participation of women in the employment and education sectors will contribute to inclusiveness of growth, not merely because women constitute 50% of the world’s population, but also because women’s access to economic resources improves distributional dynamics within the household.
However, while economic growth on its own is not always sufficient to promote women empowerment and gender equality, the outcomes of growth appear to be far more positive where it is accompanied by an expansion in women’s employment and education. Like the saying goes that Knowledge is power, I am totally in agreement with this philosophical saying because an educated woman contributes many times to development. A part from the fact that an educated woman raises morally upright children who can positively impact on the growth and development of society, educated women also know how to care for their strong and educated husbands who create and enforce national and international policies. This makes a woman a very fundamental force behind national and international development.
For Women empowerment to be achieved ,there are many roles different influential stake holders have to play, these include the following;
Role of Society
The process of women empowerment and growth has to be accompanied by public action to remove gender related barriers to Education and Employment. In addition ,society needs to bring to an end all practices and beliefs that promote any nature of injustices that hinder women's participation societal, national and international issues.
Role of the Government
Here I am drawing all my attention on the efforts that the three arms of government (Legislature, Judiciary and Executive) can do to ensure that women empowerment is achieved. Government through its Legislative arm have to come up with clear deliberate and conscious policies that fully support women participation in all society, national and international economical and political arenas without any hindrances. Government should also strongly ensure that women have full access to Education and Employment without any gender discriminations whatsoever.
In order to ensure women empowerment ,Government has an obligation to avail equal chances and opportunities to both men and women in strong and influential political positions.
In conclusion, many governments put forward the issue of gender balance as the major emphasis forgetting that gender balance is a result of both Women economic empowerment and a strong relevant Girl Education. It will be a waste of time and resources to pursue a policy that aims at promoting gender balance in itself forgetting education and economic empowerment.
I hereby therefore take the opportunity to wish all the Women(Mothers) around the globe a happy women's Day.
By Mwebya Fred
On twitter @Ugaman01