It is a shame that women are still not as empowered as men are. You may be wondering what you, as one person, can do to help remedy the situation.
What Is Women’s Empowerment?
First, let’s discuss what women empowerment is. A person who is empowered has control over her or his own life. Women need to have equal opportunity to participate in our society and determine their own course in life. They should not be held back in order to give preference to men.
Here are some ways you can help to empower women.
1. Recognize Your Unconscious Biases at Work
Think about your own beliefs about women, especially women of color, disabled women, and other women who may be different from you. Do you automatically assume that women are less capable than men? Do you assume that someone who is disabled will be hindered from doing a good job? You should be treating everyone at work equally and not assigning them to work based on their gender or other differences from you.
2. Create Networks for Women
Men have often relied on unofficial “boys’ clubs” to obtain information and stay in the loop. Women need networks of their own to communicate important information. Women should develop these networks on their own if none are available to them.
3. Don’t Dismiss Women’s Ideas
It is fine if you disagree with a woman, but you don’t have to dismiss her in order to disagree. Make sure to let her know that her input is valuable, even if you don’t agree with it. Women are often not listened to at work. It is important to give women an opportunity to express their ideas instead of discouraging them from speaking up.
4. Validate Women Outside of Work
Women still find it hard to speak up and share their stories and experiences. It is not enough to treat women equally in the workplace; they need to be treated equally in society, too. For example, when a woman shares a vulnerable story on social media, you can give her some validation and encouragement. If other people bully her, come to her defense. In your own friend groups, don’t make jokes that put women down.
5. Don’t Just Compliment a Woman’s Body
Women are a lot more than just their bodies. Usually, the only compliments they get focus on their looks. Compliment their kindness, strength and contributions, for example. And don’t criticize their looks, either. Why is it that female politicians’ looks are scrutinized and picked apart when the same doesn’t happen to men?
6. Support Women Who Appear “Strong,” Too
Some women appear to be strong, but you don’t know what their inner reality is like. Black women are especially likely to be seen as strong, but they often need as much support as anyone else. Give all women the support they need, and be sure to look below the surface and check how they are really feeling.
Helping to empower women is something that we all should be doing. Our society is not fair to women right now, and the only way it will change is for us all to do our part in changing it.