Ashra Kunwar’s service project focuses on mobilising women’s groups in Khokana to understand climate crisis and help women become resilient in the face of crisis that women often face due to climate change such as water scarcity, food supply degradation and other health hazards.
How do you define empowerment?
Empowerment is giving someone the tools to stand up and thrive in
society as s/he sees fit.
What is the most important aspect of being an empowered woman?
A basic response would be that an empowered person is somebody who has power, and what that means is the question. I define power as self determination, the ability to make choices that are truly free. Of course this is not truly possible in a culture that constructs meaning and values in young children that becomes engrained in our social DNA, but some of us are closer to being self-determining than others.
I think for women it’s hard to be empowered today because we are born into a culture that teaches women to view our bodies as projects. We make our bodies our primary value, and we are taught to do that very young, well before we are conscious of being thinking, acting beings. Empowered women can be a source of inspiration to other women in society as one aspect of being an empowered woman.