By Brianna Hawkins
When it comes to the two words, “women empowerment,” people usually think of things like women’s rights or women who go under the label “feminist.” But the truth is, women’s empowerment can be defined in many ways because it’s defined differently for every individual.
One way to describe women empowerment is the right as a woman to live life on your own terms. No matter if it’s socially or economically.
For the past few decades, women empowerment has progressed in many ways with women taking on new roles in male-dominated fields. With all the changes women have made to society, has anything really changed?
“I feel like things are slowly changing,” said senior communication major Jadian Daniels. “There’s still not enough gender equality, not just in the workplace but in society. They still have these social norms of women supposing to act a certain way when now we have single mothers who take the role of men, and we have women who can outdo the job of men. But I won’t feel like we’re there until we have a first female president.”
Because so many women have worked in male-dominated fields, some people may wonder how gender inequality is still in the workplace.
One of the answers to that question is unfair to pay in the workplace. Many reporters have covered unfair pay in Hollywood due to recent events like the #MeToo movement that has become popular amongst many celebrities who are in favor of women’s rights.
But what about the average woman who is being unpaid? Problems like unfair pay and sexual harassment have been common problems among women in the workforce for many years and for some reason now it has everyone’s attention as if it is a new problem.
Another issue that is commonly said in public when it comes to gender equality is the term feminist. It’s a stereotype for a lot of people that in order to be a feminist you must believe in women’s rights or be a woman, which is false A feminist is defined as someone who simply believes of equality across the board for everyone..
“Just because a woman stays home with her children, she works ten times as hard as I do,” said Associate Professor of Communication Dr. Amber Narro. “I wasn’t cut out for staying home with my kids. That’s a challenge. That’s something that your brain has to be on for your children 24 hours a day and I think the woman in the workforce is no more important and often aren’t as important as the woman who is at home.”
While many women these days have jobs working with their male counterparts, some women enjoy being a housewife and doing traditional women roles such as cooking and cleaning and tending to their children. The difference between doing this now and doing it in the 1940s or 1950s is that it is now being done by choice not because it’s society’s norm or belief.
When it comes to how Narro would describe Women Empowerment, she believes it’s a woman seeking what they strive to do in life.
“I think Women Empowerment is really about I think it’s again because I don’t think I hold that hardcore feminist kind of perspective, I think that Women Empowerment means that women feel like they can accomplish whatever they want to do,” said Narro. “And it’s not because of the fact that they’re a woman it’s just because that’s their personality. And I think that the woman empowerment situation is necessary because there are definitely inequalities in the workplace, but I also think it is what every woman makes it and what every woman makes it to be.”