What points should I make in a two-minute speech in favor of the empowerment of women?
One over-arching point to make is that though women make up half the world's population and so need half its resources, they are prevented in many areas from participating in economic, educational and government elements. Populations of male and female genders are equal, therefore women should make up 50% of the world's economic, educational and government sectors, but they do not.
Over 60 million females are not in school. Though they make up 40% of some agricultural work forces, at best only 20% are land owners. Women business owners make up only 10% of the business owners in Africa and less than 3% in Asia. Only about 20% of legislatures world wide are comprised of women. In developing countries, forced child marriages at ages as young as 8 are still enforced for women.
If we were to address and empower women in just the areas mentioned above, the change to world economies and governments would be positively transformative as economies grew and governments gained more balanced insights leading to better results.
A two minute speech is not very long. So, you will have to be selective.
I would start by saying that I could point out many reasons why we should empower women. Empowering women makes the economy better, families healthier, and societies stronger. I would say that I could go on and one and cite many examples. However, I would say that there are two more fundamental reason why we should empower women. In this way, you are setting up the audience.
First, for too long women have not been empowered. For example, women in American only gained the right to vote less than a hundred years ago. Columbia University has only opened enrollment to women 25 years ago. In many places in the world women are still second class citizens. How can we say that we are a modern world, if these injustices still exist?
Second, my main thrust would be all men and women are created equally according to our Declaration of Independence. So, to be true to ourselves, we need to empower women.
The best way to argue this against people who do not believe that women have a moral right to be empowered is to make an economic argument. Such an argument says that empowering women will help a country (particularly in the developing world) in economic terms.
Many economists argue that empowering women helps an economy grow. They point out, for example, that countries which see more women participating in the labor force also tend to be the ones that see the greatest reductions in poverty. They argue that women who make money for the family are likely to have fewer children, thus increasing the life chances of each child that they do have because there is more money for the family and fewer children on whom to spend it.
By making such arguments, you can make the case that empowering women is beneficial to a country in very tangible ways.