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philosophy to the highly commercialized self-help industry and motivational sciences. Sociological empowerment often addresses members of groups that social discrimination processes have excluded from decision-making processes through - for example - discrimination based on disability, race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Empowerment as a methodology is often associated with feminism: see consciousness-raising. Marginalization
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"Marginalized" refers to the overt or covert trends within societies whereby those perceived as lacking desirable traits or deviating from the group norms tend to be excluded by wider society and ostracized as undesirables. Sometimes groups are marginalized by society at large, but governments are often unwitting or enthusiastic participants. For example, the U.S. government marginalized cultural minorities, particularly blacks, prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act made it illegal to restrict access to schools and public places based on race. Equal opportunity laws which actively oppose such marginalization, allow increased empowerment to occur. They are also a symptom of minorities' and women's empowerment through lobbying. Marginalized people who have no opportunities for self-sufficiency become, at a minimum, dependent on charity or welfare. They lose their self-confidence because they cannot be fully selfsupporting. The opportunities denied them also deprive them of the pride of accomplishment which others, who have those opportunities, can develop for themselves. This in turn can lead to psychological, social and even mental health problems. Empowerment is then the process of obtaining these basic opportunities for marginalized people, either directly by those people, or through the help of non-marginalized others who share their own access to these opportunities. It also includes actively thwarting attempts to deny those opportunities. Empowerment also includes encouraging, and developing the skills for, selfsufficiency, with a focus on eliminating the future need for charity or welfare in the individuals of the group. This process can be difficult to start and to implement effectively, but there are many examples of empowerment projects which have succeeded. One empowerment strategy is to assist marginalized people to create their own nonprofit organization, using the rationale that only the marginalized people, themselves, can know what
directly and negatively impacts health. make their own plans. it also made way for extended surveillance and control. for example. Measuring Gender Empowerment Gender empowerment can be measured through the Gender Empowerment Measure. and the gender disparity in earned income. Ways to Empower Women One way to deploy the empowerment of women is through land rights. also called gender empowerment. Entire nations. The Human Development and Capabilities Approach. Empowerment is one of the main procedural concerns when addressing human rights anddevelopment. The GEM shows women’s participation in a given nation. even though the lack of such a system profoundly.their own people need most. however. and other credible approaches/goals point to empowerment and participation as a necessary step if a country is to overcome the obstacles associated with poverty and development. senior officials and managers. Charitable organizations lead from outside of the community. reducing the need for ongoing dependence. Women Empowerment The empowerment of women. Gem is calculated by tracking “the share of seats in parliament held by women. do as much of the work as they can. reflecting economic independence. Other measures that take into account the importance of female participation and equality include: the Gender Parity Index and the Gender-related Development Index (GDI). seek the needed resources. and groups can benefit from the implementation of programs and policies that adopt the notion of women empowerment. and take responsibility . or the GEM. hence the contradiction perspective (Fardini. 2001). communities. Clark (2008) showed that whilst there was a degree of autonomy provided by empowerment. but does not have authority in its charter to install water-delivery and purification systems. for example. can focus on improving the health of indigenous people.”  It then ranks countries given this information. could ensure their own organization does have such authority and could set their own agendas. and of female profession and technical workers. can disempower the community by entrenching a dependence on charity or welfare. Red Cross. A nonprofit composed of the indigenous people. businesses. Land rights offer a key way to economically empower women. has become a significant topic of discussion in regards to development and economics.and credit .for the success of their projects (or the consequences. The Millennium Development Goals. of female legislators. and that control of the organization by outsiders can actually help to further entrench marginalization. Numerous critical perspectives exist that propose that an empowerment paradigm is present. should they fail). A nonprofit organization can target strategies that cause structural changes. both politically and economically. giving them the confidence they need to tackle gender .
Not only did this drive up the efficiency of the group. 24 . In a study conducted by Bina Agarwal. For a general idea on how an empowered women can impact a situation monetarily. Another way to provide women empowerment is to allocate responsibilities to them that normally belong to men. and the ability to make choices for oneself. but the women gained incredible self-esteem while others. including 53 percent higher returns on equity. Political participation. Participation. One of the primary goals in the foundation of microfinance was women empowerment. When women have economic empowerment. If women were empowered to do more and be more. plays a huge role in the empowerment of peoples. has been argued to be the most beneficial form of gender empowerment. women in developing nations are legally restricted from their land on the sole basis of gender. Simply including women as a part of a community can have sweeping positive effects. viewed them with more respect. It can be said that these latter participations need to be achieved before one can move onto broader political participation. which in turn empowers them to do more in their communities. the possibility for economic growth becomes apparent. in schools. women were given a place in a forest conservationgroup. be it the ability to vote and voice opinions. Governments. Eliminating half of a nation’s work force on the sole basis of gender can have detrimental effects on the economy of that nation. They encounter tremendous barriers to claim the land that should rightfully be theirs. and individuals have caught hold of the lure of microfinance. It should be said. however. Often. both in and outside of the home. Having a right to their land also gives women a sort of bargaining power that they wouldn’t normally have. organizations. in turn. It can include participation in the household. female participation in counsels. a higher equality between men and women is established. which can be seen and gained in a variety of ways. participation is not limited to the realm of politics. “those with more women board directors had significantly higher financial returns. However. they gain the ability to assert themselves in various aspects of their life. it is a way for others to see them as equal members of society. they achieve more self-respect and confidence by their contributions to their communities. groups. They hope that lending money and credit allows women to function in business and society. When women have the agency to do what she wants. and businesses is seen to increase efficiency. that the success and efficiency of microcredit and microloansis controversial and constantly debated  Economic Benefits of Women Empowerment Most women across the globe rely on the informal work sector for an income. a study found that of fortune 500companies.inequalities. Through this. or the ability to run for office with a fair chance of being elected. It is argued that Microcredit also offers a way to provide empowerment for women. In addition. Loans with low interest rates are given to women in developing communities in hopes that they can start a small business and provide for her family. including men.
2008).) Ability to exercise assertiveness in collective decision making Having positive-thinking about the ability to make change Ability to learn and access skills for improving personal/collective circumstance. NGOs." It encourages people to gain the skills and knowledge that will allow them to overcome obstacles in life or work environment and ultimately. many are scared of disrupting the status quo and continue to let societal norms get in the way of development. the inclusion of women in the formal workforce (like a fortune 500 company) can increase the economic output of a nation. “Empowerment is not giving people power. Barriers of Women Empowerment Many of the barriers to women empowerment and equity lie ingrained into the cultures of certain nations and societies. Even if men.percent higher returns on sales and 67 percent higher returns on invested capital (OECD.”  This study shows the impact women can have on the overall economic benefits of a company. to do their jobs magnificently. legislators. K). In other words. and to employ that strength when engaging with other people. authority and influence. capabilities: The ability to make decisions about personal/collective circumstances The ability to access information and resources for decision-making Ability to consider a range of options from which to choose (not just yes/no. either/or. or similar. If implemented on a global scale. Empowerment includes the following. The process of empowerment The process which enables individuals/groups to fully access personal/collective power. are aware of the benefits women empowerment and participation can have. in the wealth of their knowledge and motivation. We define empowerment as letting this power out (Blanchard. Many women feel these pressures. people already have plenty of power. help them develop within themselves or in the society. Involving in the growth process and changes that is never ending and self-initiated Increasing one's positive self-image and overcoming stigma Increasing one's ability in discreet thinking to sort out right and wrong Workplace empowerment . Ability to inform others’ perceptions though exchange. etc. while others have become accustomed to being treated inferior to men. institutions or society. education and engagement.
resilience when faced with setbacks. Create autonomy through boundaries – this is the second key to empowerment which also builds upon the previous one. Another strong point that this brings is trust. Replace the old hierarchy with selfmanaged teams – this is the third and final key to empowerment which ties them all together. Empowerment to employees in the work place provides them with opportunities penda to make their own decisions with regards to their tasks. and should be positioned in the broader and wider context of an 'enabling' work environment. By sharing information with everyone. By . the idea of which is to change the attitudes of workers. The implication is that 'empowerment' suits some more than others. The three keys are that managers must use to empower their employees are: share information with everyone. it opens up the feedback about what is holding them back from being empowered. where "traditional" hierarchical East-Coast models of control encountered individualistic pioneer workers. it helps to build that trust between employer and employee. This influences self-belief. and motivation power that people already have. However. Now-a-days more and more bosses and managers are practicing the concept of empowerment among their subordinates to provide them with better opportunities. empowerment at the level of work teams or brigades achieved a notable (but short-lived) demonstrated superiority Empowerment in the workplace is regarded by critics as more a pseudo-empowerment exercise. illustrate three simple keys that organizations can use to effectively open the knowledge. In Management: In the book Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute. strongly supplemented by methods of efficiency-oriented "worker responsibility" brought to the scene by Chinese laborers. create autonomy through boundaries and replace the old hierarchy with self-managed teams. and the ability to visualize oneself overcoming problems. so as to make them work harder rather than giving them any real power. In this case. Carlos. you are giving them a clear picture of the company and its current situation. There is evidence  that initiative and motivation are increased when people have a more positive attributional style. By opening communication through sharing information. by allowing all of the employees to view the company information. experience. Ken Blanchard. and Wilkinson (1998) refers to this as "attitudinal shaping". recent research suggests that the opportunity to exercise personal discretion/choice (and complete meaningful work) is an important element contributing to employee engagement and well-being.One account of the history of workplace empowerment in the United States recalls the clash of management styles in railroad construction in the American West in the mid-19th century. Share information with everyone – this is the first key to empowering people within an organization. John P. and Alan Randolph. the authors.
W. and Alan Randolph. (1990) Cognitive Elements of Empowerment: An 'Interpretive' Model of Intrinsic Task Motivation. 2004. in many previously colonized African countries.com/vl=2601464/cl=84/nw=1/fm=docpdf/rpsv/cw/mcb/00483 486/v27n1/s3/p40. Personnel Review. Available from: Emerald on the World Wide Web: http://hermia. Carlos. rather than providing them withsocial welfare. Vol 15. K. Economic empowerment is also the empowering of previously disadvantaged sections of the population. John P. Academy of Management Review. Empowering People (Institute of Management). 1994. Vol. 1996. Accessed February 16. Empowerment: theory and practice. 1998. A. No. and Velthouse. B. Empowerment Takes More than a Minute. Thomas. 27.replacing the old hierarchy with self-managed teams. Wilkinson. Kenneth H. 40-56. Stewart. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. No. 4. the empowerment approach focuses on mobilizing the self-help efforts of the poor. London: Financial Times Management. References Blanchard. Print. more responsibility is placed upon unique and self-managed teams which create better communication and productivity.emeraldinsight. [online]. Print. for example. Notes . 666-681. Economics and empowerment In economic development. Aileen Mitchell. 1. A..
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