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Panel Discussion Report 15: The role of NGOs in women’s empowerment in economic field

1. Overview of the topic:

Women’s economic empowerment is their capacity to bring about economic changes for themselves. Since there are many more female-headed households and therefore more than ever before, women are in need of information that will lead to economic empowerment. Women have the potential to change their own economic status, as well as that of their communities and countries in which they live. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have sought to find ways and means of empowering women in order to assist them to stand up for themselves and achieve economic, social and political independence.

Initially, our moderator made a general introduction on the chosen topic so that we all can have first understandings and an overview of our discussion. Then, proceeding to the panel discussion with two panellists we talked around the role of NGOs towards empowerment of women as we concentrated on women with technology development and how they play role in terms of family under the help of Non-governmental organizations.

2. Process:

Coming out with any panel discussion there is a long planning process which all the members of the group have to work with a high cooperation. Right after knowing the task, we started forming a group of five members which included one moderator together with four panelists. At the same time, we were required to come out with the topic to be discussed and to complete the draft outline for the presentation then posting it in the indicated website. Firstly, each of us gave ideas then we selected among those ideas for the topic as “women’s empowerment” and everyone had to form our own points (sub-topics) for the talk under the topic. The sub-topics were about the empowerment of women in economic, political, social, and educational fields and each of panelists (Mahi, Suneeda, Moe, and me) had to take one task of explanation one sub-topic.

Unfortunately, when we went to consult the lecturer for the discussion’s draft outline, which we had already finalized among all, he told us that our topic is a bit general and we should narrow it in a detail zone.

Our lecturer also suggested us some clues and advised us on the other topics that we should make it better. With his help, we finally indicated the economic field which is close to us and that we could easily show how the picture of women’s empowerment is by the help of NGOs. Therefore, we gathered again in a meeting to change our topic as well as to divide the responsibility each one has to take. Our new topic was “the roles of NGOs in the empowerment of women in economic field”.

Since the group had five members, so we had one moderator to instruct the presentation and the rest of four persons were in role of panelists who speak about the empowerment of women in different roles. As we agreed, Suneeda would be the first speaker of sub-topic women with agriculture, Mahi is the second one who would talk about women with technological development, myself would give an explanation in women’s role in the family, and the last member is Moe with the presentation about violence against women. Everything seemed well and being sure as the real panel discussion was not so far from our preparation. We all had to find points and made sure of the talk by ourselves.

The night before our presentation one of the group members wanted to quit her task and we were in a plan of three panelists-discussion. After that, one more group member had a health problems and she was not able to participate in our presentation as well. At the last minutes we knew that we were going to have the panel discussion with only two speakers and one moderator. Things looked sad and I had no mood to do my part. However, we had to have it anyway because the presentation schedule had already been finalized and informed to all student of my respective lecturer. I just tried finish my task with no hope of getting high mark or good compliments from everyone.

3. Implementation:

Actually and sincerely, I had an unexpected panel discussion since I was the one who did not prepare well for the presentation most. That is one of my disappointments in this duty. During the presentation I did not touch a lot on my all points that I had prepared before because of the time limitation. We had two panelists and we also had same five minutes to express all our points after the questions of the moderator. I think we should be given some extended minutes so that we could complete our talk better. I like all points which I presented, yet among them I prefer most to express and show how strong single mothers being empowered under the help of Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as women are given loans and also they are told the ways to improve their living condition. Roles of women in family are so important and I explored quite enough about it besides showing how women are empowered in such the vital roles.

Nevertheless, I should provide some detailed statistics to make my explanation clearer to the audiences (the lecturer and the students in my class). Indeed, I prepared for some figures but when it came to the presentation I became nervous and forgot about that. That always is my main weakness which I have to get rid of and improve it in order that I can be more self-confident in speaking.

4. Learning/ reflection/ experience from the panel:

Through this panel discussion I learnt lots of lessons and got experiences as well. I got to know more what are the actual mean of empowerment; the definition, functions and benefits of it towards human beings, particularly in the women’s world. I got to know how strongly women of today are being empowered by the great assistances of Non-governmental organizations. In addition, through the explanation of my lecturer and the activities I did with my classmates in the tutorials I have improved my knowledge of “civil society” along with the women’s empowerment.

People usually perceive and say that women are weaker than men, incapable of doing something and even sometimes having less brain potential, but it does not necessarily mean that women cannot grow up to be better than men. Women can have a good education; women can handle well things such as being a good housewife at the same time being a model leader in the community or society. Women are half of the world and they do not just play a simple role in the household, but altogether they can make a change for a better life.

Finally, I realized that we should have a higher spirit of cooperation in doing group work and do not depend on anyone else. Also, I should care more about encouragement of the group members to participate well. Yes, I more than know that at this time every student has a similarity of studying pressure because of lots of assignments, report proposals, individual tasks of all the study subjects come at the same due. Thus they cannot focus hundred percent of their mind for any subject. However, I have to overcome negative thoughts, pressure as well as laziness so that I can try to study harder and get better results. Studying is bitter cluster roots, yet it will bring you sweet fruits.

5. Conclusion:

Our panel discussion was successful to demonstrate that women are improved in the world of technological development and in the places where they can explore themselves to strengthen their livelihood. Economic empowerment of women brings a lot of positive outcomes such as a great reduction in poverty rates, a better approach to health services, women become stronger leaders and more contribute financially to their families, communities and countries, and gender equality is therefore also balanced.

Economically empowering women is essential both to realize women’s rights and to achieve broader development goals such as economic growth, poverty reduction, health, education and welfare. Therefore, women need to be empowered and the roles of NGOs cannot be absent in these achievement.

6. Reference: Plamena Ivanova. (2007, March 5). Women’s roles in the household: popular press depictions of gender roles in the USA (1870-1960) [Web blog post]. Retrieved from http://netbuzzing.blogspot.com/2007/03/womens-roles-in-household-popular-press.html.

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