6 ways to empower women across the world
“We can do it” – This iconic phrase was first introduced during World War Two; next to the infamous image of a women in overalls ready to work. Until this day this image has symbolized solidarity and empowerment for women.
So 75 years later what exactly are we doing to help empower women to go out and ‘do it’?
Although many may argue that women have come a long way in becoming empowered, there is still progress to be made. Here we highlight six ways in which we can continue to break down barriers and empower women across the world to achieve the opportunities they are entitled to.
Get more women in global leadership goals
As both business and political leaders, senior women regularly challenge conventional wisdom in their approach to leadership.
Research suggests that the most powerful and attractive symbolism of women leaders is the hope that they will bring significant change. When a woman is chosen as the first woman to become the most senior leader – the president, prime minister, or CEO, people begin to believe that other more substantive and less symbolic changes are also possible.
Read the full research paper: Women Leading Globally: What We Know, Thought We Knew, and Need to Know about Leadership in the 21st Century
Create self-help groups in rural areas
Evidence suggests that there is a strong relationship between self-help groups (SHG) and women’s empowerment.
SHGs are associations of 10-20 members who come together to find solutions to their common problems with the main objective to help villagers, mainly women, to develop the habit of small savings. SHGs have been instrumental in generating livelihoods for women by allowing them to generate income and contribute to social development.
Read the full research paper: Empowering women and stimulating development at bottom of pyramid through micro-entrepreneurship
Empower entrepreneurs in developing countries
Micro and small business enterprises (MSEs) have empowered women in developing countries through enhancing their decision-making in the household and the community.
Evidence suggest that MSEs have strengthened women’s bargaining power in decision -making on family resource access to use and control and income allocation and expenditure of household resources.
Teach business skills to women
Research undertaken by the cooperation Vietnam Women’s Union and Peace Trees found that business training can increase performance in microenterprises and improve motivation, success, trust, and perceptions of women entrepreneurs.
Teaching women business skills has the potential of long-term benefits in sustaining a business and in developing new ones.
Read the full research paper: Teaching business skills to women: Impact of business training on women’s microenterprise owners in Vietnam
Encourage more women to take apprentice roles
A recent survey has highlighted the need to encourage more young women to take apprenticeship roles, especially in male dominated industries.
The survey found that more could be done to support women taking on apprenticeships and to achieve such changes support structures for women and girls should include mentors, networks and female-friendly workplaces.
Read the full research paper: Apprenticeships should work for women too!
Create a better environment for career development
Research findings indicate that there is a need for better career development guidance and support for women. Getting women managers to senior executive and board level can partly be achieved by women taking more responsibility or ownership for their own career development. However, alone, that is unlikely to be enough –organizations therefore need to take a decisive, agentic role in creating a better organizational culture for women.
Read the full research paper: A better career environment for women: developing a blueprint for individuals and organizations
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