Ubuntu means togetherness, family and creating a sense of oneness. The ability to empower someone is being able to carry individual success to other people. Empowerment is more than identification of the source of disempowerment and solving it, but it encompasses the giving of skills, educating the layman, training of women and young girls to be great entrepreneurs and taking up leadership roles. As Hilary Clinton says, it takes a nation to raise a child this basically means that empowering women is not a one man’s activity, but if many people put their heads together, recognising the potential in women and young girls will be achieved.
Setting free those strangled with the yoke of bondage, helping the defeated to stand on their own two feet, giving a voice to the hopeless and knowing that the oppressed can sing a song of freedom is what empowerment is all about. Helping women to release their inner potential is a step towards, grooming women to be influential in their communities. They are many women who have tapped into their inner potential and have helped others to realise their own. Proverbial women like Mother Theresa, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Florence Nightingale and Joyce Meyer just to mention a few. Many worldwide have become influential.
It would be an unjust act not to point out why young girl and women empowerment is important. It is crucial in building confidence to the future women that they can be game changers, who can make a difference. It is also important because one core of empowerment is adding value. With men and women working alongside empowerment is important because, females can equally run businesses, be providers and not be pushed around by male chauvinists who do not favour female development. Lastly Sara Longwe suggests that, they are levels of empowerment, welfare being the lowest stage talks about provision of the basic needs with no empowerment, followed by conscientisation which is making women aware of their disadvantages as well as mobilising and networking. The highest level sums up why young girls and women should be empowered this stage is having control and empowerment. This where women take action and are independent enough to make decisions, own and distribute resources.
In a nutshell, being empowered is like reaching the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which expresses self-fulfilment. It was once stated that our greatest fear is that we are not inadequate but we are powerful beyond measure, thus one of the vitals of empowerment is tapping into our inner selves to add value, seeing success as a collective victory and being the world changers as it is commonly said be the change you want to see.
By Ketty Chemambo