March 8 – International Women’s Day
Since my senior college year, I’ve been keen on the issues of women and women empowerment. It doesn’t come as any surprise here. I believe all females, regardless of location, experience some form of discrimination or gender bias at any point during their lifetimes. I also believe that it is our duty as women to stand by one another and support our rights and causes. What did come as a
surprise shock to me, however, was learning that women can actually hate other women, which explains so many psychological problems, fears and anxieties women of all ages face today. It bothers me that some women are mean and unforgiving not just to others but to themselves as well.
I thought about writing on women empowerment from a different perspective. Understanding the impact we women can have on other females, it only seems logical to address ourselves in trying to change this competitive (and often condescending) approach to our counterparts. Being a mother of a girl, an aunt, a daughter, a sister, sister-in-law, and a confidant to many girlfriends, I know there’s so much I can do to make other women feel worthy. Worthy of love, worthy of appreciation, just worthy of being themselves in a world that wants them to be everything but.
So here are 8 ways I suggest to empower other women of all ages:
1- Raising an empowered little girl: teach your daughters, neices, or female students that there’s nothing they can’t do with determination and hardwork. There’s no such thing as a “game for boys” and “game for girls”. If they want to play with dinosaurs and legos, let them. If they enjoy construction toys more than pretend tea parties, so what? A girl who is allowed to pursue her interests will be a woman who does not fear following her dreams.
2- Watching the way you talk to females: Decorate your lips with compassionate words. Choose your words wisely, particularly with teenage girls and adolescents. Constructive criticism is necessary as long as it doesn’t employ emotional blackmail or harsh language.
3- Cheer on academic and professional efforts: encourage more progress by celebrating little and big milestones.
4- Be kind: especially in disagreements. If you’ve had a fight with your best friend, remember to remain kind. If you can’t see eye to eye with a sister, soften your words and perhaps you can get your message across eventually. When you understand that everyone’s journey is unique you’d be much more understanding and less judgmental.
5- Practice and encourage self-dependence: women in relationships tend to neglect an essential component for their well-being: self-dependence. Sure, it’s comforting to know you have a dependable partner in your life but keep in mind that overdependence may be viewed as a sign of weakness or lethargy. Unless you are physically or legally unable to perform a task, there’s great satisfaction in doing things yourself.
6- Rally for women: Show your dedication to female empowerment by organizing and being part of social, sports, or educational events that support rightful causes. The options are unlimited but make sure they are of value and meaning, avoiding overtly commercial campaigns that could harm the cause’s legitimacy.
7- Help the mamas: do you a have friend who’s just given birth? Does your best friend need some “me time” to get a decent haircut or a much-needed mani-pedi? It would be nice for a mom to know she has a caring friend who would come to her rescue when needed. If you’re good with children, you could offer to babysit her kids while she runs some errands which can’t do otherwise. You may also do those errands yourself if you find it entertaining noisy toddlers a challenge!
8- But first…be a woman: it goes without saying that giving is what we women do best. It’s in our nature to want to take care of everything and everyone. Thus, it’s intrinsic to put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. Just like you’d never forget to fill up your gas tank before your long road trip, you can’t forget to take good care of yourself while you care for others. Mothers, I’m looking at you. That me-time is not going to find itself. Feed your soul, nourish your body and love with all your heart. Be the woman you were created to be and love that woman along the way. Be a woman of value in the lives of those you love.
Is there anything you’d like to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.
Happy Women’s Day dear ladies of the world. Keep shining ☀️