What Are the Different Ways to Give Someone Power?
What Are the Different Ways to Give Someone Power?

When you give someone power, you help them feel like they have more control over their lives. People usually talk about empowering people who have been in some way disadvantaged, so it makes sense that there are many different kinds of empowerment.

We’ve written about and given examples of many different kinds of empowerment for you to think about. Think about how you can give yourself and other people more power as you read.

The power of the individual

The power of the individual.
The power of the individual.© Images AGN

You think you can change the way things are for yourself. Set goals you can
reach and hold yourself accountable to get more self-empowerment. Break your
ultimate goal down into steps that you can measure.

·        Then give yourself a reward when you reach each goal. As you see that you’re getting better, you’ll feel more and more incharge.
·        Think about the places you’ve been and the things you’ve done. This will help you figure out what to do next to keep building on your success. For instance, if you just started running a year ago, your next goal might be to run a 5k or 10k race.
·        Don’t be afraid to ask for help! It’s normal tofeel anxious about asking for help, whether you think it shows weakness or you’re afraid of being turned down. But if you know you can get help when you need it, you’ll be more likely to try your best. So do something!
·        Stop looking at other people and feeling like you have to do what they do.
·        Make a list of the things you like to do, things you’re good at, and things that get you excited.

Gender empowerment

Gender empowerment.
Gender empowerment.© Images AGN

All kinds of gender identities can and should make a difference in the world. Men have always had more power and more chances than women. But even cisgender women may have more power and opportunities than people who don’t fit the binary or who are transgender. Gender empowerment tries to help everyone and recognises that everyone, no matter their gender identity, has a place at the table.

    • Normalizing pronouns is an easy way to make all gender identities feel more powerful. For example, you can put your pronouns on your social media profile, even if they seem obvious to you. You can also ask people their pronouns instead of guessing.
    • Even if a person’s name or pronouns have changed from what you knew before, you should still respect and remember them. If you make a mistake, just say you’re sorry, fix it, and move on.
    • If you are in charge of a group discussion or project, make sure that people of all genders have a chance to share their ideas.

Social empowerment

Social empowerment.
Social empowerment.© Images AGN

You think you can change things for the better. People become more socially empowered when they find their voice and use it to speak out against bad or harmful things in their society. Someone who feels empowered thinks they can really make the world a better place. This includes actions taken by both individuals and groups.

    • For example, it can be socially empowering to take part in a protest for human rights. You believe that your voices can help change your society as a whole.
    • Seeing other people like you speak up can also give you confidence. Greta Thunberg, for example, has given young female eco-activists the courage to speak out about climate change because they see a girl who looks like them doing it.

The power of education

The power of education.
The power of education.© Images AGN

Give people free access to good educational materials. When people can learn something, they feel like they have control over that part of their lives. This includes making education more affordable and giving away more courses and information for free.

    • People who work at self-help legal clinics, for example, teach their clients about the law and how the court works so that they can handle their own legal issues.
    • The goal of, which is to teach everyone in the world how to do anything, is another example of educational empowerment.
    • Giving in to your curiosity and telling yourself it’s okay to be curious can help you learn more. Follow your interest to learn new things and find out what you’re good at.
    • Teaching native students in their own language helps them both in school and in their culture.

Empowerment in the economy

Empowerment in the economy.
Empowerment in the economy.© Images AGN

Build economic empowerment by giving people financial tools. Money, investing, and business are scary to a lot of people because they don’t understand them and don’t have the tools to handle them on their own. Tools that are easy to understand and use take the fear out of money and help people make better choices.

    • People can start planning for their futures, for example, by joining free community budgeting or investing clubs.
    • Micro-lending programmes run by nonprofit organisations also bring economic empowerment to developing countries. Local artists who want to start their own businesses can get help from these programmes.
    • On a larger scale, economic empowerment gives people the ability to think about more than just getting by from day to day. It gives them the power to take charge of their financial future and overall economic well-being.

Getting power in politics

Getting power in politics.
Getting power in politics.© Images AGN

Boost the number of different voices and opportunities in politics. When people see people who look like them in positions of power or running for office, it makes them feel like they have a voice in politics. Helping candidates who are women, disabled, or BIPOC gives the next generation more power.

    • For example, if you help elect the first wheelchair-using mayor of your city, you’ve made it easier for other disabled people to run for office.
    • A second way to give people political power is to sign people up to vote and drive them to the polls on Election Day.

Empowering people’s minds

Empowering people's minds.
Empowering people’s minds.© Images AGN

Encourage and develop empathy to make people feel more in control of their lives. When you start to understand how different biases and social norms affect your behaviour and the behaviour of others, you start to feel more in control of your mind. Systemic biases, like racism in the US, need to be broken down. One way to do this is through psychological empowerment.

    • Listening to people of different races or economic backgrounds talk about their lives builds empathy and awareness, which makes you feel more psychologically powerful.
    • Talking to other people who are going through the same things you are can also be empowering because it shows you that you’re not the only one. Knowing that someone else has been through the same thing and made it through gives you hope.

Physical strength

Physical strength.
Physical strength.© Images AGN

Give people good health care to help them physically. No one’s life will be completely free of sickness or injury, but it’s good to know that if you do get sick or hurt, you’ll be taken care of and you’ll get better. For people who are disabled or have a long-term illness, physical empowerment might mean making sure they can do and get to the same things as people who are healthy.

    • A big part of physical empowerment is also being able to take care of yourself. To feel powerful, you need to feel like you have control over your own body and the right to stop other people from touching you in ways you don’t like.
    • Celebrate what makes you different and love your body the way it is. Try not to compare how you look or what you can do to what other people can do. Practice self-care.

Emancipation of women

Emancipation of women
Emancipation of women.© Images AGN

People don’t feel afraid to show how they feel about their sexuality. When someone is sexually empowered, they embrace and celebrate their sexuality instead of feeling ashamed or embarrassed by it. You can help people feel more confident about their sexuality by not judging or shaming them for their sexual interests and by being open to different kinds of sexuality. Many people feel more confident in their sexuality when they are around other people whose sexuality is similar to theirs.

    • For example, if you just came out as gay, going to gay bars or using dating apps just for gay men might make you feel more sexually confident.
    • Going to LGBTQ+ Pride events is a great way to feel more confident about your own sexuality.
    • Taking a pole dancing class is sexually empowering for many women.

Helping out the community

Helping out the community.
Helping out the community.© Images AGN

Show people how to get things done and make their community better. When a community is trying to get back on its feet after a disaster, community empowerment is often very important. But when a community has a problem, no matter what kind, people will work together to solve it if they think they can.

    • For example, people in a neighbourhood could get together and form groups to pick up trash to help clean up their area. The clean neighbourhood might give them the confidence to take other steps to make their community healthier and safer.
    • Growing a community garden or starting other groups with similar interests, like a book club or a bike club, is another way to help people in the community feel more in control.

Empowering an organisation

Empowering an organisation.
Empowering an organisation.© Images AGN

People in an organisation feel like they have power and influence. This kind of empowerment usually happens at work, but it could also happen at school or in a volunteer group. Even if someone isn’t a manager or someone in a position of authority in the organisation, they can still be given power if they know that management will listen to them when they bring up problems.

    • For example, if a manager keeps a suggestion box on their desk and acts on all of the suggestions each month, their employees are likely to feel more in control.
    • At the school level, student government is one way for students to have a say in how things are run. People who take part in student government usually feel like they can make a difference at the level of the organisation.

Encouragement of culture

Encouragement of culture.
Encouragement of culture.© Images AGN

Encourage people to keep doing things that are part of their culture. Most of the time, when people talk about cultural empowerment, they are talking about native or indigenous cultures that have been threatened by invasion and colonisation. Cultural empowerment also affects people who move to a country and might feel pressured to give up their own culture and blend in with the culture of the country where they now live.

    • For example, celebrating and learning about holidays from other cultures gives those cultures more power. Teaching people to respect the traditions of other cultures, even if they don’t share them, gives those cultures the power to keep their traditions and see how important they are.
    • Teaching and using native languages helps to strengthen cultures. At the government level, giving places their original indigenous names back also gives those cultures more power.

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