Impower, not empower

Female empowerment isn’t just a buzz word anymore. Or a fad. It’s a way of life. And a cause one doesn’t not want to be associated with. One that’s found enough takers, for everyone to find some reason to jump on to the bandwagon. The commercialization of woman empowerment, I call it. Ad commercials that propagate the notion of equality repeatedly. Ventures ranging from lingerie, to plus sized clothing to media channels, focusing on women of various segments. Corporate policies across the globe evolving to recognize the biological, financial and social requirements of women. All steps towards empowering more women. Yet, somehow, I have an issue with the term empowerment.

Empower. The dictionary defines the word empower as the act of giving someone the authority or power to do something. And I begin to wonder why one an individual that is talented, capable and high-performing in her own way has to be ‘empowered‘ by another individual. Especially when the so-called ’empowerer’ happens to be a counterpart, except a difference in gender.

Maybe there needs to be a slight tweak to this term. Instead of ’empowering’ women, I’d like to change the term to female impowerment. Allowing more women find their purpose, through self-discovery of their abilities. Where through opportunities and avenues, we assist them in finding what already was within them. I’ve almost begun to associate the term empowerment as a hierarchical notion, where someone at the top allows power to someone below him. And the question that arises in my mind is why the apparent ‘allowed’ party even needed permission in first place. In a world that’s working towards equality and inclusivity,  that’s where we might be getting it wrong. Power lies within. It shouldn’t have to imparted externally.

And maybe that’s what should be our mantra this Women’s Day. To Impower, not empower.