Women, Empowerment and cultural patterns
Women empowerment means freedom of women from the brutal grips of social, economic, political, caste and gender-based discrimination. It means granting women the freedom to make life choices. Women empowerment does not mean ‘glorifying women’ rather it means replacing patriarchy with equity. Most of scholars talk about equality, somehow it is not possible phenomenon. Males and females are designed at a specific pattern. Everyone must perform their specific type of job and duties. So, we must focus on equity, rather than equality because both balance each other in terms of equity. So, we must empower women with equity in their cultural patterns, norms and traditions. Because, women who live in villages, they are living in certain cultural norms and patterns. It’s not easy to break that cultural norms and patterns. Cultural patterns are embedded in them from a several periods of time and these cultural patterns are considering very important for their societies. So, when an activist or scholar speak about their rights, empowerment. They always try to manage empower them with in their cultural patterns. For example, like Pakistan, it is not considering good to go outside without wearing a dupatta, or veil and burqa. So, to force a village lady to go outside, leave kids and live an independent life. In this way, we cannot empower the village women. As an Anthropologist, we must establish those patterns for women, whom they easily to manage rights with in their culture patterns. When I was doing my research, a female narrated “It is beautiful to see women get empowered through working together with other women. I truly love raising livestock and it makes me happy seeing women being a part of it. This is such an inspiration and a new positive way of thinking that our mothers are doing. If I can’t succeed in school or earning a career then I got nothing to lose I’ve still got my land waiting for me to go and invest”. So, when we talk about women empowerment, we would see their underline cultural patterns in society.
This picture shows women empowerment with in their cultural patterns.
By: Komal Niazi
Author is a Ph.D. scholar in School of Sociology and Anthropology in Sun Yat-sen University China.