The Empowered Woman: Unique Issues Facing Women In Modern Society
If we want to live in a peaceful and prosperous world, then gender equality is necessary. It’s a fundamental human right, and while we have seen plenty of progress in the last several decades, there are still plenty of issues facing women in modern society.
Pervasive social norms enforce certain gender stereotypes on female children, discriminatory laws are still being written, and women remain underrepresented at every level of leadership, whether in politics or business. Not to mention the genuine risk of Intimate Partner Violence, with one in 10 girls and women aged 15 to 49 being a victim of sexual or physical violence.
To take a moment – to define gender is to say it’s a social construct of responsibilities and roles that society deems appropriate for women and men. Therefore, the definition of gender equality is simply ensuring that women and men have equal opportunities and power in terms of personal development, education, and financial independence.
On a global level, women have far fewer opportunities than men. They have less access to education, higher risks of health and safety issues, and less representation across the board. So, even where countries are making strides globally, women are not seeing the benefits of that progress.
This is where empowerment comes into play because empowered women contribute to their family life, communities, and country, which causes a ripple effect that benefits the wider world. We cannot achieve gender equality without first addressing women’s empowerment.
Women’s empowerment is ensuring women have a strong sense of self-worth, improving access to resources and opportunities, giving them decision-making power, and giving them control over their lives.
Education is often the key focus when discussing gender equality because the percentage of girls out of school is higher than boys. Around a quarter of girls across the developing world do not attend school. If a family has limited means and can’t handle the cost of uniforms, fees, and supplies, they will prioritise sending their sons for an education.
They rely on the girls to handle many household chores, limiting schooling time and opportunity. For many people, there’s no return on investment. But girls who go to school are more likely to postpone marriage and raise a smaller family later, which allows them to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way.
Mental health is another critical area of concern. While women in the United States have access to health care, the cost of medical care and the debt that comes with it is a genuine fear.
Further, medical debt is also associated with childbirth, which has put parenthood off-putting or out of the question for many women. Compared to other high-income countries, the US has the highest.
The more we focus on empowering women, starting from an early age, the better off we will be. Where we can foster the self-worth of girls and women, we increase their abilities to make decisions, take opportunities, leverage resources, and give them control over their own life. The empowered woman could change the world if she had the support to make it happen for herself.
Though women have made progress in economic empowerment, women still earn 20% less than men. No country has achieved gender equality, but many Scandinavian countries are quickly closing the gap.
What’s important to understand is that nobody is looking for a cheat code for women to leapfrog over everyone else. It’s about having access to equal opportunities. The only way we will achieve gender equality is by empowering women.