The dictionary definition of Empowerment goes like this:

  • "Authority or power given to someone to do something."
  • "The process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights."

There are too many people out there claiming how they support women and are all for women’s empowerment. But how many times have women faced the wrath of the system, society, her own family and from even women themselves? Let’s face it, women do have a tougher time in this world, struggling and multi-tasking while trying to keep everyone happy so that the balance is not shaken.

Not delving too deep on how women’s lives are more difficult and how they are not considered equal to men, I intend to shed some light on how we can practically Walk the Talk on empowering our women and in which aspects of their lives they need support and understanding from us.

Aspects of a woman's life

Childhood – This part of our lives is the most cherished and should be fondly remembered by all. There are too many times when parents discriminate between a girl and a boy child. Girls are expected to help their moms with the household chores while boys are given errands outside the house or in some cases not given any task at all. Boys are expected to focus more on their studies and are given more encouragement in that field.

Lo and behold there is discrimination when it comes to toys too! Why try and fit the girl into stereotypes?

Marriage – One of the most important relationships for a girl is the relationship she shares with her spouse. That is the area where she requires the most support and understanding but unfortunately, that is where she receives most disappointments from.

All she wants is for her husband to stand by her through all the ups and downs, against the world, trust her decisions and respect her choices, be a helping hand and an anchor while raising a family, ease her burden, not add to it. Equality in marriage is very important and is key to a happy and content married life.

Societal pressures – From the beginning, the woman is subjected to judgment and prejudices of society.

There is a set stereotype in which she should fall or else she is considered to have gone astray and made to feel unaccepted. This also includes some fellow women who have the mentality that just because they had to suffer societal pressures, all the women should be subjected to the same and not have it easy. A strong woman will not care about society and go on unfettered doing what she believes in, but do we have to make it a struggle for her, do we have to lay down obstacles for her along the way?

Professional front – As if this was not enough, we have enough data to prove that working men draw more salaries than working women, especially after childbirth (for many, career comes to a stop post childbirth).

So, women do need a maternity break and sometimes an extended one to take care of a precious life and what is wrong with that? Can’t we make it easier for her to return to work when she wishes to instead of subjecting her to questions on her capability and commitment towards work? Yes, she needs a work-life balance post a child and would probably need flexible work hours, so can’t we be empathetic and supportive as employers? Please reward her for taking a break for taking care of her baby and not punish her by denying her a genuine chance at employment.

Raising kids – This sure is a very tiresome job, satisfying though but a lot of hard work. And husbands and family need to chip in here. Fathers need to spend time with their kids whether the mother is a housewife or a working woman.

Raising kids is teamwork and not a single parent's responsibility. So please do your wife a favor, help her get the children ready for school, do the dirty laundry sometime, fill in to pick and drop off the kids at school, help change that dirty diaper, make that hot meal you always thought you would, and most of all make her feel loved and cared for through this journey.

Individuality – With so many roles that a woman plays - that of a daughter, wife, mother, daughter-in-law, sister, we forget that first and foremost she is an individual. A woman faces a tough time trying to find her identity which gets mixed up in all these roles. Through this identity crisis, help her find and cherish that identity.

You owe this to all the women in your lives. A woman who is not able to live for herself and find her true individuality sans all these relationships goes through immense unhappiness and discontent.

Strong women pull through all the difficulties even though they feel challenged by the same.

It's time to walk

Can’t we make this journey smoother for these amazing women? Let’s shelve the stereotypes defining women and prejudices against them to pave the way for a more progressive society.

Let’s come together and make a genuine attempt at making this world a better place for the women to survive in, starting this month that is Women’s History Month. Three cheers for all the wonderful women in the world and for all the men who have stood by them.