Empowerment in its totality simply does not mean to give power to someone but to understand the factors which are bringing women down in our society and giving them enough strength, support and to help them achieve what they deserve.
Talking about working women perceived as empowered women, Anika Effendi, Group Head – External Relations and CSR of TPL Corp. Wednesday said that empowered woman will be one who is self-confident, who critically analyses her environment and who exercises control over decisions that affect her life. She said there are various areas where there is margin for improvement and the most common area of conflict is the comparison between men and women.
“This is a never ending problem faced in every era. If this issue is worked upon, I think all other areas of concern will automatically be improved such as gender pay gap, fair evaluation among all employees, etc,” Anika said. There are many corporate and other community service institutions who are involved in it, she added.
“We should first define our focus, let’s not just educate girls but boys too so they can let the girls be empowered. There is a thin line between empowerment and values, we must always follow the values and ensure culture keeping in line with empowerment,” said Anika.
She urged working women that work as a professional and don’t treat yourself as a woman or a competitor to men. Since the private sector does not have any quota system on hiring female in their organization there is imbalance between the ratios of women in boardroom meetings as CEOs, she maintained.
She said there are many existing online portals where women can get guidance from renowned female leaders around the globe. “Universities also play a vital role for this as there are corporate committees which are being formed not specifically for the purpose of empowering women,” she added.
While providing solution to women empowerment issues in Pakistan, she said we have still not been able to identify the issues clearly so in my opinion there should be strict policies for empowerment in-line with our values and culture.