Women’s empowerment is key to a better world. For too long the patriarchy has abused, silenced and attempted to control women. Here are 8 ways you can show up to empower women that will help us all to move forward into a fairer world.
Empowerment is feeling able to step up and claim your space in the world. It’s being clear on your needs and knowing you have a right to have them respected. In a male dominated world, there are so many injustices that women and girls grow up with signifying women as somehow “less than” men, from unequal pay to sexual harassment to lack of health rights and the list goes on.
So how can we, as a society or a culture, help to empower women?
Here’s 8 really simple ways to lift women up so we can all rise together:
#1: Listen to women's stories
Listening is an art and a skill that can be mastered with practice. Really listening means allowing someone the time and space to express themselves without jumping in to try to “fix” anything, pass judgement or perhaps, unconsciously, turn it back around to your own personal experience.
True listening is a way to connect on a deeper level with others.
Collectively and individually, women carry stories of their own lives and their ancestors. It's essential that women have safe spaces where we can tell our stories and be heard.
This is just one of the reasons I'm so passionate about women's circles and creating spaces for women to find their voices and heal the wounds of the past.
#2: Invest in women
If we want to uplift women, we need to invest in them. This means employing them, voting for them and supporting them in all arenas of public and private life.
Bolstering the sisterhood means bolstering the FINANCES of the sisterhood. Money isn’t a dirty word, it’s an energetic exchange and one that women have been told for centuries isn’t for them. Financial independence is key to women rising!
Women with financial freedom and power are far more likely to be able to have autonomy over their own lives - and in turn are more likely to reinvest their money into their communities for the good of all.
So get into the mindset of financially supporting women-led projects - whether creative or business. It can be investing time or resources, listening or practical support.
If you want to be part of a group of women lifting each other up, join the Curious Souls Circle on Facebook. Every Thursday is #JupiterDay where I invite members to promote their offerings. Thursday is ruled by Jupiter which - as personified by Thor - represents expansion, abundance and gratitude. I love Jupiter so much I have its symbol tattooed on my wrist!
#3: End the stigma around menstruation
It’s amazing how simply talking openly menstruation can have a huge impact on women. One of the key ways women have been oppressed is the creation of shame around our natural, life-giving cycles.
Let's get this straight: menstruation is not disgusting, undesirable or something that needs to be hidden.
Now women are reclaiming their bodies, their wisdom and their powerful rites and ceremonies around menstruation and tapping back into the power of the menstrual cycles.
You are a vital part of this revolutionary work.
The more open we can be about the menstrual cycle, the more the shame can begin to fall away.
So check in with a friend about where she’s at in her cycle, talk openly about using a menstrual cup or discuss your personal experience of menstrual at a women's circle or other gathering you feel supported in.
#3: Value women's unique qualities
As women, we've been conditioned to believe our value is in our physical appearance. We are so used to being sexually objectified or only receiving compliments (and indeed insults) centred around our physical appearance.
Show the women in your life that you care about who they are as a person by telling them what you appreciate and value about their skills or personality.
Instead of commenting on body image like “you’re so pretty”, or "I love your top", consider saying something like “I love how inspired you make me feel” or “I really like the way you encourage others to share their stories.”
It will mean SO much more to the women in your life to know you value who they REALLY are.
#4: Check your assumptions
We all have unconscious biases and make assumptions based on them. Sometimes we can surprise ourselves and not be quite as woke as we'd like to believe.
There’s no need to tell yourself off for assumptions like presuming your Doctor is a male - you’re not responsible for the first thought that pops into your head. But you do have to check if it really belongs to you or is an internalised unconscious bias.
Unconscious bias can lead to discrimination, so keep checking in with the biases you might have against women (and men!) regarding race, sexuality, class, body type etc.
This just means being open to viewing your own unconscious thoughts with awareness and a critical eye with the intent to change where necessary.
#5: Know when to step down
In order to uplift and empower women, we need the space to be heard. This space is sometimes taken up and needs to be created by others stepping down. Speaking out is essential for any movement for change, but sometimes you have to pass the microphone and take a step back to ensure all voices are getting their say.
This doesn’t just mean obvious examples like men in government stepping back so women can speak up about political issues. It could be as simple as supporting other women at work to speak up in meetings when you KNOW they have great ideas to share, or following women of colour on social media and sharing their posts to your network.
#6: Talk about consent
Consent is essential and isn’t only confined to sexual intimacy.
Consent and open communication is an integral part of everyday life, whether it’s checking how someone likes their tea, asking how someone would like to be greeted or even checking if someone prefers text or call contact.
Asking for consent makes sure everyone feels their boundaries and needs are being considered and respected. Simple check-ins like this can be incredibly empowering, especially for those who have trauma around consent being abused.
#7: Vocalise your thanks!
This is a great way to live in general and is also a really good way to empower women. What do the women in your life do for you than you are grateful for? Be sure to let them know, because none of us are mind-readers and it always feels uplifting to be appreciated, valued and thanked.
When we take action together as a community, it’s a powerful tool for transformation. We’ve hit a lot of milestones in the UK when it comes to women’s rights, with the vote, legalised safe abortions and women taking more positions in science, the arts and politics. But we still have such a long way to go! However you express your gender identity, making it a priority to empower women is beneficial to society as a whole and to our collective wellbeing.
If this resonates with you, let me know in the comments below. For more great articles about feminine empowerment, womb wisdom and moon magic, make sure you're on my Weekly Wisdom email list.
The Curious Souls blog is a place to learn more about creating rituals in your life that serve you, connecting with your natural rhythms so life becomes easier, and living consciously so we can create a more peaceful world.