-1 Authority or power given to someone to do something.

-2 The process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.

Empower has become my least favorite word, particularly when applied to women. It currently serves as a way to pay lip service to gender equality, without making any real and radical change. Worst of all, it implies that women need permission (see definition 1 above) when in actuality, what we need to do is claim what’s rightfully ours (see definition 2). 

Women around the world are finally recognizing their own abilities to empower themselves and the women around them, and rather than waiting for a seat at the table, they’re building their own. Rather than waiting to be empowered, we need to remind ourselves that we have the right to speak our truth, share our opinions and have the courage of our convictions.

Start Young

A past study showed that girls are at their peak confident at the age of 10 and unfortunately. But by instilling the right values in our girls, allowing them to be as bold and outspoken as they choose to be and arming them with the right tools, information and mentors, we can ensure we’re raising a generation of self-empowered, confident women. 

Value Relationships Where You Are An Equal

The relationships in which we are treated equally allow us to appreciate what it means to be respected and valued, as well as offering the opportunity to share our beliefs, stand firm in our opinions, and bring ideas to the table.

Discuss Inequity For Women

There can be no end to inequality without awareness and discussion.Stay informed and share your awareness with others. Speak up when you feel slighted and expect others to listen. This is a fundamental route to change.

Support Yourself With Your Language

Words matter. Focus on your language. What are the words you use to describe yourself? Or other women? Choose to use words that demand respect and show strength and appreciation.

Take A Risk 

Taking risks is a great way to build self-reliance. Even if all goes wrong, going out on a limb builds experience, strong decision making, self trust and problem solving. Many women wait until they feel unfulfilled or need a change before rerouting their lives and trying something new. However, having a vision of what your life should be and being unafraid to pursue that path is the easiest way to turn dreams into reality.

Seize Opportunities

Apply for that promotion, take on the stretch assignments, find mentors, attend educational panels and networking events. Basically, use every opportunity you can to develop and grow and place yourself in a position of strength.

Positive Thoughts

We all know that positive thinking can make a huge difference to our self esteem. Despite the unequal odds, find ways to continually boost your self worth every day whether with affirmations or an upbeat mindset. Not only does this approach support peace of mind, it also helps with problem-solving and productivity.