• Dr Phoebe Lau

Empowerment is still relevant.

It’s International Women’s Day and it’s an important day to revaluate the meaning of empowerment. 


I’ve been hearing from the grapevine that “empowerment” is one of those words that has been so tired and worn-out that it has lost meaning to many women. In fact, women don’t generally associate the word “empowerment” with their daily life of juggling work demands, family, and other commitments. It may seem like a distant word associated with women in other countries, in other circumstances, and women of previous generations. However, empowerment can carry meaning on more than one level. Here are a few questions to find out whether you feel empowered in your personal and professional life, and as a global citizen. 


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

Empowerment on a personal level:

  1. Do I feel capable of saying “no” when I really want to?

  2. Can I set boundaries with my family and friends?

  3. Do I have the resources to overcome my fears and anxieties?

  4. Can I talk to family and friends about difficult and vulnerable topics?


Empowerment in the workplace:

  1. Do I feel like my ideas or concerns are listened to? (Can I even raise ideas and concerns?)

  2. Do I feel valued for my contribution?

  3. Can I approach a senior staff member with a difficult issue without fearing that it would impact my job?

  4. Can I negotiate my pay and benefits?


Empowerment on a global scale:

  1. Do I feel like I can contribute to my community in some way?

  2. Do I feel that I am able to stand up for myself or another female in front of others? 

  3. Have I paid forward my hard-earned empowerment through mentoring or helping other women and girls?

  4. Do I feel that social and economic inequalities between genders will continue?

After going through the questions you may have felt empowered in some areas and realised there is more work to be done in other areas. Consider how important it is that you feel empowered in each area. Some of these areas will be a direct reflection of your emotional wealth. Let me know if I can help you with any of these areas.


Luckily most women in Australia are more empowered than ever, but we mustn’t forget to use that power for the betterment of females in our community and around the world.


Paying it forward is real empowerment. 


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