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The 3Ls of Empowerment – Christine Lagarde

Meaning of the title

The speaker gives double meaning to the title, “3 Ls”. On the obvious side the 3 Ls (L, L, L) refers to Learning, Labour and Leadership that woman of our time should develop. On the less obvious side, we can pronouns 3Ls as “Thrills”, thus, “Thrills of empowerment.”


  • Women are not contributing to a nation’s development because she has been under restrictions.
  • By providing her opportunities is with Learning, Labour and Leadership, this crisis can be controlled.

3ls: Sample Answers

What does the African adage (saying) mean, ‘if you educate a boy, you train a man. If you educate a girl, you train a village?’

Girl is the mother of every family. When a girl is educated, she will be a good mother and her children as well as her husband will be influenced by her qualities. This is not equally possible by educating a boy. As husbands and fathers, men rarely conduct the family. In many families, the man is a visitor so children constantly learn from their mothers. In this sense, a village where every mother is educated is an educated village because the majority always wins.

3ls: Speaker

Christine Lagarde, born in Paris, on 1 January 1956, is the first woman to become the Finance Minister of a G8 economy and to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She calls for opening the doors to women’s learning, labour and leadership in the economic field. This speech was delivered at the National Democratic Institute, Washington DC, on 19 May 2014.

3ls: Criticism

This is an example for feminist writing, means, the writer has biased (incorrect or distorted notions about men that she glorifies women against men). This happens due to strong convictions or strong negative feelings. If you think you can see that men and boys are also struggling under women, especially in a society where woman is always looked at as the sufferer and the weaker. I mostly disagree with the writer with her statement, “there is no universal issue that is more important than the economic role.” Today, most women are getting equal salary and job opportunities across the world.

We cannot forget the role of thousands of feminists – writers, poets and activists who have built the modern world where women are almost equal to men but we are not to forget the fact that women still allow men to impose restrictions upon them.

3ls: Essential Words

  • Kindred spirits (n) : people who think alike
  • Concerted (adj) : done in combination
  • Shackle (n) : bondage
  • Exclusion (n) : not allowing someone to take part in an activity
  • Adage (n) : a wise saying
  • Facilitate (v) : to enable
  • Credit (n) : loan, funds
  • Innate (adj) : inborn
  • Consensus (n) : agreement
  • Inclusion (n) : act of making a person part of a group
  • Sustainability (n) : ability to continue over a period of time
  • Comfort zone (n) : a situation or place where one feels safe or comfortable
  • Impediment (n) : barrier

3ls: The First L

  1. What is, in the speaker’s opinion, the most important challenge that the 21st century poses to the world?
    The insignificant economic role of women in a rapidly changing world is the most important challenge in the 21st century. Women handle an insignificant economic role in a nation’s economy because they remain blocked from contributing their true potential.
  2. How does woman’s low contribution to a nation’s economy affect the nation’s growth?
    In some countries, per-capita income lags significantly because women are denied equal opportunity. They represent half the world’s population, but contribute far less than 50 per cent of economic activity.
  3. How can woman’s economic activity be accelerated?
    Woman’s economic activities and contributions can be accelerated through combined efforts to open the door to opportunity for learning, labour and leadership for them.

3ls: The Second L

  1. What role does learning take up to empower women?
    Education is the foundation upon which any change is built. Learning helps women to help themselves and break the shackles/chains of exclusion. Spreading of education for women is very important in the developing world. Educating a girl is far more important than educating a boy because when a woman is educated, the entire village gets educated.
  2. How does labour help women to contribute to the world?
    Labour facilitates women to flourish and achieve their true potential.
  3. What are the challenges that women face in the field of employment/labour?
    At present, when women participate in the workforce, they too often tend to get stuck in low-paying, low-status and low-security jobs. Globally, women earn only three-quarters as much as men – even with the same level of education and in the same occupation.
  4. How can we eliminate the injustice suffered by women workforce?
    The most important step to guarantee equality and fair dealing with working women is equal pay for equal work policy. Eliminating male-female discrimination in economic participation can bring an increase in per capita income.

3ls: The Third L – Leadership

The third “L” is leadership that enables women to rise and fulfil their innate abilities and talents. Here, there is plenty of room for improvement. The irony is that when women lead they tend to do as good a job as others, if not a better job. They are more likely to make decisions based on consensus-building, inclusion, compassion and with a focus on long-term sustainability. It is true that women sometimes lack the confidence to match their competence. But they need to change that mindset and reset the narrative in their favour. So it is essential that women be ready to “dare the difference” — to take risks and step outside their comfort zones. Nonetheless, even those with the drive to succeed continue to face barriers: whether we are talking about providing primary education for girls in a village, or executive positions for women in business. It is time to create a world where all women can meet their potential without impediment or prejudice and the world will reap the benefits. The three Ls will help us get there. If we dare the difference, the difference will deliver. Thank you very much.

Textbook Questions

  1. The role of educated empowered women in building a strong nation.
  2. The role of learning, labour and leadership skills in making a woman liberated.
  3. “Women should step outside their comfort zones.” Discuss.
  4. “Women sometimes lack confidence to match their competence.” Comment on the statement.
  5. How can we build self-confidence in women?

3ls: Questions for You

  1. There are some people, supporters of feminism across the world, who believe that male chauvinism is encouraged by women – not by women. Write a speech in the comments box below.

Finally, click “Let’s Play” to know your score

  • Question of

    What are the 3 ‘L’s?

    • Learning, Labour, Leadership
    • Learning, Law, Language
    • Literacy, Love, Labour
  • Question of

    If we dare the difference, the difference will ___.

    • change
    • deliver
    • dare


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