For ages, the societies have been majorly ruled by men, and the books of history drip blood of women for the injustice done under the name of superstitions and beliefs. Buried alive or trampled underfoot for the sin of taking birth as a girl child, countless never saw the daylight. If survived, blamed for reasons like the practice of witchcraft and burnt alive, hung from the gallows or stabbed in the heart. Women have come a long way of living an oppressed life, and sadly, the story continues even today across different parts of the world without a change. Ironically, in the subcontinent of India, on one hand people worship goddesses and on the other, seize the reach of their daughters and wives to the basic human rights; gender equality is a far-fetched thing.
Not everyone would bear such oppression and hence, women from across timelines have fought back to demand justice and take control over their human rights and equality, coining a new term, Feminism.
People often tend to confuse between feminism and women empowerment, while both of these phenomenon work for creating better life for women, but function in a complete different manner.
Women Empowerment: Enabling the women to accomplish things that were previously denied due to circumstances, with the power to choose, opt and act as per their abilities. This includes various privileges offered to women in day to day life to make their life better.
Feminism: An ideology, combined with social and political movements with the goal to bring equality amongst genders. The goal of feminism is to define and establish equal educational and professional opportunities for women, in the manner that men enjoy.
While both the phenomenon have been defined, it paints a clear picture that women empowerment is more of giving options to previously disempowered women, while feminism is more towards gender equality, rather than giving preferences to the oppressed females.
A simple example of Delhi Metro will make it clearer, where the first coach is reserved for the ladies, and a few seats in rest of the coaches are reserved for ladies as well. This is one of the finest examples of what women empowerment is. On the other hand, an Uber without any female reserved quota will speak more of feminism, where both the genders share equal opportunities to travel across.
There also exists a very controversial term, which somehow falls in both the categories, yet stands distant and different. Usually known as Feminazism, this is where women empowerment goes beyond its limits, while there are no definite measures to keep a check, as what is a common belief. It can be understood through this day to-day common belief, where a woman should not hit a man in any condition (classic case of a patriarchal society). In this case, Women Empowerment would comprise of self-defense classes, and Feminism would advocate that no one should each other. It turns into Feminazism, as soon it becomes fine to hit a man.
Feminazism is where the oppressed turns the tables and becomes the oppressor, to give the taste of their own medicine.
What do we actually need?
For ages, the common observation towards the allotment of special designation, status or power has often resulted in its misuse. In the case of genders, many women end up misusing the rights created for their empowerment, like false accusation of dowry demand on in-laws.
While we all came to life through a man and a woman, it is nothing, but futile to emphasize one gender and oppress the other. Empowerment needs to be a gender neutral term, to lend a hand when someone falls, to get them back on their feet.
It is human only, who either builds his road to success with a go-getter attitude and other times, the same human who thinks or finds himself incapable of achieving the goals. We all bear the strength to lead and achieve whatever we dream for, all we need is self-exploration and analyzation. The day we are done exploring our potential, none of us will need to be empowered.
We, at our family and society level, must educate and raise our children to be a human being created by God, just like other creations. Raising our children as responsible citizens of the world will help create a world where all the genders co-exist, as one. It is our responsibility to create a liberal world where each of us must know to fulfil all duties as per their capacity and capabilities.