Bold and Becoming

Webinar-09: Women Empowerment and Confidence – Shitom Ahmed, Farhana Khan and Sameer

Our 9th webinar’s topic was “Women Empowerment and Confidence”. We discussed the confidence gap for women, misconceptions about women empowerment, gender disparities, the role of males, and the solution to these problems.

We were happy to have brilliant music composer, songwriter, and singer Shitom Ahmed. Our second guest was Farhana Khan, a talented mind behind the largest Youth LinkedIn community (FarhanasBrainstation), currently working as a business analyst to develop software for IoT integration. Our third guest was the content creator Sameer who brings a unique way of visual journalism.

We started our discussion with the confidence gap among most Bangladeshi women. Shitom Ahmed pointed out how our family and environment curtail and limit girls and women in our society; how female children and women are not encouraged to cultivate their potentials and talents to the fullest.

Farhana added that our patriarchal cultural configuration to take permission and obey the elders thoroughly, limits our critical thinking and decision making faculties of mind which in turn limit our confidence level. Sameer shared that families often fail to ignite confidence in women due to societal stereotypes and prejudices against women.

Discussing the misconceptions about women empowerment, Farhana shared that a common preconceived notion about a woman being empowered means that she will disrespect and discount men.

A woman’s career is often stereotyped by cultural notions. Shitom Ahmed pointed out the fact of discouragement towards unconventional careers for women such as engineering, media, arts etc. Farhana stressed that there are no easy fixes for such generational belief systems, all we can do is focus on our individual responsibilities which cumulatively can bring upon a systematic change in the long run.

Our guests cumulatively shared that lack of a fluid communication with parents and our cultural idea of elevating marriage as the highest trophy a woman can win are some key reasons for the gender disparities at home.

During the end of the session, our guests shared their techniques to talk themselves out of their imposter syndromes. They encouraged the audience to keep learning and practicing new skills, to keep doing what they love, and to have faith in own-selves.

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