What does women’s empowerment really mean?

If you want to address poverty, then your best investment is women. It’s true. They’ll work hard, share what they have and provide without hesitation for their children and families. The catch phrase for this kind of work has become women’s empowerment. I love the phrase but I sometimes worry about the application. In the developing world, empowerment indicators most often revolve around economics under the assumption that employment plus income lead directly to empowerment. So, we teach women a skill. And measure enrolment and course participation metrics. We support employment placement or start-up businesses. Then review by growth in household income and workplace numbers.  

But is this the full story or is empowerment a more complicated outcome?

I think empowerment is far broader than economics. It’s about friendship, value, power and influence. It’s not only about assuming the economic responsibility for a family but taking up community roles, partnering in decision making, having representation in government and being treated with respect and dignity. Inside and outside of the home.  

And this broader understanding of empowerment should be an encouragement to all of us who want to make a difference in the lives of women across the world. Of course, providing access to skills and finances gives access to one dimension of empowerment. But may we never forget the value of cheerleading, connection, advocacy, listening and telling their stories, truthfully and respectfully. Because we don’t empower others, we just offer them the tools, encouragement and opportunity to take it up for themselves.  

When I remember this, I know I can make a contribution. Together we all bring the little we have and start to make a dent on poverty that can last a lifetime.  

Kelley Chisholm



Would you consider partnering with us this year?  

We’re incredibly grateful to our community who give generously to empower the poorest women and girls in the developing world. ?
In order to keep doing what we do, we ask people to share a little of their finances, so together we can create a BIG impact! ⁣?

? You could choose to donate to one of our 3 projects, knowing every $30 will change a woman’s life forever >>> https://foxgloveproject.com/donate/⁣

OR ⁣

? Join the Foxglove Support Crew – get behind the operational side of Foxglove, knowing you are part of a like-minded crew who want to support our ongoing costs, so we can continue growing >>> https://foxglovecrew-gdg-j778s.raisely.com/⁣ 

Never doubt the extraordinary difference we can make together!