Women in Higher Education: Empowering Change

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People are empowered when they are able to access the opportunities available to them without limitations and restrictions such as in education, profession and lifestyle. Feeling entitled to make your own decisions creates a sense of empowerment. Empowerment includes the action of raising the status of women through education, raising awareness, literacy, and training.

Women's empowerment is all about equipping and allowing women to make life-determining decisions through the different problems in society.

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Alternatively, it is the process for women to redefine gender roles that allows for them to acquire the ability to choose between known alternatives whom have otherwise been restricted from such an ability. Furthermore, one must acquire empowerment themselves rather than have it given to them by an external party.

Other studies have found that empowerment definitions entail people having the capability to make important decisions in their lives while also being able to act on them. Lastly, empowerment and disempowerment is relative to other at a previous time; therefore, empowerment is a process, not a product. Women empowerment has become a significant topic of discussion in development and economics. It can also point to the approaches regarding other trivialized genders in a particular political or social context.

Women's economic empowerment refers to the ability for women to enjoy their right to control and benefit from the resources, assets , income and their own time, as well as the ability to manage risk and improve their economic status and well being. While often interchangeably used, the more comprehensive concept of gender empowerment refers to people of any gender, stressing the distinction between biological and gender as a role. Entire nations, businesses, communities and groups can benefit from the implementation of programs and policies that adopt the notion of women empowerment.

Women's empowerment and achieving gender equality is essential for our society to ensure the sustainable development of the country.

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Many world leaders and scholars have argued that sustainable development is impossible without gender equality and women's empowerment. It is widely believed that, the full participation of both men and women is critical for development. Only acknowledging men's participation will not be beneficial to sustainable development.

In the context of women and development, empowerment must include more choices for women to make on their own. Therefore, scholars agree that women's empowerment plays a huge role in development and is one of the significant contributions of development. Without the equal inclusion of women in development, women would not be able to benefit or contribute to the development of the country. Scholars have identified two forms of empowerment, economic empowerment and political empowerment.

Economic empowerment increases women's agency, access to formal government programs, mobility outside the home, economic independence, and purchasing power. Policy makers are suggested to support job training to aid in entrance in the formal markets. They would have more access to higher wages outside the home; and as a result, make it easier for women to get a job in the market. Strengthening women's access to property inheritance and land rights is another method used to economically empower women.

This would allow them better means of asset accumulation, capital, and bargaining power needed to address gender inequalities.


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Often, women in developing and underdeveloped countries are legally restricted from their land on the sole basis of gender. Race has a huge impact on women's empowerment in areas such as employment.

Women in Higher Education: Empowering Change

Employment can help create empowerment for women. Many scholars suggest that when we discuss women's empowerment, discussing the different barriers that underprivileged women face, which makes it more difficult for them to obtain empowerment in society, is important when examining the impact of race in connection to employment.

Significantly examining how opportunities are structured by gender, race, and class can transpire social change. Work opportunities and the work environment can create empowerment for women. Empowerment in the workplace can positively affect job satisfaction and performance, having equality in the work place can greatly increase the sense of empowerment. They Women of color are faced with more disadvantages in the work place.

Patricia Parker argues that African American women's empowerment is their resistance to control, standing up for themselves and not conforming to societal norms and expectations. In connection to power, feminist perspectives look at empowerment as a form of resistance within systems of unequal power relations. Another popular methodology for women's economic empowerment also includes microcredit.

Microfinance institutions don't address cultural barriers that allow men to still control household finances; as a result, microcredit may simply be transferred to the husband. Microcredit doesn't relieve women of household obligations, and even if women have credit, they don't have the time to be as active in the market as men.

Political empowerment supports creating policies that would best support gender equality and agency for women in both the public and private spheres.

Malala’s inspirational speech to empower women : NewspointTV

Popular methods that have been suggested are to create affirmative action policies that have a quota for the number of women in policy making and parliament positions. Policies that increase their bargaining power in the household would include policies that account for cases of divorce, policies for better welfare for women, and policies that give women control over resources such as property rights. It can include participation in the household , in schools, and the ability to make choices for oneself. Some theorists believe that bargaining power and agency in the household must be achieved before one can move onto broader political participation.

Women empowerment can be measured through the Gender Empowerment Measure GEM , which shows women's participation in a given nation, both politically and economically. GEM is calculated by tracking "the share of seats in parliament held by women; of female legislators, senior officials and managers; and of female profession and technical workers; and the gender disparity in earned income, reflecting economic independence".

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Some critiques of GEM is that it is not concerned with factors regarding society, such as gender, religion, cultural context, legal context, and violations of women's rights. Some critique of this measurement is that, because GDI calculations rely solely on the achievement distribution between males and females of a population, GDI doesn't measure gender inequality; rather, it measures absolute levels on income, education and health. A more qualitative form of assessing women's empowerment is to identify constraints to action.

This allows for the identification of power relations between genders. Because this is a participatory process, it facilitates conversation on gender discrimination. The evaluation of the development of women's agency allows for an evaluation of actions taken. These assessments must also be based on the action taken by women, and not external groups. External groups can help facilitate women's empowerment, but cannot bestow it on them.

Many of the barriers to women's empowerment and equity lie ingrained in cultural norms. Many women feel these pressures, while others have become accustomed to being treated inferior to men.

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Research shows that the increasing access to the internet can also result in an increased exploitation of women. Types of victimization include cyber stalking , harassment, online pornography , and flaming. It appears in almost all industries, but is most notable in the following: business, trade, banking and finance, sales and marketing, hospitality, civil service, and education, lecturing and teaching. Recent studies also show that women face more barriers in the workplace than do men.

Gender-related barriers involve sexual harassment, unfair hiring practices, career progression, and unequal pay where women are paid less than men are for performing the same job. While much of the public discussion of the " wage gap " has focused around women getting equal pay for the same work as their male peers, many women struggle with what is called the "pregnancy penalty".

The main problem is that it is difficult to measure, but some experts say that the possibility of having a baby can be enough for employers to push women back from their line. This problem has sparked the debate over maternity leave in the United States and many other countries in the world. However, despite the struggle for equal pay in the Nepal, the tech industry [ clarification needed ] has made progress in helping to encourage equal pay across gender.

In March , tech career website Dice released a study of more than 16, tech professionals that found that when you compare equivalent education, experience and position, there is no pay gap—and hasn't been for the last six years. However, this industry also struggles to employ women in executive positions. This is partially due to the barrier of sexual harassment and pregnancy that was aforementioned. Such barriers make it difficult for women to advance in their workplace or receive fair compensation for the work they provide.

It is said that education increases "people's self-confidence and also enables them to find better jobs and they can work shoulder to shoulder with men". Furthermore, it empowers women to make choices that can improve their welfare, including marrying beyond childhood and having fewer children. Crucially, education can increase women's awareness of their rights, boost their self-esteem, and provide them the opportunity to assert their rights. Despite significant improvements in recent decades, education is not universally available and gender inequalities persist. A major concern in many countries is not only the limited numbers of girls going to school but also the limited educational pathways for those that step into the classroom.

More specifically, there should be more efforts to address the lower participation and learning achievement of girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics STEM education.

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The growing access of the web in the late 20th century has allowed women to empower themselves by using various tools on the Internet. With the introduction of the World Wide Web , women have begun to use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter for online activism. Track record.


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