It amuses me when women (working women, most importantly) who talk of empowerment and feminism, say “You have to talk to my husband/father about it.” Or “I don’t normally manage my finances.” when it comes to managing their money.
Empowerment comes from being curious. It comes from educating yourself, and people around you. Take some time out and do what it takes to know where your money goes. Or what you can do with it. And once you are conversant with the process and the terms, take your mom, aunt, neighbor, friend or relative with you. Help them find out the various accounts they are eligible to open. Help them file their own tax returns. Educate them on how they can manage their finances themselves. Help them take the first step towards doing that. Enlighten them on the various privileges they are entitled to.
It might all seem a little too far fetched in the beginning, but a little bit of practice is all it will take, to bring in the transformation. Travel that extra mile and do it. Feel the change you want to see.
Empowerment is not just about shouting slogans and creating a hullabaloo. It is about learning to be independent. It is about being able to stand on your own two feet and being your own person. It is about creating an awareness. It is about asking questions. Not necessarily the right ones, but having the courage to rise up and step out.
And above everything else, empowerment begins with you.