Mitra Ferdows has given a speech on Women Empowerment to inspire them to achieve their goals in a Zoom Webinar. Mitra Ferdows Stated that women heads of households, as the poorest individuals, are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, which constitutes a significant amount of the population.
Women especially in the developing world, are of special importance in development discourses and planning due to their multi-role role and the important task of providing for the family. Empowering and improving the quality and quantity of their lives can provide the grounds for reducing poverty, reducing gender inequality, expanding socio-economic independence, and so on.
Studies show that women are more vulnerable to poverty and gender discrimination than men, due to the fact that women do not have the necessary capabilities to reduce poverty.
Gender inequality in developing countries:
World Bank reports in recent years have largely confirmed the continuing deprivation and gender inequality in developing countries. Accordingly, more than 66 percent of the world’s 1.5 billion people are women. While women around the world have always carried more than two-thirds of the workload; But they have only ten percent of the world’s total income and only one percent of the world’s wealth.
Mitra Ferdows defined women’s empowerment as a process by which women are empowered to organize themselves, increase their self-confidence, and defend their rights to make independent choices and control over resources, which leads to the loss of their inferior status.
Women’s empowerment means that they must achieve a level of personal development that allows them to make choices based on their desires. In fact, empowerment is an effort to raise the economic, cultural, and social level of women. Therefore, women’s empowerment requires gender education and development. One of the goals of gender development is empowerment and it means increasing cognition-self-awareness-reliability and expanding women’s freedom of choice by themselves. Therefore, women’s empowerment is a term that is closely related to continuous improvement, competency promotion, behavior change, and improvement. Women’s performance shows that in other words, women’s empowerment means that they overcome their low self-esteem, their actions and words show self-confidence, and have the power to face difficulties and their abilities and capabilities in order to achieve their goals.
Mitra Ferdows defined that the five key dimensions of empowerment are:
Feeling Self-Effective or Competent; feeling competent means that employees believe they have the skills and ability to do their jobs. A sense of competence is a belief in one’s ability to perform one’s activities skillfully. These people feel that they can perform their tasks with high skill.
When people become empowered, they feel self-effective; Or they feel they have the ability and skill to do a job successfully. Empowered people not only feel competent but also confident that they can do the job adequately. They feel a sense of personal superiority and believe that they can learn and grow to meet new challenges. Some authors believe that this feature is the most important element of empowerment; Because having a sense of self-efficacy determines whether people will try and persevere to do something difficult.
Feeling of self-control; When people voluntarily engage in their own tasks instead of being forced to give up or quit, they feel self-sufficient. They see themselves as self-initiated individuals who are able to take initiative, make independent decisions, and test new ideas at will.
Capable people feel ownership over their work; Because they can determine how things should be done and how quickly they should be completed. Having the right to choose is a major component of self-regulation.
In the difference between self-efficacy and self-regulation, it should be said that self-regulation is rightly attributed to the right to choose; While self-efficacy refers to the feeling of capability.
Personal acceptance of the result; Capable people feel personal control over the results. They believe that they can make a difference by influencing the environment in which they work, or the results that are produced. Personal acceptance of the result is “a person’s beliefs at a particular point in time about his or her ability to change for the better.” Having a sense of personal acceptance of the outcome is entirely related to a sense of self-control. In order for people to feel empowered, they must not only feel that what they are doing has an impact but must feel that they can create that effect; That is, in order for that result to be accompanied by a sense of empowerment, they must feel that they are in control of the outcome of the production or service provided.
To be meaningful; Employees value the purpose or goals of the activity they are engaged in and align their mental standards with what they are doing in their job.
In other words, the meaningful feeling is a value attitude that results from the congruence of individuals’ ideals and values and what they are doing. Capable people feel meaningful. Being meaningful means linking work goals and tasks to one’s ideals and standards.
People are more committed, more involved, and more focused on the work that makes sense than when it is low. People are more excited about engaging because meaningful work is associated with a sense of personal importance and self-worth. Also, people who are empowered by feeling that the job is meaningful are more innovative and more influential at higher levels; they are also more efficient than people who score low on the meaning of the job.
The trust; Ultimately, capable people have a sense of trust and are confident that they will be treated fairly and equitably. They maintain the assurance that even in a subordinate position, the end result of their actions will be fair. This feeling usually means that they are confident that those in power will not harm or harm them and that they will be treated impartially. In other words, trust means having a sense of personal security. Trust also implicitly implies that people put themselves in a vulnerable position, yet capable people believe that ultimately no harm will come to them as a result of that trust.
Mitra Ferdows added that women’s empowerment is a social phenomenon and is not a single causal social phenomenon and depends on several internal and external factors. On the other hand, internal factors such as physical condition, mental status, economic status of the family have a decisive role on the ability of the individual. On the other hand, existing social structures can play a decisive role in this regard. One of these factors is the effect of social support on their empowerment.
Mitra Ferdows concluded that the ability perspective places empowerment at the center and basis of economic, social, and political change. In other words, if the empowerment process is successful, further economic, social and political development will be a side effect. Therefore, the goal of governments should be to transform incompetent people in the public policy-making process into productive, active, and participatory people in the economic, social, and political dimensions so that they can be useful individuals for their society.