Can we really empower people? in what ways? how is empowerment manifested?

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You can empower people by removing the cause of their oppression. However, I do not think that you can actually empower anyone. People have to make their own power. Although people are oppressed all over the world, we must both help them and then have them help themselves.
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I'm reminded of the old saying "give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime."  I see empowerment the same way.  We can empower others by helping them to be self-sufficient and productive.  I agree that education is very empowering.  Teaching skills and imparting wisdom can be empowering for the learner as well as the teacher.  People are empowered when they can think, reason, and provide for themselves.  This might mean complete independence or it might mean accomplishing a single task.

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I agree with the earlier answers, particularly with # 4. I would argue that one way to empower people is to help them learn to read and write. These skills may seem simple, but they are the keys to attaining most other skills. The ability to write clearly seems much rarer than I wish it were.

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I definitely think that we are able to empower those around us in a number of different ways. I am always struck by the massive potential that there is in simple words of encouragement. As a teacher, making a conscious effort to encourage your students, in my experience, has brought massive results in terms of helping them to believe that they can achieve and do better. We all therefore have the gift of empowering those around us no matter in what walk of life we find ourselves.

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One way that people in management positions can empower their workers is to demonstrate faith in the abilities and initiatives of their employees.  Giving them tasks that call for creative solutions certainly empowers workers.  Telling educated, intelligent people all the time what to do is insulting and repressive.  But, giving them the opportunity to display their own initiative and cooperative characteristics empowers them.

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I would argue that it is possible to empower people in a variety of ways.  Education can be one of them, particularly if it is relevant and connected to an interest or career that the student really wants to pursue.  Right now there is a broad gap between education and what is really needed in the "real world" but we still require degrees for many jobs so the connection isn't always clear but even so, people often feel empowered if they have a bachelor's degree or even a high school diploma because it signifies their willingness to work and complete things.

Another way to empower people is to provide meaningful work that is rewarding in more ways than just the salary.  People who build houses or take care of the land are often rewarded by feelings of satisfaction at a job well done but those feelings can be more difficult to find in other jobs like working in a fast food restaurant or something similar.

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