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Women Empowerment Versus Abuse

  By Reem Ahmed


When I started my work and got more involved in social life, I was so rebellious against society rules and the way of thinking. When I saw that women are forbidden from going to particular schools under the excuse “this major is not for women”, I felt so angry and anxious at the same time. Angry because of the controlling chains the society puts against females and making decisions for them based on gender, and anxious because I started thinking that my hungry mind for solving complicated matters will never be put in use unless I keep studying, reading books and educating myself about any topic I find interesting, otherwise I will end up dying intellectually before dying physically.

And by moving forward in my career I started noticing the double standards and huge contradiction we are living in on daily basis. I started seeing ladies being put in managerial positions they don’t deserve only for being women, and others are being used as mannequins to get jobs for the company, or just to add a reputation for the organization that they are hiring and supporting women.

On the other hand, I saw women with great minds staying at home or sitting behind their desks doing nothing because of their jealous husbands or managers who fear their competition, or fear of losing power over them. Because when a woman is progressing successfully in her career and reaching high positions, she will become powerful, have more control over her life and will gain more money; which will make her more secured, independent and ready to move forward if she was mistreated or abused. And this doesn’t suit all men, especially the type of men who are starving for power and want to always be dominant.

We really need a huge shift in our standards and a better understanding of several concepts in our lives. We need more trust, more justice and to become more rational and mature in our thinking.

If a man encourages his mother, wife, sister, daughter or female employee to become better and advance in her career, this does not mean he will lose her, as long as he has rooted unconditional love in his family, and is always willing to ask the women in his life openly and kindly for his needs; without assuming that both genders speak the same language, or should understand each other needs without proper communication. It also does not mean that women in his life must be hurt, since he believes in their inner strength and at the same time he is always open and willing to listen and support whenever they feel they want to give up.  And finally it does not mean a smart woman will take a man’s position as a colleague or manager, because if we are all willing to do what it takes to grow together, then there is always room for everyone.

And for women, being a working successful lady does not mean having a war against men; which will always fire-back on you. It does not mean the woman has to use her body and physical appearance to get promoted and appreciated, because as women we respect and love ourselves a lot and don’t accept to be treated as dolls. It does not also mean the female has to be single or further all men away from her life or otherwise she will not be able to succeed in her career. It does not mean the woman has to completely leave her kids and be busy all the time and miss the amazing feeling of watching them grow with love. It does not also mean that she has to burn out because of holding the full responsibility inside and outside home. We need to have more balance and establish authentic and proper communication with men in our lives, and not eliminating them to succeed, but rather to seek their help, support and understanding. And in order to do this successfully we need to keep trying kindly and gently, but with high morals and strong belief that we will succeed to have the love, happiness and success we deserve in both our personal and working lives.


Photo credit: citirecruitment / Foter / CC BY


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  1. Very well written article.

  2. This article calls attention to an unfortunate situation and provides sound professional and personal advice for both men and women that will allow them to work better together.

  3. Eng.Mohammed Eid

    The majic word is ” Balance “

  4. An excellent article that portraits the reality some women are facing nowadays. This prolonged issue has restricted society to benefit from the competencies that many women exhibit. I believe it is time for the opposite gende to realise that women also have equal rights in both personal and work life.

    • Thank you Fatima for you comment 🙂
      We really need more understanding, openness and flexibility from both genders.
      Understanding comes by allowing ourselves to explore despite our fears exactly like babies do, then paying attention to what we are experiencing and learning from the experience by recording it in our memory and trying to improve it.
      Openess comes from being authentic and honest about what we feel/need and expressing it kindly and gently.
      And flexibility comes from willingness to adapt to change and putting in mind that no situation or person in life is same as the other, people/things/situations are always different.
      Thank you for opening a discussion. I highly appreciate it 🙂

  5. Loved the artical and great choice of words and ideas and i wish for you success in life what an artical !!!!!!!! Great job!!

  6. I strongly agree with what you have shared with us.It will take a great deal of positivity and perseverance to reach our goal for equality not only at work, but also in all walks of life.Hats off to our new women empowerment ambassador!

  7. خالد السيف

    ريم المحترمة السلام عليكم
    المعنى الحقيقي في هذه الحياة هو أن تعيش في توازن كما ذكرتي وليس أن تعيش في حرب مع الأخرين وهذا ينطبق على كل مجالات الحياة وليس فقط في موقع العمل ولكن في البيت والشارع والعمل، فنحن لابد أن نكون متعايشين مع بعضنا البعض في سلام ومحبة لنصل إلى مرحلة الإنتاجية الحقيقية

  8. Thank you Reem for your excellent article

    Actually, we have to understand ourselves from inside and to be open minded and this is in the core of our Islam religion.
    then we can understand that the women are not only half of society but also the most important member so she can practice all the roles without preventing her for any reason
    as she proved according to the experience of life that women could be the professional person in the right positions .

    • Thank you Fayyad for your valuable comment, and yes we must keep dragging our attention from the outside world and others to exploring our magnificent selves.
      And to be honest the whole idea of equity between men and women doesn’t resonate well in my mind, we are different, and not supposed to be the same in our behaviors, or physical capabilities. It is the matter of accepting this difference, understanding the flavor each gender can add to home, society, work place and each single task in life no matter how small or big it is. Accepting, respecting and valueing this addition and different flavor it is very important because the difference is so patent, no matter how hard we try to hide it.
      They always say: a single hand can’t applause, and I say without men and women together there is no family, and consequently no society and life.
      Thank you.

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed your article. It is published in Arab Woman Mag but it does not just apply to Arab men and women, but across the whole world. Sadly women fail to reach their full potential in a wide variety of situations and in a wide variety of countries.

    • Thank you Jo for your honest comment. And I feel so happy you enjoyed reading it.
      Actually I have friends from different countries, religions and cultures and I discuss these things with them, and yes you are right it applies for all people in the world, because it is something we have inherited from our ancestors and it is printed in our genetic memory. We only need to dig deeper and deeper to discover ourselves more and more and keep cultivating our thinking as well as behavior. It is so easy to stay lazy and do nothing other than complaining about it, but will we be happy?! Both men and women?! I can assure you the answer on the long run is NO. Because for any one, if the closest people in their lives are not happy, they’ll sense it and get affected, event if they try to act as ignorant to what is happening, they will be affected, and will be unhappy too.

  10. Thank you for writing on this subject. it is a very sensitive and important issue, and it seems to me that you wrote on the dark side of the problem. For example the paragraph: “If a man encourages his mother, wife, sister, daughter or female employee …etc. ”
    In the developing countries, the empowerment of women is greatly affected by the illiteracy of the people, also It depends considerably on many socio-economic factors as well as religious.
    Your effort is highly appreciated, best regards

    • Thank you Dr.Muthannah
      I agree, many factors are affecting the idea of women empowerment.
      I believe that the true empowerment is misinterpreted and mixed with other things, which the media is showing as empowerment where the truth is these are far away from that. And this was the main idea behind the article:
      “Women impose enemy versus abuse”.
      Now regarding the dark side, there are nice examples on the bright side too, but they are unfortunately very few compared to the “not so nice examples”.
      I highly appreciate your contribution and valuable feedback 🙂

  11. An excellent and thoughtful article that will surely serve as part of a road map and inspiration to both women and men. There has been a tendency and economic motives for many in western countries to join the race to further one’s career and neglect community and work interactions. Reem writes about an alternative way.

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