Women Empowerment: 10 Steps You Can Take Towards It

What does it mean to be a woman? A good meaning might come when we concentrate on empowering ourselves and each other by lifting us all up. But what does empowering women look like on a day‑to‑day basis? Here you will find 10 simple ways to empower women around you‑ and yourself‑ on a daily basis. Remember dimming others lights doesn’t make yours shine brighter.

Teach Girls Their Worth
Before even hitting puberty girls across the world already have internalized beliefs of what it means to be a girl. About their place, worth and role in society and how to act accordingly. 

Think back, how many times have you heard the words “like a girl” or “pussy” used negatively? Those words stick and have an impact on young girls. It’s important to start teaching girls their worth early on. Remind girls of their strength, capability and deservedness of the same respect as boys. Make sure they realize they’re more than just their appearance: praise them for their intelligence, leadership, strength, athleticism, etc. Educate girls to speak out and assert themselves. Bottom line is, let them know there’s no right or wrong way to be a girl.

Don’t Compete With Other Women
The world has gotten so competitive lately, and we keep competing with other women even more fiercely. There is overt shaming all over. Think of it, there are phrases you pick up on everyday and you think nothing of them until you stop to analyze them.
Sometimes this kind of comment can make us feel vindicated by making us feel like we’re doing something right as opposed to the other person. When this happens you’re obviously not taking into consideration this person’s circumstances and life choices. Remember, dimming someone else's light doesn’t make yours shine brighter.

Validate Each Others Self Expression
Women's narratives are greatly underrepresented in the media and popular culture. So when you see a woman taking it upon herself to share her story and let herself be vulnerable, acknowledge that act of bravery. Let her know you see her and you honor her truth. Applaud her for speaking her truth and support her.

Support Mothers
For sure we’ve all been in a situation where a kid won’t stop crying or melting down. It’s not the nicest of situations but trust us, you’re having way more fun than that child and their mother are. Instead of giving the mother disapproving looks or nasty smirks, put yourself in her shoes.
We’re all women, and ‑if it’s what you want‑ you’ll probably step into her shoes at some point in your life. Being kind costs nothing and a nod, a smile or even a wink can go a long way. Feeling support and empathy can lift all that anxiety from her and in return she’ll respond better to the situation. It’s not for nothing they say “it takes a village to raise a child”.

Boost Self Esteem
We are subjected to beauty standards that almost always promote a narrow and unrealistic version of femininity and we’re expected to maintain that as a standard that can result ‑and often does‑ in serious mental and physical harm.
Rethink your beliefs on what it means to be beautiful, start in the mirror and then expand it to others. Treat all bodies as equally valuable, beautiful and deserving of celebration‑ size, color and ability have nothing to do with the previous. Call out body shaming whenever you see it, but mostly promote self‑love culture, starting with yourself.

Invest In And Support Women‑Run Businesses
Research shows that male‑run businesses are twice as likely to raise more money than their female counterparts. Invest your time and/or money in competent, capable women who are making an impact.
Raise women up by supporting businesses that are either owned or run by women. Not everything has to do with money though: like that post, talk about them, re‑post that story; bottom line is help raise them up.

The phrase stronger together is basically what we’re hinting at when we say we need to collectivize. This goes from small gestures like showing up to support each other at events, commenting supportive things on social media or work, arriving somewhere together, sitting together at a meeting or event, or walking together to your car. You can empower and affirm someone else by simply showing up and making your presence known.

Disagree Without Dismissing
Just because we’re all women doesn’t mean we’ll agree with the same things. However, this doesn’t mean that leaving someone unheard or dismissed is justified. If a woman makes a legitimate point (even if you don’t agree) honor her point of view before voicing your own. Every opinion is valid, what isn’t is attacking each other.

Shut Down Negativity
Real talk: women are always under really heavy pressure to behave and look a certain way. Instead of shaming other women for doing things differently than you would or what society expects, try bringing positivity into the mix. Whenever possible try to remind them that they’re doing a pretty damn great job at it. For example, if you see a woman who’s beautiful to you, tell her. More often than not, you will always be greeted by a “you made my day!” If your coworker has a great idea, praise it. These little comments can change someone’s perspective of themselves and of their day.

Lead By Example
The only way for any of these steps to work their magic and help you empower other women is if you are empowered to begin with. Growing up, we heard the phrase “you can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself” and nothing could be closer to the truth. To be able to empower others you should be at your best yourself. Take these tips and apply them not only to others but to yourself. If you want the light to shine brighter, you need to put yours in too.