Female empowerment is not only about achieving gender equality. It can be much simpler. It is about putting topics and discussions that matter to people who identify as women into the forefront. So many topics have been suppressed culturally and led to the overall suppression of women. Acknowledging that societal constraints in discussing female-centric topics can be the first step in breaking down these unnecessary barriers.
It can be as simple as changing the way you talk in your personal life, or it can be as far-reaching as an event geared towards encouraging these discussions. If you go the large scale route, be sure to employ a branding agency that shares your values. Many a goodhearted attempt at helping people have been sunk in the beginning stages by narrow-minded people with access to resources and the media.
Due diligence in research and meeting with the people you want to work with is important. This is the only way to make sure that your message does not get lost in translation or to appeal to such a wide audience that the message loses the point of the activism. Till that day comes, represent your values in your speech every chance you get.
Acknowledge All Women
First of all, the best way to begin talking about female empowerment is to acknowledge everyone’s voices who identify as female. All too often, narrow-minded people have narrowly focused views on who can and cannot be a woman. This means that a lot of necessary and vulnerable voices get silenced.
If you have the opportunity to give a platform to someone female, then do so with pride and security. Giving women the platform to speak on their own behalf is just as empowering and necessary as having allies speak up.
The voices and stories of women’s actual lived experiences do not receive the kind of media and attention that highly sexualized re-tellings by men receive. Thus, if a woman finds the courage to tell her story and raise her voice, support her in the face of anything that may come. The woman in question will face pushback from people who seek to undermine her, people who try to question her story and want to intimidate female voices into being quiet and complicit in their own subjugation.
That woman and her voice need to borrow bravery from the people who will stand by her and demand that she get a chance to tell her story. It will be scary but imagine the fears she had to overcome to speak up. Lend her your strength even as her strength inspires you.
Self-expression Is for All Women
Self-expression is not only for those who will expose famous people and huge scandals. Even encouraging a little girl to talk about the people bullying her and not being intimidated gas lit into staying quiet can profoundly impact that child’s life.
Too often, we reserve freedom of speech for adults. But it has to start in childhood. If we do not encourage and accept our youth’s voices, they will not know how to advocate for themselves or others when they grow up.
Recognize Unconscious Bias
This is especially helpful in the workplace. Work with Human Resources to arrange seminars to discuss how people can question their biases. Be aware that not every workplace will be amenable to such topics.
Making yourself more educated on unconscious bias might help you to see if your career has benefitted or stalled due to it. This can help you make better choices when selecting colleagues to work on projects or find a new place to work.
A lot of strong women are strong because they have no choice but to be their own saviors. Many people who speak out feel that they have to because others might suffer what they did if they do not. Share their stories and share your willingness to be part of a support system for women. Use your social media as a vehicle for sending out this message.
This is the simplest way to let people know that you are ready and willing to be a safe harbor for their thoughts and fears and a listening ear in times of crisis. Many people need to talk about their experiences, but it can be hard to find people who can listen without interjecting.
Supporting women needs to happen out loud so that the women who need your support, who need the resources you can connect them to, know who to come to when they need help. The most important thing you can do is to ensure that every woman who sees what you share on social media knows that you accept them for any reason. Their problems do not need to be major abuses for you to care.
Talk about skincare problems, or painful periods, or the grief of losing a pet. These are all issues that affect women and leave scars they will need to talk about. If you take the initiative and open these discussions, it will be easier for them to come to you. Trust your inner voice, confront your biases to make sure you are doing things for the right reasons, and begin speaking out. You never know who might need to hear what you have to say.