Power is always associated with politics, wealth or importance. Power in other words is the same as control, authority, influence, rule, dominance, force or strength.
Power has several definitions. According to the new weave of power, people and politics, power is defined as degree of control over material, human, intellectual and financial resources exercised by the different sections of society.
In politics people in decision making such as the president, ministers and other can enforce a law even if it does not have the support of citizen. Because they have control, they use the power to enforce the opposed law and can even punish those who question them. Although it is said that no one is above the law, those who have wealth, money use corrupt means to win a case and send the innocent to prison, this also, is power.
At times power is referred to as muscle, in most parts of world men are still in leadership positions in homes, communities and the international levels. Although gender equality in favor of women has seen some positive changes in some sectors such as education, a man has continued to exercise his power. Since he is believed to be a strong vessel while a woman a weaker vessel, he makes decision at times without a woman’s concert. He also denies a woman some of her rights such as sexual reproductive rights. A poor and vulnerable woman continues to dance and roll on the bare ground for a president as he steps out of a plane. This is expected of her since she is a woman.
A woman in some parts of the world especially some parts of the peri-urban and rural areas here do not know that they also possess power within themselves. Power is not about wealth, it is not about money or force but it’s about an individual exercising what is within them.
Power according to Weber is defined as that ability to realize his or her will in a social action, even against the will of other actors .Power is what makes an individual, their nationality, their age, their religion, their education, their class in society, their achievement, their voice, their color, and so forth. It is recognizing the sense of self wealth, the value and knowledge one has. It is all about using the potential which lies in an individual to bring about change.
Power does not need to change something very big but even just a little change means one uses their power. The passion to assist a poor woman is power. If women can stand and speak against the injustice done to them, if they can be able to say No to violence, to abuse and educate one another on their rights then power within them is recognized. Sharing of information, empowering a fellow woman is exercising power within. Networking, Lobbying and advocating are also exercising power.
Hoping this year’s women day will bring about the recognition of power within a woman and change the world perspective on power.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to International Women's Day 2010: Women Can Build the Bridges of Social Change.