Women’s rights have come a long way since society believed the manufactured 1950s ideal of the model housewife. But there is still a long way to go before women around the world are on equal footing with men. There are so many injustices still perpetrated against women due to archaic patriarchal systems and traditions that it can be difficult to know where to start. But even taking small steps you can substantially empower the women around you.
Support Causes that Prioritise Women’s Issues
Whether you choose to support causes that advocate for women through a donation, letters to your governor and other politicians or actively taking part in fundraisers and demonstrations you can support women in your area and around the world. It doesn’t matter where your political allegiances lie, there are causes that advocate for women’s issues that fall on the left and right ends of the political spectrum, as well as bipartisan issues.
Don’t Dictate Dress
Telling women what they can wear and how they should dress is a way to exert control over their agency. The idea that women should dress according to societal conventions is dangerous and can lead to victim blaming and harassment. Statements like ‘Women that age shouldn’t dress like…’ or ‘She’s a bit big for…’ actively chastise women their age, shape, and appearance. Regardless of your dress size, you should be able to rock a cocktail dress or a designer jumpsuit. Women’s designer plus size clothing is becoming more popular and designers like Veda, Camilla, and Theory that cater to plus size women without compromising style and quality.
Be Child-Friendly and Carer Friendly
Many women are forced to make the decision between career and family. Traditionally, men have not been forced to make this choice because of the expectation that the women would be automatically be given the role of the primary carrier. By workplaces providing child care and employing child-friendly practices they can help to bridge the gap. Giving men the opportunity to take carer’s leave and be the primary care of a child is also a great way to combat this idea of women having to do it all to succeed.
Empowerment Through Herstory
The historical account is dominated by male history. That is not because there weren’t amazing women doing things too. The deeper into history you go the more it becomes apparent that women were there making things happen, fighting battles, discovering planets and composing masterpieces. By telling those stories we give a new generation of women stories of what they are capable of and a sense of possibility.
Be an Ally
The experience of women varies dramatically. Many women and non-male-identifying people are marginalised based on a whole host of factors, including race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status and a whole host of other factors. It’s important not to assume that you know the experiences of others, but to be an ally. Being an ally means to listen and to support others without assumptions.
With these simple steps, it is possible to significantly empower women in your life and around the globe. By ensuring that you are not being judgmental and you are being cognizant of the struggles that face women you can be a better advocate and ally to those who are marginalised and disadvantaged due to their gender and a combination of other factors.