SUKKUR: Empowerment is the process that allows individuals control over their own lives, and society and communities they live in. People are empowered when they are able to access opportunities without limitations and can make their own decisions, thus having agency over their decisions and lives. Likewise, women empowerment includes raising the status of women through education, awareness, skilled training, and allowing them to make life-determining decisions to steer through the different problems they may face.
Women’s empowerment and achieving gender equality is essential for our society in order to ensure the sustainable development of the country. Many world leaders and scholars have argued in favour of this, and the Nordic countries even serve as an example of a society where men and women equally contribute. Sustainable development includes environmental protection, social and economic development; and without empowering women, they would not feel equally important and responsible in the process, as men. Hence, full participation of both men and women is critical for development, and only acknowledging men’s participation and input is not enough. Gender equality and women’s inclusion in all spheres of life is of utmost importance in order to bring about social change and move forward as not just an economy, but as a society too.
Sonia Najam Shaikh
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2019.