Yesterday my status on a social media app was:
“Empowered Women, Empower Women”, much heard that it has lost whatever little meaning it really had.
And rightly so, my friend buzzed me – this is never gonna happen, its all a sham! I quietly agreed but didn’t stop thinking.
I have been fortunate to have a fair share of women who have encouraged me and brought me out of my apprehensions, set backs and depressive phases in life. I think when we read the word Empower, we only think of some superficial sense of happiness with no problems around, whatsoever.
Will this ever happen? To anyone? irrespective of gender? No.
When I see empowerment for women, I look at it at the grass root level of existence. Right from the childhood to adolescence to adulthood and right till the end. We need encouragement at every step. Boys also need it. As much as women. But when it comes to opportunities, somehow boys have been able to grab them quicker than most girls would. Their voice is heard before women’s. Not just because of the baritone. Because of social conditioning. And hence, I believe that a woman who herself believes in her capabilities, is confident of her own progress and has a support system – which one needs to develop, doesn’t come as a gift usually – can empower others around her.
Observing my son in grade 3, there are still no biases in his mind what he and what his girl classmates can do. They compete in games and studies alike. I hope this continues to be the trend for his generation. But I already see a little grown up kids of grade 5 and above having gender biases. I was aghast when I first heard of such biased comments curtailed under humor. It disturbed me and I warned my son that the day you make fun of a girl’s capabilities, you are directing it at your mother and your beloved grandmother. I know I need to remind him this every now and then because I cannot control his peer group’s conditioning.
Let us not give up on empowering each other, it doesn’t need to be providing a source of income or education to fellow women. It is just being there, listening and bringing fellow women to a platform where they do not fear being heard. Let us try to make each other more capable of taking care of ourselves, encourage to take risks and assure that it will be alright in the end. This little empowerment will go a long way.
I will be super biased if I don’t acknowledge that I have seen such encouraging boys – my friends who have shown me my strengths which I surely undermined. I owe my little success to these wonderful group of men and women who are deep influences in my life. Not every woman needs to become a Michelle Obama or a Mother Teresa or a Sushma Swaraj. We are warriors of our own little struggles as these women are or were. Let us respect ourselves and take tiny steps towards strengthening the female population.
Thank God for women’s day extravaganza that I am thinking deeper on these lines. We all should. A demarcated day is just an excuse, nothing more.
Let us keep believing that empowerment is real and we can achieve it!