Development of ‘Power within’ among the Women: A Road to Empowerment

  •  Hedayat Allah Nikkhah    
  •  Marof Redzuan    
  •  Asnarulkhadi Abu-Samah    


Globally, women are generally lower in status and power relative to men in economic, political, and job prestige. However, in general, power is not thing to be possessed only by a person or a group of individuals. Power can be gained, nurtured and sharpened and the processes to gainer acquire power in known as empowerment. Several feminist groups and NGOs have mentioned that the empowerment process should be broken down into three levels of power; they are ‘power to’, ‘power with’ and ‘power within’. This study examined the power within as a type of power achieved by women in Iran. In this study power within is conceptually consisting of two elements, i.e. ‘self-esteem’ and ‘gender awareness’. The study showed that women in Shiraz, Iran have the moderate level of power within. It means they are never disempowered nor empowered sufficiently. Organization such as NGOs can help the women to develop their power within and become empowered. The result also indicates that the NGOs have played their roles in developing the power within among the women through their functions such as, developing individual ability, educational functions, awareness building and mobilizing of women. The study discovered the developing individual ability among the other functions was most effective function contributed by NGO.

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