International Women’s Day was March 8th, and I purposely have waited to write about this. Not that I don’t think it’s extremely important, but the fact that we even needed a day (IWD began formally in the early 1900’s due to “the rise of radical ideologies”) to recognize women in the first place still kind of blows my mind. The fact that equality isn’t something everyone gives freely is a frustrating reality for many, not just women. I realize I write this from a place of privilege, as a woman with many opportunities given to me just because of where I was born. But that makes me feel even more responsible for changing the world. Here are some things we can all do to make our own little bubbles (or the world, for you extroverts) a little better for women:
1. Listen to the women in your life. Most women at some point have universally similar struggles and fears. Make a point to be there for support and be there to listen. To your mom, for example. Or your friend who you know could just use someone to open up to.
2. Be a mentor. Make a point to engage and encourage women as leaders and support women in leadership roles, especially the younger women in your life.
3. Speak up for women, and if you identify as a woman, speak up for yourself. For example in the workplace, ask questions like: “What is the pay scale for a man in my position?” I was once told I should work longer hours than others because I was single and didn’t have kids. That’s not legal.
4. Celebrate emotions. Women are amazing for many reasons, but our abilities to be passionate and emotional are often rebuked, not celebrated. Let’s turn this around and build up the women in your life who are brave enough to live out loud!
5. Encourage, don’t compete with other women. Be your own best cheerleader as a woman, believe in yourself and the power of those females around you. We are in this together, not alone.
Check out Song of Style for more quotes like these.