I have had this conversation with my friend, Brenda, for a while now and yesterday I happen to have seen a post on Instagram addressing the same issue…The video was basically talking about the fact that most women empowerment programmes were a sham and added little or no value to women….
From a personal experience, I believe that most of these programs reinforce the saying ‘Talk is Cheap’. When it comes to ‘motivating’ or ‘encouraging’ people, many of the so-called ‘self-made’ females and those at the top can go and on and on for hours but at the end of the day….the impact is zero! What is the point of paying to attend a Women Empowerment Program when I will just be hearing the same old quotes of ‘Never Give Up‘, ‘Your Dreams are Valid‘. ‘When you eventually get to the top, send the elevator down‘ bla bla bla when you would not give these attendees tangible resources, referrals or connections to push them closer to their goals….
This is far from being entitled..because I know that could also creep in sometimes. However, I believe that you cannot call yourself a women empowerment advocate or anchor these programmes and then all you do is talk. Yes, sometimes people need motivational speeches and talks, but if that was just it, they could sit in their houses and watch tons of youtube videos or read books and then be fine. But for them to pay to attend an event means they want more…Even if it is for free, the time invested in attending that event should be considered. What opportunities can you create for them using your platform so they can pursue their dreams too? How can you connect them with people within your network who can advise them on different subject areas of interest? Until you have done these and even more, then you are not empowering anyone!
It is even very heart wrenching when I see some of these programs charge a lot of money especially considering the fact that it targets fresh graduates or university students…Must empowerment come with such a high price tag? Then at the end of the day, who are we really empowering? Only those who can afford? I have also seen some of these programs which are ‘strictly by invitation‘ and then I wonder….What is the point then if empowerment is not accessible to ALL? Why put restrictions and boundaries if we want to ensure that every young woman pursues their dreams and end up being an invaluable asset to society?
Moreover, I mostly see women in the same industry promoting the works of their female colleagues which is commendable. My only concern is from there what next? Do you actually pay to see their work? Do you actually talk about in secret the same way you do in public? Or you just want to fall under the category #womensupportingwomen and that is it. Anytime I hear that phrase that ‘Women are their own enemies‘ I kinda believe it. Why? Because it is a fellow woman who will knowingly date a married man, hence, causing another woman pain in her matrimonial home, a woman will troll her fellow woman because of a pic she put up on her social media platform and feel good about it. A woman will judge her fellow woman harshly in a case which involves a man without even thinking twice….Need I say more?
I believe we all need to do better…Women Empowerment should not just be a tag or a badge we wear so highly but an action we all should be ready to partake in…that is if we are so passionate about it!
Have an awesome week ahead. God Bless You All!