The Platform


It probably wouldn’t surprise anyone, but Europe has created a more equitable society.

A report from the United Nations suggests that achieving full gender equality could take close to 300 years if things don’t radically change. It wouldn’t be an understatement to suggest that women are still centuries away from achieving full equality. Decisive steps need to be taken to empower women globally.

But what exactly is women’s empowerment? World Vision offers this definition: “Women’s empowerment can be defined to promoting women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices, and their right to influence social change for themselves and others.” Gender equality is a fundamental human right. Women’s empowerment refers to creating the means and providing channels through which women can enjoy full equal rights.

Empowered women are the key to the health and social development of families, communities, and countries. The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. A mother plays the role as a child’s first teacher. A mother’s teachings play a key role in shaping the personalities of children. When women receive the same education and job opportunities as men, they can play a vital role in socioeconomic development.

According to a 2022 report, Iceland, Finland, and Norway have gone to great lengths to ensure gender equality. In nearly all metrics, Europe takes the top spot as the best place in the world for women to work. According to the OECD, almost three in four working-age women in the Nordic countries are part of the paid labour force. According to a 2021 report, the top four best countries for women are in Western Europe. The report is based on a survey of about 390,500 women worldwide. Most importantly, eight out of the top ten countries on the list are in Europe.

It is an undisputed fact that women continue to be oppressed and marginalized around the globe. Across the globe, women are still denied the right to own property and work outside of the home and routinely face discrimination and abuse at the hands of governments and private individuals. Promoting gender equality is the key to building a society in which men and women have equal access to human rights. Undoubtedly, Europe’s model should be followed in terms of gender equality.

Outside of the West, a negative mindset still exists that women are less talented than men. Throughout history, women have played a greater role in every walk of life, even in wars. Bravery is considered an attribute of men, but contrary to this, ancient Persian warriors like Sura, Pantea Arteshbod, Artunis, and Youtab Aryobarzan have proven that women can outperform men.

Sura, the daughter of Parthian King Artabanus, served as a general in her father’s army. During the reign of Darius, Irdabama was a top businesswoman who traveled to many countries to conduct business. Fast forward to the present, thousands of women have proven that they can perform better than men in several respects. These women include Ursula von der Leyen, Roberta Metsola, Kamala Harris, Oprah Winfrey, Rashida Tlaib, Jacinda Ardern, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Sanna Mirella Marin, Mette Frederiksen, Christine Lagarde, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Noof Alshekar, Sumaiya AlSiyabi, and Malala Yousafzai.

The term “women’s empowerment” shows that women are still deprived of their fundamental human rights. The phrase “women’s empowerment” has emerged as a strong global movement. Women and girls represent half of the world’s population, in other words, half of its potential. Keeping half of the world’s population deprived of fundamental human rights is an obstacle to building a fair, inclusive, prosperous, and peaceful world.

Europe is playing a stronger leadership role in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. Due to women’s vast participation in political and public life, undoubtedly, Europe has emerged as a role model for promoting women’s empowerment.

Naeem Ul Hassan is a published book author. He holds a Master's degree in history from the University of Punjab. He has written more than a hundred articles and is working as a contributor for the Voice of Canada. His areas of interest are women's rights, the Middle East, and Global Politics.