- Help them connect with each other
The power of human association is a no brainer. When women come together, talk and spend time with each other, there is much that can come about as a result of this. Creating a safe space for women to do this is essential as it allows them to talk about and learn more about their rights as women and be educated on various issues within the society.
- Teach them to read and write
With low literacy levels in most rural villages, teaching a woman to read and write would help them to read simple instructions, road signs, newspapers, labels and medicinal information. It would also add to a better rapport between the schooling children and the mother as she would be able to maybe help the child or even learn from them.
- Help them to become mobile
Mobilising could mean anything from creating betters ways for them to get from A to B to even opening up avenues where they could actually have some kind of freedom to travel. Most women in villages are held back by families who don’t necessarily let them associate with the outside world or travel outside of the village. Giving these women the chance to travel and be independent, perhaps by means of workshops conducted in nearby villages or groups they could join to learn something, would no doubt be useful.
Teaching women the art of money handling- how to spend wisely and to save more for the future is something that is vital. Most women, especially from rural areas could be in the habit of spending whatever they get almost instantly, maybe not for leisure, but for daily necessities. Helping these women to open up bank accounts and enlightening them on money matters goes a long way in empowering them for the future.
- Train them in different skills and cottage industries
By training women methodically to start small cottage industries like mushroom farming, cooking, sewing or handlooming, you slowly open up the door to empower them to reach greater heights in their businesses. There are several skills that could be taught, which if diligently learned can lead to great success.
Something which is so important for the empowerment of women is to build their confidence, to let them know that they can push ahead and achieve greater things. It may seem very difficult for them to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but through training and mentoring they will be confident to face the obstacles on their road to success. The guidance they get will be imperative for their empowerment.
Forming networks within the communities would enable women to explore their avenues more. It would allow them to learn more about social issues, health issues and even financial issues which would in turn let them make better choices for themselves and their families. Today, most of the knowledge gained is through people, so it is important that meeting people and forming networks remains an important part of empowering women.
Empowering women means boosting their confidence, their independence and their ability to make a decision solely based on their thinking and evaluation and to see it through to completion. This means we need to strengthen their decision making skills and how they assess situations.
- Change their health habits
Sometimes an area overlooked is women’s hygiene and the hygiene of the family. Teaching a woman better healthcare and ways to treat common illnesses including first aid would allow them to enhance their living standards and have healthier lifestyles. Another key element they need to be educated about is family planning and their reproductive rights and ensuring they have access to local health clinics is a very important aspect of this.
By pushing them into leadership roles, women will be encouraged and motivated to do better. Not all women would perhaps be outspoken or open to learning new things, but when we show confidence in them and elevate them into positions of leading others, they would find that inner strength, confidence and motivation in them to excel in whatever they do.
Strengthening and enabling women to have dreams and goals and to see them through to reality is a great feat and a rewarding one on many levels. It is one that requires much dedication and a real passion to see women not only thrive, but be able to give so much more back towards the betterment of their families and the society.