“A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Years of despotism, patriarchy, perturbation, and oppression ignited a fire within, so powerful in strength that not even water could kill it. This burning fire allowed women to arrive at unthinkable platforms, which once upon a time, was nothing but a mere dream waiting to be accomplished.
To dream, too, was a transgression, for a woman’s thoughts weren’t to go that far. The malevolent remarks, the shutting down from society, and the manipulation of men gave birth to the shatter of many precious dreams and the ending of several invaluable lives, both affecting women’s state and lives. The very positions and activities that once a woman was forbidden to partake in, are now, led by some of the most influential and strongest women in history, all due to a single activity: the empowerment of women.
The term, “women empowerment” is a big tree, consisting of small but significant branches. It simply refers to women receiving proper rights and privileges to control their own life, without the prevention of others. Though in today’s generation, this term may look like nothing but a mere phrase from a dictionary, about forty to sixty years ago, it was but the only thing a woman ever yearned for.
A myriad of years ago enforced laws and stereotypes prevented women to partake in suffrages or even, appear to society, as ‘knowledgeable’ or ‘capable’. Women’s lives were like puppets, all manipulated by men and sprinkled with their vexatious activities.
Rarely women were seen stepping out of their residences, for their only duty was to manage the household and take care of children, while the men would earn for the family and appear to society, as a person of ‘endless abilities’.
Even uttering a single word, or adding a conviction to community discussions proved to be an erroneous action, for a woman’s voice shouldn’t, by any means, be involved in these discussions.
Slowly and steadily, these rules and enforcements turned women into nothing but people who were bound to serve men, meekly, and obey their orders. But only when the women began realizing their abilities, did another chapter in history appear.
Women began stepping foot outside their homes, they started allowing their voices to drift as far away as possible, and last but not least, they rid themselves of the haunting manipulated lifestyles, freeing themselves of oppression and unbearable ascendancy.
When freedom finally seeped into their lives, were they able to reach unexpected heights and attain the most honourable of echelons. The journey was never easy, for even this freedom of theirs was soon trapped behind barbed wires, unable to escape from the tormenting nights. But through countless nights of weeping, countless beads of perspiration, and uncountable battles, their voices were again, reaching society, affecting many ubiquitous decisions and changing the minds of many people.
There stimulated an unknown amalgamation, never seen before. The obscure feeling of unification, all simply due to the empowerment of women.
The words and ideas they once imprisoned inside their brains were now unlocked and free, breaking barriers and touching skies. Powerful women like Begum Rokeya, Dr Emily Howard Stowe, and many more flourished and encouraged education and literacy amongst young girls. Thus, the birth of a new era emerged.
Contributions of women to society would have a long list but some noteworthy mentions would be Begum Rokeya’s establishing girl’s school, Valentina Tereshkova becoming the first woman in space, Bettisia Gozzadini, appointing her name under the position of ‘the first woman to teach at a university’, and many other women who have authenticated that indeed, women can accomplish the impossible.
Even in modern times, when sexism and misogyny are at their peak, influential women like Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris, Oprah Winfrey, and Malala Yousafzai have broken the barriers and created a platform for women to express themselves and share their dreams and ideas that once was but a mere dream, waiting to be accomplished.
Beneath the many accomplishments and innumerable achievements that women have succeeded to do, there remains a short yet answered question: why is women’s empowerment frivolous?
The answer hurls us back in time to when women first began appearing in society and there stimulated an unknown unification, never seen before. The very unification that shaped countries and brightened the state of their future simply because unification gave birth to creation. The creation of new ideas, new perspectives, new initiatives, and new actions helped several other countries to flourish.
Women empowerment is not only done for the betterment of a country’s state but to cast more light upon the future of the coming generation, allowing them to comfortably make their voice reach thousands of ears and their convictions validated by several nods of approval.
And while there may be other answers as to the necessity of women’s empowerment, people need to remind themselves of the mere notion that gender equality and women’s rights are but the backbone of civilization, the main roots of the big tree which bears the name of “women empowerment”.
“While I may be the first woman in the office, I will not be the last.”
A thought-provoking quote uttered by the current vice-president of the USA, Kamala Devi Harris, who is the first woman of colour to achieve such an echelon, and who has encouraged young girls and other women to step out of their bubble and show the world that women can do the impossible.
Though countries may be judged by their marvellous beauty, their affluence, and aristocracy, tucked inside the crevice of all these factors, exists a tree, unnoticed but is the most important, for this tree is nothing but the tree of women empowerment, without nothing, not even unification, can be achieved.
By: Sarah Mushtaque
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