Sometime back I met Ankit Khandelwal on Instagram who is an Engineering leader by profession, a father of lovely twin daughters, and a writer by hobby and passion. He writes on his personal blog Let’s Look Differently. He believes that all that is needed to create a difference in society is a different perspective to look at things. As he says, the intention of his writing is “Joyful people, empowered women, and sensitivity for the life around”. He strongly believes that we can’t have an empowered society without having empowered women. This very idea made him write on women empowerment too. I have put his post in the category Heroes Among Us as I believe he is definitely a hero for being so serious and dedicated to women empowerment despite being a man. So here’s for the first time on WomnderfulWoman we have a post by a ‘man’ on women empowerment from his own perspective. Read it here!
Women Empowerment: A Man’s Perspective
“A woman doesn’t have to be like a man to be a powerful woman. She in herself is an enormous possibility.”Ankit Khandelwal
Empowerment as it means is about giving power to someone. Power could be either felt or held.
From a larger perspective, almost everyone needs empowerment at some point in time. As human beings we feel disempowered many times and then we look at something or someone to get inspired or empowered. As we start getting inspired, we gain our partially lost confidence and start feeling powerful too.
Some power that we get is by authority or the position that we hold. The held position gives us the power to take certain decisions for ourselves or others and decide the future course of action. Obviously, in most cases, to act with the power given by a position, you need to feel powerful too.
Women empowerment as a notion has been used in many ways. But the question stays, what it is? Largely and unfortunately, women have been exploited and kept deprived of what a human being deserves. This has been going on for years, where they have been treated badly as if they are inferior to men. With all the history and all that is talked about women empowerment today, for many it means equality. So, what’s the issue? Aren’t we looking for equality? Is equality bad? No! But this equality, as it is understood by many, is not equality, it’s similarity and that’s where the issue is!
Let’s look from the perspective of an empowered society. The true empowerment of society will happen when different people could do different things in different ways for the benefit of society so that society could grow in different dimensions. And what will help the society to grow in different dimensions is equality of opportunities and not similarly of actions. Women bring phenomenal qualities with them that men completely lack. Anyway, history doesn’t tell that the way men approach a problem, or a situation has been the best. So, women can do the same thing in their own way which could be far better than the way men do it or they may do what men haven’t even been able to do ever. Men can’t be and shouldn’t be the defined limit for women to grow when they can go far beyond!
A society will grow where differences are understood, respected, and appreciated! A society will grow where every individual has an equal opportunity to express, explore, and expand themselves. What this means for a woman is, she has the freedom to do what she loves to do in a way that lets her express herself and use her strengths to the fullest. Largely, equality as understood today is being equal to men, which is anyway a limiting idea. Women should be successful by their idea of success and not by what has been existing for years as an idea of success for men!
How can we, as a society, cause the wonderful women around us to feel truly empowered? The first thing is we need to stop disempowering women and they are strong enough to empower themselves! Unfortunately, the situation today is such that all women don’t even feel safe, forget about feeling powerful. Obviously, strong laws must work together to ensure women’s safety but what is also needed is a shift in the mindset of the society that enables the empowerment of a woman around us, thus enabling the larger women empowerment that we talk about.
Be it Inside homes or outside, let’s create a space that is free from opinions and prejudices about her, a space that is full of listening to her. Let’s create a culture that teaches looking at “beings” beyond their “bodies”. Let’s create an environment where she can fully express herself with ease. That will truly make her “feel powerful”.
As I said earlier, “power felt” is an absolute necessity for “power held”. Along with that, for women to “hold power”, equality of opportunities must stay in everything, in education, in career, in the building of a nation, and in the building of a better world. We as men must enable this with full commitment and responsibility, not as a favor to women by “giving” them opportunities, but by “sharing” opportunities with them, the opportunities that they deserve.
Finally, is women empowerment only about women? No! It’s about humanity. Humanity deserves a large part of it to be able to rationally think, powerfully question, and immensely contribute to its growth. How successful the generations of the future will be, depends on how powerful the women of today are. Success is what women deserve and their success is what a better world needs. True women empowerment will happen the day it is not needed to be talked about. It will happen when women and men work together for the growth of humanity. It will happen when they help and support each other. That’s when equality won’t be needed, it will be a natural outcome. That’s when we can focus on human empowerment considering both women and men an equal and important part of humanity.
© 2020 Ankit Khandelwal All Rights Reserved