What Is Empowerment


Perhaps, we should try to understand the process by which a person feels empowered before exploring the formal definition of empowerment. (The story of the performer)

According to Rappaport [1987], “empowerment can be psychological in the sense of personal control or influence; and a concern with actual social influence, political power and legal rights”. McArdle [1989] defines empowerment as “the process whereby decisions are made by people who have to bear the consequences of those decisions”.
Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social or economic strength of individuals and communities. It often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities, community development, self-help, participation, networking and equality, strengthen one’s belief in his (her) self efficacy. Therefore, any real empowerment must be “self-empowerment”. There must be an internal urge to influence and control [Conger and Kanungo, 1988]. People are empowered when they feel an enhancement of their abilities to control, influence or cope with their social or economic roles.

The fundamental goal of empowerment is to help individuals within the society to improve the quality of their own lives and share equitably in the benefits of economic growth. “Growth that depends on constant infusions of grants or subsidized financing from government or other donors (friends and family) is inherently unsustainable”.

Most importantly, Empowerment is about unleashing our creative and productive energies to achieve sustainable growth and continuous improvement in our living standards.

The motivational dimension of empowerment involves various factors:
  • People will not be empowered if they do not want to be. Empowerment has to be an objective the individual must strive to achieve.
  • They have to be motivated intrinsically; they have to believe in the merits and prospects of empowerment.
  • Empowerment entails providing the individual with the ability to perform – the necessary skills, knowledge, and so on. It also entails giving a fair opportunity to perform.
  • No hand me down – Grants or loan – Government can (and should) ensure equal access to economic opportunities, but it is up to each citizen to take advantage of them or to ignore them. No living at the mercy of friends or relatives.
“The man whose powers are shown in what he does, and not in mere talking and arguing, avoids metaphysical quibbling and quandaries and applies himself to the accomplishment of some good and useful end”. (James Allen)

Hoselita Ikoli
Rising up to challenges
getting to greater heights. 
wondering about Life and the 
way things work generally. 


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