There is a package of measures, personal or cooperative, designed to increase the degree of independence and determination in people’s lives. These measures are within the concept of empowerment. Usually empowerment starts at personal level before spreading to impact the society.
Empowerment is one of the terms that is used, like an instrument when singing life songs, to make life sounds good. This is obviously sending melodies in order to enable people and communities to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way. Moreover, acting on their own authority. Along the way empowerment is the process of becoming stronger and even more confident. Especially, when it comes to the issue of controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.
Empowerment as action refers both to the process of self-empowerment and to professional support of people, which enables them to overcome their sense of powerlessness and lack of influence, and to recognise and use their resources.
A common understanding and how we precisely define ‘empowerment’ depend upon individual people and the context involved. A general definition, however is that empowerment is a multi-dimensional social process. A process intended to help people to gain control over their own lives. It is a process that fosters power (that is, the capacity to implement) in people, for use in their own lives, by acting on issues that they define as important.
The basic definition to any understanding of empowerment is considering that there are three components. Multi-dimensional, social and a process are three components that remain constant and fundamentally connected to empowerment.
• It is multi-dimensional in that it occurs within psychological, social, economic, spiritual, and other dimensions. Even in education. In education, empowerment is mostly seen as a tool to increase responsibility, a concept to promote civic engagement. Moving from weak-oriented towards more strength-oriented perception. It comes with management concepts, more in the area of self-help and developmental education.
• It is a social process, since it occurs in relationship to others, starting from individuals then group or social impact. In social engagements, empowerment is mostly a practical and resource-oriented approach.
• It is a process that is almost similar to a path or journey, that way one develops as they work through it. The process which enables individuals to access personal power, authority and influence. And to employ that strength when engaging with other people.
Again, other aspects of empowerment occur and vary according to the specific content and people involved. Like any other word empowerment has many different points which might add or take away the limitation of any definitions. Or take away the word and the connected practices from the very people the definitions are supposed to belong to.
• To some the definition of empowerment is an individual’s capacity to exercise power and take control of their own circumstances to achieve goals. It is the term all around self-help and helping others in the direction of the quality of life.
• To some the definition of empowerment is ongoing process of caring, critical reflection, participation and mutual respect through which people have equal share resources and access to those resources. It is a term through which respect exercised from both ends. It is that self-reflection that understands even power has the potential to grow to maturity and development is influenced by a nourishing environment.
• To some the definition of empowerment is complete as long it is a practice associated with feminism. In this case the empowerment process serves as an extension to evaluate and enlighten the rightful place of women in the society. It involves their roles in the society which include interests, rights, privileges, and concerns.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.” – Proverbs 31:25
Eventually, empowerment will retain a firm foundation based on what remain constant as people develop themselves. And as they turn the core to empowerment towards what matters most or needed most. Also, building strategies that cause structural changes and reducing the need for ongoing dependence. When people are empowered to have such authority they are in a position to set their own goals, make their own plans, seek the need for resources, do as much work as they can and take responsibility – and credit – for their success.
Empowerment is not giving people power. Every individual has got some form of power, it could be in their knowledge or motivation to do their daily chores. Empowerment is there to encourage people to utilise whatever knowledge and skills they have to gain mastery over their life. That will allow them to overcome obstacles in their personal life or occupational environment. This is to say that power can be passive, hence empowerment is encouraged
Empowering individuals, groups or society to reach positive results sounds as though people are focusing on dismissing or ignoring negativity or failure. But the truth is that people experiencing either positive or negative situations need to be empowered. Even in the most broken or darkest situation there still is power waiting to be empowered. Its like gaining the appetite needed for the improvement of conditions, standards, events – all perspective of life. Whatever situation is negative or positive still there is room and much needed improvement because the sky is the limit.
In a sense empowerment doesn’t promote the state of powerlessness and lack of influence, and to recognise and use resources. On the other hand, empowerment is not the licence or enablement to stay in abuse. It doesn’t even encourage abuse. However, independence and or self-determination starts with an individual – empowerment.