What is Empowerment?

What is “empowerment”? Merriam-Webster gives it a very general definition of having the power, right, or authority to do something. While in a very technical sense, this is true, to me empowerment is more the path one takes within themselves to gain the internal confidence necessary in order to acknowledge one’s own right to these things. Empowerment is being at peace with oneself so much that the individual is able to use the power, right, or authority they have acquired through their self-confidence to build-up the self-esteem of those around them. Empowerment is not only the process of building up internal strength and confidence in controlling one's life / claiming one's rights, it is also being dauntless enough to pick up another person in need of that same confidence and control over their rights.

My name is Sean Sheikowitz. I am a 16 year old girl just on the brink of her Junior year in high school. Last year I appealed to the Principal and Vice Principal of my school to create a group entitled F.E.M. (Female Empowerment Movement). Female Empowerment is something that I am very passionate about, and I found it very surprising and saddening that with all the clubs and organizations at my school, there was nothing that focused on this very relevant topic. My goal was to educate the youth of our local community about what it really means to be a feminist in the 21st century, raise awareness regarding various issues related to the climate of our school / local community in regards to gender roles, discuss pressing current events, educate young women on what being intersectional truly means, as well as fundraising for charities and partaking in activities centered around teaching girls to empower other girls.

This year, I applied to become an official club in our school instead of just an in-school group. I found out that the Board of Education rejected the application. The next morning, you could find me sitting in front of my Principal with a lengthy list of reasons as to why it is necessary for the Board of Education to reconsider my proposal. Later that afternoon, an email with the best news I’ve received this year appeared in my inbox. My movement would be instilled in my school as an official club from 2018 onward.

Undying passion for this movement and my club run through my veins, and I wanted to bring those passions to the internet and to this blog to share them with a wider range of people. I want this blog to become a space of discussion and education for women of all ages. It should be a place where not only can I share my opinions with the world, but to allow the world to reply to myself and each other in a collaborative and peaceful discussion. Most of all, I want this blog to be a safe haven for women young and old to discuss the issues of today while gaining confidence, awareness, worldliness, and intelligence from these discussions. I want those women to feel in control of their lives and rights, or better yet, feel empowered.