I've always loved to be a woman and I never felt deprived or oppressed in my life. However I perfectly know that this is mainly due to the fact that I've grown up in a family and country without too many outdated opinions. I also know that women didn't always have the chance that I have nowadays.In my master thesis I'm writing about the portrayal of women in Luxembourgish literature in the early 20th century. Therefor I know that politicians and clergyman still had extremely contemptible opinions about women's rights at the time when my grandmothers were young women. And even though women in Western countries like to believe that all the needed feminist work has been done, we forget all too often that women in other countries and of other origins still don't have the freedom we enjoy nowadays.
I think tomorrow's Women's Day is a good opportunity to think of past and present injustice, but also of ways how to empower other women in our environment. Despite gender equality, it's still important that women support each other and don't strive against each other. Therefor I listed a few easy things that you can do this week to empower your sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, colleague, girlfriend, neighbour, schoolfriend,...
1. Ask her how she's doing
Nowadays we're all being so independent and we all think we've got our lives under control. I don't know anybody in my generation who would answer the question "How are you doing?" with a honest "Not so good". We all pretend to be happy, be it on Facebook, Instagram or even during coffee break with our best friend. I remember speaking, crying and complaining much more when I was a teenager. Nowadays I just keep my mouth shut and try to deal with everything myself. Chances are your friend or sister is just the same and would love to tell you her true feelings. So go on and show her that you care and are willing to listen to her.
2. Support her ideaOur generation is so full of ideas but not many people dare to realise what they have in mind for their future. As a women it can be even harder because we tend to be less sure of ourselves. If your mother or friend has a business or project idea, she will have enough doubts herself. It's your part to show her the advantages and tell her that it can work!
3. Cooperate on something funIt can be hard to be a 'solopreneur' so why don't you team up with other ladies who have similar ideas? With your combined knowledge you will be get ahead way more quickly and it will be easier to collect supporters for your project.
4. Introduce her to new people
I know some people in my mother's age, who don't really have many friends. For a while they were occupied with their children and didn't have time to meet new people, but now that their children are about to leave the house they can feel quite lonely sometimes. However you don't need to be a mother of three to find it hard to network. Since I've created Blogger_LU I've only truly seen the power of simply introducing people to each other. I can proudly say that I brought together women that realised awesome projects together afterwards, or who even became best friends.
5. Spread the news about her business
I don't know if it's a Luxembourgish thing, but I find that people here don't really do much to promote other people's business. I don't know if it's because they don't take it serious enough, or because they are waiting for a reward before they support you, but is it really that hard to invite some friends to like another women's Facebook page? I am constantly sharing other bloggers' work and for my wedding I'm planning on working with three women I know for the dress, photos and invitations. So why don't you remember that soap business your aunt had planned to launch and ask her if you can help her with the advertisement?
6. Organise a girls' night in
Another problem of my generation is that we're all oh-so-busy. I have friends with whom I need to take an appointment at least one month in advance if I want to see them. If I'm organising a party I can be 99% sure that not everyone will show up because apparently we've all got better things to do than seeing our friends. No wonder that women don't have anyone to talk to or to support them if they prioritise work, shopping at Ikea, and watching trash TV. A good old girls' night in will surely bind you and your girls together.
7. Forgive herThis is probably the hardest point of all, especially if you're as bad at forgiving as I am. However I know that there is constantly something girls at mad at each other for and that it's mostly nonsense. We've all got enough to worry about and being mad at someone will not only burden them but you, too. So for the sake of you peace: Get over it.
What does Women's Day mean to you and how to you think we should empower other women?