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  • Writer's picturePanacea Lim

What It Means To Be An Empowered Woman

Updated: Aug 10, 2021


Credit: Stephanie B


First and foremost, an empowered woman is an individual who thinks and speaks for herself. Each and every one of us on this earth has a sacred purpose. An empowered woman knows her purpose and utilizes each day to pursue that purpose.

An empowered woman knows that it is her birthright to have personal goals, aspirations and dreams. She knows she has the right to pursue them and will do everything in her power to achieve them.

An empowered woman speaks her mind—even if they go against the beliefs and opinions of others, even if it leaves her outnumbered. She knows that her thoughts and opinions are significant. She demands to be heard.

When a woman is empowered, she is independent. She is no damsel in distress. She waits for no one. She alone is responsible for her own happiness.  In her universe, there are no restrictions because she makes her own rules. An empowered woman defines her own path and dances to the beat of her own drum.

An empowered woman moves through life with passion and zest. Her main goal: To be the truest, greatest version of herself every day.

An empowered woman knows that confidence, intelligence and fierce determination are the only tools she needs to achieve anything she sets her mind to. When a woman is empowered, she pursues excellence in all aspects of life and never settles. She is able to envision her dreams, then has the courage to run after them. No matter the cost.

She invests in her life because she knows that the biggest accomplishment she could ever achieve is to live the life of her dreams.

An empowered woman is fearless in all aspects of life and is fiercely unapologetic. She is never ashamed of her past. On the contrary, she is proud that her history—a labyrinth of countless triumphs and failures—have brought her to exactly where she is today.

An empowered woman not only claims her rights but exercises them. Having the right to vote, having the right to an education, having the right to run for president, having the right to marry whom she wants, when she wants, or not to marry at all etc., are rights that have been arduously fought for by past generations. By exercising her political, economic and social rights, she honours the ancestors whom for centuries have worked and sacrificed so much to obtain the realities she enjoys today. Maya Angelou said it best in her poem, Our Grandmothers: “I go forth alone, and stand as ten thousand.”

She embraces the essence of who she is: Her intuition, intelligence, kindness, and power.

When a woman is empowered, she doesn’t let others determine nor validate her self value. On the contrary, she has a genuine understanding that she is of exponential value. She burns bright. She is a star.

When someone decides to hurt you—whether it is a significant other, colleague, friend, or even family member—it’s OK to feel momentarily down and heartbroken. Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of cloudy days. But what’s not OK? To let that hurt and pain diminish your spirit. It is not what happens to you that matters, it’s what you do in the face of adversity and suffering that your true character is revealed.


An empowered woman is not afraid to let go of anything or anyone that holds her back. Experiences and people who do not support, uplift, or inspire her are poison. They have no space in her life.


She trusts her instincts. Her gut is her number one alley.


An empowered woman challenges patriarchal traditions. Whether you choose to acknowledge this or not, we (Indonesians and most of today’s nations) live in a patriarchal society–a society that is male-dominated, male-identified, and male-centred. These beliefs and practices are, without a shadow of a doubt, unacceptable and deplorable. When a woman is empowered, she denies these beliefs and proves otherwise through her actions. She is in the proportion of and is equal to any man or woman.

She isn’t afraid to be her true, authentic self.

She doesn’t view vulnerability or honesty as a sign of weakness. She doesn’t beat herself up for not being perfect. Instead, she embraces her flaws and accepts them as a beautiful and essential part of who she is.

An empowered woman is not intimidated by men or other women. Competition does not deter her. The only person she is in competition with is herself.

Being empowered means recognizing your divinity and strength. It means taking the time to nurture yourself physically, spiritually and emotionally in preparation to be of service to others.

An empowered woman inspires others. She is compassionate, generous and above all, chooses love every day. She knows that life’s greatest joy is to serve others, to be of good use for those in her community and beyond.

Knowledge is power. An empowered woman never stops learning. She constantly strives to grow and evolve as a human being. She is a student of life.


“Empowered is being strong, not a victim. Empowered is thinking critically, not simply accepting the standard or accepted narrative on face value. Empowered means having the strength to stand up for what one believes…and accepting that each act of defiance has a cost. Most importantly, empowered means staying true to oneself.”

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