Whosoever said that ‘Knowledge is Power’ was probably referring to empowerment through knowledge. To me, social justice is of great value because it implies that all individuals in society are treated equally and with dignity. Every individual has the same value so that there is no discrimination based on gender, religion, age, caste, or creed. However, our current society severely lacks in social justice; not all individuals are treated with equality and there is a huge divide between the rich and the poor. In order to reduce or remove this divide, it is important that all humans have equal access to opportunities for education and employment. I firmly believe that the philosophy of empowerment has the power and potential to create a uniform society with equal opportunity for all.
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An important aspect of social justice, ‘empowerment’ can be explained as the process of increasing power within individuals, families, societies, and communities. Through empowerment, people can develop the potential to enhance their situations in all aspects of life. Within the context of social justice, the philosophy of empowerment stands out because it equips individuals to improve their abilities, strengths, confidence, and ultimately their social and economic status in society. One of the most important rules of empowerment is to share knowledge, listen to people, and encourage them to share their ideas. Empowerment opposes the oppression of any kind. Motivation is also an important tenet of empowerment.
The philosophy of empowerment supports dignity and self-worth; as such, value to all people, regardless of their status or race is an important rule of empowerment. Children are innocent and weak; to me, defending the innocent is a vital rule of empowerment. Finally, the central rule of my philosophy of empowerment is the truth. The truth empowers people in all ways so that they can defend their rights and stand up for the causes they believe in.
Empowerment gives human beings the authority and ability to make rational choices and assumes responsibility for these choices. In the broad context, empowerment is an educational process that helps individuals in developing their knowledge, skills, and attitudes for creating a better future for themselves. Individuals should be motivated to engage in critical thinking so that they can make the right decisions. When people develop these skills, there is a change in the self-image which helps them become stronger and better equipped to progress in life. Since empowerment is such a powerful term and aims at increasing the capabilities of individuals, families, and communities, I believe it is the most reasonable philosophy of social justice.
Empowerment enhances the physical, mental, financial, and spiritual wellness of individuals. It is therefore in compliance with the principle of social justice – balancing unequal distributions of resources, wealth, and power in society. Other values supported by this philosophy are the elimination of sexism and racism in society through self-determination and actualization. Through the process of empowerment, it is possible to facilitate power in people which they can use to improve their lives, their communities, and finally the society within which they function. The development of this power allows people to act on issues important to them. Since it is such a powerful tool with the potential to bring about a radical change in society, I consider the philosophy of empowerment most appropriate.