By employment in certain sectors of the global economy

By Abigail LevandoskiWhile unfortunate that men still need to be convinced of the importance of the women’s empowerment movement, specific arguments can be made to show how the empowerment of women benefits everyone, even men. Women’s empowerment represents a global effort to treat women the same as men in every aspect of society. The argument for women’s empowerment includes the idea that treating women as equals benefits society economically, socially and politically all while improving the daily lives of women around the world. Many empowerment groups choose to focus on the economic implications of empowering women.  They choose to emphasize the financial aspects of empowerment due to the motivation factors inherent in the idea of an improved economic landscape. Through this lens, these organizations create a common goal and push communities to rally around women’s empowerment with the promise of economic growth for all. How Women’s empowerment improves the economyWorldwide women remain underrepresented in many aspects of society. Women are underrepresented politically, socially and economically. When able to fully participate, women will push the economy forward and this will benefit everyone. Women, when allowed to fully take part in society, will influence progress and growth. Women make up 40% of the global workforce (Shetty, 2012). Despite this fact, the percentage of women in leadership roles in business remains significantly less than the percentage of men in those positions.  If talents and skills of women were taken seriously within the labor force, productivity would inevitably increase. Women face barriers to employment in certain sectors of the global economy in not only developing countries but also in developed countries. If young girls pushed past those barriers to employment in all sectors, we would see an increase in productivity globally. A report released by the World Bank indicates that by eliminating barriers women face trying to enter the labor force we would see an increase in household incomes in some areas by as much as 25% (Atal, 2012)Women represent more than half of the students in our institutions of higher education. Yet, women continue to be underrepresented in management roles in corporations, institutions of higher education and as political leaders. One major barrier that stops women from achieving leadership roles in our economy remains children and childcare. Eliminating the childcare barrier to employment for women through changes in parental leave policies and affordable child care options would not only increase production output but also help with population concerns globally. Nations suffering from aging populations and lower fertility rates would benefit from changes in parental leave policies and child care initiatives by enabling women to both work and have children. Creating opportunities for women to be represented equally in all aspects of society improves the economy for everyone. Women are an underused resource for our economy and tapping into that resource changes to economic landscape for nations all over the world. How Women’s Empowerment Benefits Us SociallyThe negative connotations associated with femininity leads to the hyper-masculinity of men in cultures all around the world. The ideas of power and strength attributed to men result in the ideals of compassion and self-care being considered un-manly in many cultures. This view of strength and power stunts emotional development and hurts men, especially male children. The women’s empowerment movement works to remove those negative connotations with feminine ideals and thus opens the door for women to not only feel uplifted and empowered but allows men to address important mental health and social concerns in their own lives without being viewed as less than. The push to eliminate misogynistic aspects of our culture and cultures worldwide benefits all people by improving the social-emotional development of all humans. Saving Women’s LivesThe economic and social argument for women’s empowerment serves as a powerful motivator but they do not get to the source of the problems which women face around the world. More important than the economic and social implications, women are unsafe. Women are dying at increasing and higher rates than men. Women walk through their streets feeling unsafe and unable to prevent trauma because of the way men view women in our society. One-Third of all women have experienced violence perpetrated against them by a man (Organization, 2017). Women suffer extreme violence as a tool for men to maintain power and control. As a result of this violence, women are left with physical wounds as well as social and emotional wounds which can render women unable to work and care for themselves. Women’s empowerment movements fight to improve the lives of women by improving sexual violence prevention programs and the way in which we respond to the sexual violence against women.  It’s unfortunate that statistics showing the increased violence against women is not enough to convince the world that change is necessary. This leaves the economic and social arguments to help push the women’s empowerment movements into the spotlight. Including women more equally in all aspects of society enables there to be an equal representation of all voices in the areas of policy, economics, and progress. A change in gender norms and social policy as well as government and legislative policy to include equal representation of women allows everyone to benefit from efforts to better the daily lives of women around the world. Works CitedAtal, M. (2012, March 30). Does Empowering Women Improve the Economy? Retrieved January 7, 2017, from Forbes.com: https://www.forbes.com/sites/mahaatal/2012/03/30/does-empowering-women-improve-the-economy/#4a737ec42753Organization, W. H. (2017, November). Violence Against Women. Retrieved January 7, 2018, from World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/Shetty, A. R. (2012, March). Empowering Women is Smart Economics. Retrieved January 7, 2017, from International Monetary Fund: Finance and Development: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2012/03/revenga.htm