The term empowerment refers to measures designed to increase the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people and in communities in order to enable them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way, acting on their own authority. It is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights. Empowerment as action refers both to the process of self-empowerment and to professional support of people, which enables them to overcome their sense of powerlessness and lack of influence, and to recognize and use their resources. To do work with power.
The term empowerment originates from American community psychology and is associated with the social scientist Julian Rappaport (1981). However, the roots of empowerment theory extend further into history and are linked to Marxist sociological theory. These sociological ideas have continued to be developed and refined through Neo-Marxist Theory (also known as Critical Theory).
In social work, empowerment forms a practical approach of resource-oriented intervention. In the field of citizenship education and democratic education, empowerment is seen as a tool to increase the responsibility of the citizen. Empowerment is a key concept in the discourse on promoting civic engagement. Empowerment as a concept, which is characterized by a move away from a deficit-oriented towards a more strength-oriented perception, can increasingly be found in management concepts, as well as in the areas of continuing education and self-help.
Robert Adams points to the limitations of any single definition of 'empowerment', and the danger that academic or specialist definitions might take away the word and the connected practices from the very people they are supposed to belong to. Still, he offers a minimal definition of the term: 'Empowerment: the capacity of individuals, groups and/or communities to take control of their circumstances, exercise power and achieve their own goals, and the process by which, individually and collectively, they are able to help themselves and others to maximize the quality of their lives.'
One definition for the term is "an intentional, ongoing process centered in the local community, involving mutual respect, critical reflection, caring, and group participation, through which people lacking an equal share of resources gain greater access to and control over those resources".
Rappaport's (1984) definition includes: "Empowerment is viewed as a process: the mechanism by which people, organizations, and communities gain mastery over their lives."
Sociological empowerment often addresses members of groups that social discrimination processes have excluded from decision-making processes through – for example – discrimination based on disability, race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Empowerment as a methodology is also associated with feminism.
Empowerment is the process of obtaining basic opportunities for marginalized people, either directly by those people, or through the help of non-marginalized others who share their own access to these opportunities. It also includes actively thwarting attempts to deny those opportunities. Empowerment also includes encouraging, and developing the skills for, self-sufficiency, with a focus on eliminating the future need for charity or welfare in the individuals of the group. This process can be difficult to start and to implement effectively.
One empowerment strategy is to assist marginalized people to create their own nonprofit organization, using the rationale that only the marginalized people, themselves, can know what their own people need most, and that control of the organization by outsiders can actually help to further entrench marginalization. Charitable organizations lead from outside of the community, for example, can disempower the community by entrenching a dependence charity or welfare. A nonprofit organization can target strategies that cause structural changes, reducing the need for ongoing dependence. Red Cross, for example, can focus on improving the health of indigenous people, but does not have authority in its charter to install water-delivery and purification systems, even though the lack of such a system profoundly, directly and negatively impacts health. A nonprofit composed of the indigenous people, however, could ensure their own organization does have such authority and could set their own agendas, make their own plans, seek the needed resources, do as much of the work as they can, and take responsibility – and credit – for the success of their projects (or the consequences, should they fail).
The process of which enables individuals/groups to fully access personal or collective power, authority and influence, and to employ that strength when engaging with other people, institutions or society. In other words, "Empowerment is not giving people power, people already have plenty of power, in the wealth of their knowledge and motivation, to do their jobs magnificently. We define empowerment as letting this power out." It encourages people to gain the skills and knowledge that will allow them to overcome obstacles in life or work environment and ultimately, help them develop within themselves or in the society.
To empower a female "...sounds as though we are dismissing or ignoring males, but the truth is, both genders desperately need to be equally empowered." Empowerment occurs through improvement of conditions, standards, events, and a global perspective of life.
Before there can be the finding that a particular group requires empowerment and that therefore their self-esteem needs to be consolidated on the basis of awareness of their strengths, there needs to be a deficit diagnosis usually carried out by experts assessing the problems of this group. The fundamental asymmetry of the relationship between experts and clients is usually not questioned by empowerment processes. It also needs to be regarded critically, in how far the empowerment approach is really applicable to all patients/clients. It is particularly questionable whether mentally ill people in acute crisis situations are in a position to make their own decisions. According to Albert Lenz, people behave primarily regressive in acute crisis situations and tend to leave the responsibility to professionals. It must be assumed, therefore, that the implementation of the empowerment concept requires a minimum level of communication and reflectivity of the persons involved.
In social work, empowerment offers an approach that allows social workers to increase the capacity for self-help of their clients. For example, this allows clients not to be seen as passive, helpless 'victims' to be rescued but instead as a self-empowered person fighting abuse/ oppression; a fight, in which the social worker takes the position of a facilitator, instead of the position of a 'rescuer'.
Marginalized people who lack self-sufficiency become, at a minimum, dependent on charity, or welfare. They lose their self-confidence because they cannot be fully self-supporting. The opportunities denied them also deprive them of the pride of accomplishment which others, who have those opportunities, can develop for themselves. This in turn can lead to psychological, social and even mental health problems. "Marginalized" here refers to the overt or covert trends within societies whereby those perceived as lacking desirable traits or deviating from the group norms tend to be excluded by wider society and ostracized as undesirables.
As a concept, and model of practice, empowerment is also used in health promotion research and practice. The key principle is for individuals to gain increased control over factors that influence their health status .
To empower individuals and to obtain more equity in health, it is also important to address health-related behaviors .
Studies suggest that health promotion interventions aiming at empowering adolescents should enable active learning activities, use visualizing tools to facilitate self-reflection, and allow the adolescents to influence intervention activities .
According to Robert Adams, there is a long tradition in the UK and the USA respectively to advance forms of self-help that have developed and contributed to more recent concepts of empowerment. For example, the free enterprise economic theories of Milton Friedman embraced self-help as a respectable contributor to the economy. Both the Republicans in the US and the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher built on these theories. 'At the same time, the mutual aid aspects of the concept of self-help retained some currency with socialists and democrats.'
In economic development, the empowerment approach focuses on mobilizing the self-help efforts of the poor, rather than providing them with social welfare. Economic empowerment is also the empowering of previously disadvantaged sections of the population, for example, in many previously colonized African countries.
The World Pensions Council (WPC) has argued that large institutional investors such as pension funds and endowments are exercising a greater influence on the process of adding and replacing corporate directors – as they are themselves steered to do so by their own board members (pension trustees).
This could eventually put more pressure on the CEOs of publicly listed companies, as “more than ever before, many [North American], UK and European Union pension trustees speak enthusiastically about flexing their fiduciary muscles for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals”, and other ESG-centric investment practices 
Legal empowerment happens when marginalised people or groups use the legal mobilisation i.e., law, legal systems and justice mechanisms to improve or transform their social, political or economic situations. Legal empowerment approaches are interested in understanding how they can use the law to advance interests and priorities of the marginalised.
According to 'Open society foundations' (an NGO) "Legal empowerment is about strengthening the capacity of all people to exercise their rights, either as individuals or as members of a community. Legal empowerment is about grass root justice, about ensuring that law is not confined to books or courtrooms, but rather is available and meaningful to ordinary people.
Lorenzo Cotula in his book ' Legal Empowerment for Local Resource Control ' outlines the fact that legal tools for securing local resource rights are enshrined in legal system, does not necessarily mean that local resource users are in position to use them and benefit from them. The state legal system is constrained by a range of different factors – from lack of resources to cultural issues. Among these factors economic, geographic, linguistic and other constraints on access to courts, lack of legal awareness as well as legal assistance tend to be recurrent problems.
In many context, marginalised groups do not trust the legal system owing to the widespread manipulation that it has historically been subjected to by the more powerful. 'To what extent one knows the law, and make it work for themselves with 'para legal tools', is legal empowerment; assisted utilizing innovative approaches like legal literacy and awareness training, broadcasting legal information, conducting participatory legal discourses, supporting local resource user in negotiating with other agencies and stake holders and to strategies combining use of legal processes with advocacy along with media engagement, and socio legal mobilisation.
Sometimes groups are marginalized by society at large, with governments participating in the process of marginalization. Equal opportunity laws which actively oppose such marginalization, are supposed to allow empowerment to occur. These laws made it illegal to restrict access to schools and public places based on race. They can also be seen as a symptom of minorities' and women's empowerment through lobbying.
Gender empowerment conventionally refers to the empowerment of women, which is a significant topic of discussion in regards to development and economics nowadays. It also points to approaches regarding other marginalized genders in a particular political or social context. This approach to empowerment is partly informed by feminism and employed legal empowerment by building on international human rights. Empowerment is one of the main procedural concerns when addressing human rights and development. The Human Development and Capabilities Approach, The Millennium Development Goals, and other credible approaches/goals point to empowerment and participation as a necessary step if a country is to overcome the obstacles associated with poverty and development. The UN Sustainable Development Goals targets gender equality and women's empowerment for the global development agenda.
In the sphere of management and organizational theory, "empowerment" often refers loosely to processes for giving subordinates (or workers generally) greater discretion and resources: distributing control in order to better serve both customers and the interests of employing organizations.
One account of the history of workplace empowerment in the United States recalls the clash of management styles in railroad construction in the American West in the mid-19th century, where "traditional" hierarchical East-Coast models of control encountered individualistic pioneer workers, strongly supplemented by methods of efficiency-oriented "worker responsibility" brought to the scene by Chinese laborers. In this case, empowerment at the level of work teams or brigades achieved a notable (but short-lived) demonstrated superiority. See the views of Robert L. Webb.
Since the 1980s and 1990s, empowerment has become a point of interest in management concepts and business administration. In this context, empowerment involves approaches that promise greater participation and integration to the employee in order to cope with their tasks as independently as possible and responsibly can. A strength-based approach known as "empowerment circle" has become an instrument of organizational development. Multidisciplinary empowerment teams aim for the development of quality circles to improve the organizational culture, strengthening the motivation and the skills of employees. The target of subjective job satisfaction of employees is pursued through flat hierarchies, participation in decisions, opening of creative effort, a positive, appreciative team culture, self-evaluation, taking responsibility (for results), more self-determination and constant further learning. The optimal use of existing potential and abilities can supposedly be better reached by satisfied and active workers. Here, knowledge management contributes significantly to implement employee participation as a guiding principle, for example through the creation of communities of practice.
However, it is important to ensure that the individual employee has the skills to meet their allocated responsibilities and that the company's structure sets up the right incentives for employees to reward their taking responsibilities. Otherwise there is a danger of being overwhelmed or even becoming lethargic.
Empowerment of employees requires a culture of trust in the organization and an appropriate information and communication system. The aim of these activities is to save control costs, that become redundant when employees act independently and in a self-motivated fashion. In the book Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute, the authors illustrate three keys that organizations can use to open the knowledge, experience, and motivation power that people already have. The three keys that managers must use to empower their employees are:
According to Stewart, in order to guarantee a successful work environment, managers need to exercise the "right kind of authority" (p. 6). To summarize, "empowerment is simply the effective use of a manager’s authority", and subsequently, it is a productive way to maximize all-around work efficiency.
These keys are hard to put into place and it is a journey to achieve empowerment in a workplace. It is important to train employees and make sure they have trust in what empowerment will bring to a company.
The implementation of the concept of empowerment in management has also been criticised for failing to live up to its claims.
Marshall McLuhan insisted that the development of electronic media would eventually weaken the hierarchical structures that underpin central governments, large corporation, academia and, more generally, rigid, “linear-Cartesian” forms of social organization. From that perspective, new, “electronic forms of awareness” driven by information technology would empower citizen, employees and students by disseminating in near-real-time vast amounts of information once reserved to a small number of experts and specialists. Citizens would be bound to ask for substantially more say in the management of government affairs, production, consumption, and education 
World Pensions Council (WPC) economist Nicolas Firzli has argued that rapidly rising cultural tides, notably new forms of online engagement and increased demands for ESG-driven public policies and managerial decisions are transforming the way governments and corporation interact with citizen-consumers in the “Age of Empowerment” 
[...] in many organizations, promises of empowerment are bogus.
Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms, Inc, abbreviated as A TEACHER, is a party-list in the Philippines. In the 14 May 2007 election, the party won one seat in the nationwide party-list vote (and has subsequently has seen been given another seat due to the litigation in the BANAT vs. COMELEC case).Black Economic Empowerment
Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) is a racially inclusive programme launched by the South African government to redress the inequalities of Apartheid by giving black people (African, Coloureds and Indians) South African citizens economic privileges that are already available to Whites. It is a form of Affirmative action. Although race is the overriding factor, it includes measures such as Employment Preference, skills development, ownership, management, socioeconomic development, and preferential procurement. By 2015 around R350 billion (equivalent to US$24 billion) worth BEE deals had been done by the top 100 companies on the JSE with an additional R50 billion by private South African companies indicating that 10 percent of South Africa's GDP had been transferred to 20 percent of the population in the 15 years since 2000.Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise is a black-owned multimedia company. Since the 1970s, its flagship product Black Enterprise magazine has covered African-American businesses with a readership of 3.7 million. The company was founded in 1970 by Earl G. Graves Sr. It publishes in both print and on digital, an annual listing of the largest African-American companies in the country, or "B.E. 100's", first compiled and published in 1973. In 2002 the magazine launched a supplement targeting teens, Teenpreneur. Black Enterprise also has two nationally syndicated television shows, Our World with Black Enterprise and Women of Power.Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment
Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE or B-BBEE as written by the South African government) is a form of economic empowerment initiated by the South African government in response to criticism against narrow-based empowerment instituted in the country during 2003/2004. While narrow-based black economic empowerment led to the enrichment of a few previously disadvantaged individuals (Black African, Coloured or Indian), the goal of broad-based empowerment is to distribute wealth across as broad a spectrum of previously disadvantaged South African society as possible. In contrast, narrow-based empowerment measures only equity ownership and management representation.Community psychology
Community psychology studies the individuals' contexts within communities and the wider society, and the relationships of the individual to communities and society. Community psychologists seek to understand the quality of life of individuals within groups, organizations and institutions, communities, and society. Their aim is to enhance quality of life through collaborative research and action.Community psychology employs various perspectives within and outside psychology to address issues of communities, the relationships within them, and related people's attitudes and behaviour.
Rappaport (1977) discusses the perspective of community psychology as an ecological perspective on the person–environment fit (this is often related to work environments) being the focus of study and action instead of attempting to change the personality of individual or the environment when an individual is seen as having a problem.Closely related disciplines include ecological psychology, environmental psychology, critical psychology, cross-cultural psychology, social psychology, political science, public health, sociology, social work, applied anthropology, and community development.Community psychology grew out of the community mental health movement, but evolved dramatically as early practitioners incorporated their understandings of political structures and other community contexts into perspectives on client services.Food Empowerment Project
Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) is a volunteer-based non-profit organization whose mission statement is "to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one's food choices." The organization was founded in 2006 by lauren Ornelas, who continues to lead it. Based in Cotati, California, the F.E.P. opened an additional chapter in Seattle, Washington in 2016.Gender Inequality Index
The Gender Inequality Index (GII) is an index for measurement of gender disparity that was introduced in the 2010 Human Development Report 20th anniversary edition by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). According to the UNDP, this index is a composite measure to quantify the loss of achievement within a country due to gender inequality. It uses three dimensions to measure opportunity cost: reproductive health, empowerment, and labor market participation.
The new index was introduced as an experimental measure to remedy the shortcomings of the previous indicators, the Gender Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM), both of which were introduced in the 1995 Human Development Report.Good (political party)
Good is a South African political party. The party was launched on 2 December 2018 by former Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, and other disgruntled Democratic Alliance (DA) members.List of youth organizations
The following is a list of youth organizations. A youth organization is a type of organization with a focus upon providing activities and socialization for minors. In this list, most organizations are international unless noted otherwise.Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is a Government of India ministry. It is responsible for welfare, social justice and empowerment of disadvantaged and marginalised sections of society, including scheduled castes (SC), Other Backward Classes (OBC), the disabled, the elderly, and the victims of drug abuse. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is responsible for the welfare of scheduled tribes (ST).
The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment holds cabinet rank as a member of the Council of Ministers. The current minister is Thawar Chand Gehlot, who is assisted by a Minister of State, Vijay Sampla, Krishan Pal Gujjar and Ramdas Athavale.People With AIDS
The People With AIDS (PWA) Self-Empowerment Movement is a social movement by those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS which grew out of San Francisco in the early 1980s. The PWA Self-Empowerment Movement believes that those diagnosed as having AIDS should "take charge of their own life, illness, and care, and to minimize dependence on others". The attitude that exists throughout the movement is that one should not assume that their life is over and will end soon solely because they have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Although most of the earliest organizers have died, and organizations dissolved or reconfigured into AIDS service organizations (ASOs) the self-empowerment and self-determination aspects of the movement continue. Possibly the best known example of a continuing PWA group is AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT-UP), which has chapters around the world and has had great success bringing attention to and change regarding issues concerning PWAs.
PWA is also used simply to mean "person with HIV/AIDS", regardless of whether that person is associated with the PWA Self-Empowerment Movement.Pointing-out instruction
The pointing-out instruction (ngo sprod) is the direct introduction to the nature of mind in the Tibetan Buddhist lineages of Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen. In these traditions, a "root guru" gives the "pointing-out instruction" in such a way that the disciple successfully recognizes the "nature of mind."
The tradition of conferring such instructions outside the context of formal empowerment (Sanskrit: abhiṣeka) is unique to the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages. Whether or not such instructions are valid without the formal empowerment has historically been a point of contention with the more conservative Gelug and Sakya lineages. The pointing-out instruction is often equated with the fourth formal vajrayana empowerment.Pyramid scheme
A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products. As recruiting multiplies, recruiting becomes quickly impossible, and most members are unable to profit; as such, pyramid schemes are unsustainable and often illegal.
Pyramid schemes have existed for at least a century in different guises. Some multi-level marketing plans have been classified as pyramid schemes.Rivers State Ministry of Employment Generation and Empowerment
The Rivers State Ministry of Employment Generation and Empowerment is a government ministry of Rivers State, Nigeria formed in July 2003, with a goal to "provide individual citizens with gainful employment and to empower them with skills to become self-reliant." The current Commissioner in charge of the ministry is Dr. Ipalibo Harry.South Early College High School
South Early College High School (SECHS), formerly Empowerment South Early College High School and Empowerment College Preparatory High School, is a college-preparatory high school in Houston, Texas, US. It is a part of the Houston Independent School District. It was previously located on the campus of Albert Thomas Middle School and then at Jones High School
The school opened in August 2005. Empowerment merged with South Early College High School in 2010.Its current location, at 1930 Airport Boulevard, is on the South Campus of Houston Community College began construction in 2014 and opened in August 2016.The school offers its students the opportunity to earn an associate's degree while concurrently achieving a high school degree.UN Women
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women.
UN Women became operational in January 2011. President of Chile Michelle Bachelet was the inaugural Executive Director, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the current Executive Director. As with UNIFEM previously, UN Women is a member of the United Nations Development Group.Women's empowerment
Women's empowerment is the process in which women elaborate and recreate what it is that they can be, do, and accomplish in a circumstance that they previously were denied. Empowerment can be defined in many ways, however, when talking about women's empowerment, empowerment means allowing and allowing people (women) who are on the outside of the decision-making process into it. “This puts a strong emphasis on participation in political structures and formal decision-making and, in the economic sphere, on the ability to obtain an income that enables participation in economic decision-making.” Empowerment is the process that creates power in individuals over their own lives, society, and in their communities. People are empowered when they are able to access the opportunities available to them without limitations and restrictions such as in education, profession and lifestyle. Feeling entitled to make your own decisions creates a sense of empowerment. Empowerment includes the action of raising the status of women through education, raising awareness, literacy, and training. Women's empowerment is all about equipping and allowing women to make life-determining decisions through the different problems in society.Alternatively, it is the process for women to redefine gender roles that allows for them to acquire the ability to choose between known alternatives whom have otherwise been restricted from such an ability. There are several principles defining women's empowerment such as, for one to be empowered, they must come from a position of disempowerment. Furthermore, one must acquire empowerment themselves rather than have it given to them by an external party. Other studies have found that empowerment definitions entail people having the capability to make important decisions in their lives while also being able to act on them. Lastly, empowerment and disempowerment is relative to other at a previous time; therefore, empowerment is a process, not a product.Women empowerment has become a significant topic of discussion in development and economics. It can also point to the approaches regarding other trivialized genders in a particular political or social context.
Women's economic empowerment refers to the ability for women to enjoy their right to control and benefit from the
resources, assets, income and their own time, as well as the ability to manage risk and improve their economic status and well being.While often interchangeably used, the more comprehensive concept of gender empowerment refers to people of any gender, stressing the distinction between biological and gender as a role.Women in Red
Women in Red, initialism WiR, is a gender gap-bridging project on Wikipedia, a volunteer-edited online encyclopedia. Women in Red is a WikiProject within that site, focusing effort to create articles about notable women that do not currently exist there. The potential for such missing articles can be determined by looking for red hyperlinks in existing Wikipedia articles or templates.Youth empowerment
Youth empowerment is a process where children and young people are encouraged to take charge of their lives. They do this by addressing their situation and then take action in order to improve their access to resources and transform their consciousness through their beliefs, values, and attitudes. Youth empowerment aims to improve quality of life. Youth empowerment is achieved through participation in youth empowerment programs. However scholars argue that children’s rights implementation should go beyond learning about formal rights and procedures to give birth to a concrete experience of rights. There are numerous models that youth empowerment programs use that help youth achieve empowerment. A variety of youth empowerment initiatives are underway around the world. These programs can be through non-profit organizations, government organizations, schools or private organizations.
Youth empowerment is different from youth development because development is centered on developing individuals, while empowerment is focused on creating greater community change relies on the development of individual capacity.Empowerment movements, including youth empowerment, originate, gain momentum, become viable, and become institutionalized. Youth empowerment is often addressed as a gateway to intergenerational equity, civic engagement and democracy building. Activities may focus on youth-led media, youth rights, youth councils, youth activism, youth involvement in community decision-making, and other methods.
Aspects of workplaces