TODAY is International Women’s Day.
A reminder – not that we need one – that us ladies still have many more battles to fight when it comes to achieving equality, peace and happiness.
With this in mind, here are five ridiculously easy things we can all do now to help ourselves and each other.
Ladies, be the change in your world! (And happy International Women’s Day!)
* STOP judging and bitching
I hate to say this against my sex, but you gotta admit, sometimes us ladies are our own worst enemies.
Many women judge and bitch about other women, often without even realising, because it’s seen as the norm. Worryingly, it’s what we are often even encouraged to do too. (Just look at the way the media pit the female X-Factor judges against each other for example.)
People can get pretty intimidated by the sisterhood so they prey on female insecurities and set women against each other, in regards to looks, age, relationships, success etc. And what happens?
The sisterhood becomes long forgotten and women start to look at each other not as friends or as ‘sisters’ anymore but as competition, or worse, the enemy. *sighs*
Having a good ol’ gossip about ‘whatsherface’ might be seen as normal but actually, when you think about, it’s bloody well awful.
Since becoming a mum I’ve really tried to stamp out any traits of this horrible behaviour in myself.
One, because it’s just not nice and two, because it doesn’t get any of us anywhere. All the bitching and judging does is spread the rot. (I also want my daughter Elsie to grow up to actually like and admire other girls and women. Imagine how amazing that will be!)
So, whilst I know it’s not easy sometimes, I urge you to hold your judgement and your tongue when it comes to talking about your fellow ladies.
Because come on, surely it’s hard enough being a woman at times, without us turning against each other?
* STOP reading and buying female-bashing media
I work as a freelance journalist which means I need people to go and buy magazines so I can live and pay my bills! But yet I’m now going to try and encourage you to boycott magazines, websites and media that ‘bash’ women. Why I hear you ask?
Because they’re damnright nasty.
You know the ones I mean. They’re everywhere these days, laying into women, highlighting their ‘flaws’, creating rumours, encouraging unhealthy dieting, laughing at people’s fashion choices, making judgement and essentially spreading hate.
Sometimes we don’t ‘notice’ how horrid they are. You might just pick one up to flick through in a hairdressers or grab a gutter mag as you run for your train.
But it’s time as women and consumers, to think more carefully about our reading and spending power. Because when we part with our cash for one of these mags or visit a site and click on the news stories that condemn and mock woman (yes, even famous ones), we are contributing to the problem.
We boost sales, we boost readership and we ultimately end up encouraging more of this vitriol towards women. All women.
Towards me, towards you, towards your daughters, towards your future grandaughters, towards the women in the street, towards global superstars.
If we stop buying and stop reading, publishers will be left with no choice but to change tactics and come up with new – and hopefully much nicer ways- to get our cash. We have the power to make them see sense ladies. So let’s do it.
Become a woman that other women like, admire and respect. Become an inspiration. We all need role models in our lives.
Give your time, share you knowledge, have compassion, be supportive, lend a shoulder, provide an ear, encourage people’s dreams, listen, care and love.
We’ve all got things to give and there are plenty of ways in which we can make a contribution or have a positive impact on somebody’s life.
Sometimes women find this hard to do, especially if the green eyed monster strikes. We’ve all been there. Sometimes when a woman we know seems to have it all, or gets that incredible promotion, or has an amazing figure that she doesn’t seem to work for, it’s hard to feel that we too are amazing and have something to give.
But we must cast that thought aside, work on ourselves and remember that we are ALL as special and unique as each other. No-one is better than you and you are not better than anyone else.
Don’t be intimidated, threatened by or envious of other women. Admire them and be inspired by them! Start noticing the fabulousness of other women and acknowledge it. Give compliments. Recommend people. Empower one another. It’s time we all started to spread more sister love. And trust me, you’ll be amazed at what you get back.
* SPEAK up, make a stand
Sometimes in life, there are times when we need to actively choose to stand up and open our mouths when others around us are too afraid to do the same. We must help one another and be bold, by standing up for what is right and fighting what is wrong. Now is not the time to be timid.
Here are a few depressing facts about the reality of being a woman, taken from dosomething.org:
* Women perform 66% of the world’s work, but receive only 11% of the world’s income, and own only 1% of the world’s land.
* Women head 83% of single-parent families.
* Women account for 55% of all college students, but even when women have equal years of education it does not translate into economic opportunities or political power.
* Two-thirds of the world’s children who receive less than four years of education are girls.
* Three out of four fatalities of war are women and children
* Gender-based violence kills one in three women across the world and is the biggest cause of injury and death to women worldwide.
Our work is not over. So when we can, we must act.
* KNOW your worth
Women can be notoriously bad at asking for what they want or saying no to people. Some of us are people pleasers, some of us are too scared, some of us feel guilty and many of us don’t know how to go about it.
But it’s time we all learnt to know our worth. That payrise at work you want, that you’ve worked so damn hard for, go in and ask for it! (And prove why you deserve it)
Wish that your husband would wash the pots, do something different in bed, take you out for a meal? Then ask him!
Want to be treated more seriously and with respect? Then speak up when somebody tries to put you down or just walk away. You deserve better but people will only treat you how you let them.
You, your body, your time, your talents and your love all deserve to treated wonderfully and with respect so don’t accept anything less.
Till the next time…
to all you super duper women everywhere, I just want you to know that you ARE amazing! Truly, truly, truly you are.