International Women’s Day comes around every year and get many women riled up on the topic of women’s rights. This year, there has been a much needed focus on the disparity in the workplace between men and women with an overlying theme “Balance for Better”. While we are happy to see a reinvigorated effort in creating a gender balanced society, it is important to consider the days and months past March 8 and how we can encourage men and women to support the women in our lives. Here are a few simple ways you can improve the circumstances of women not just on International Women’s Day but every day.
Highlight issues of gender biasness on social media
Social media is the perfect platform to highlight social issues aside from posting all your selfies and life updates of course. With the growth in the reach of social media, it is so much easier to spread a meaningful message and raise awareness on any social issue. Given the fact that everyone is hashtagging, you would be surprised to know how far you can get a message across on women’s issues such as gender biasness through posting on the topic, opening up your social media platforms for discussion on it and even making it possible to organise and protest against it. The power is right in your hands on your mobile device whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr, you can get effective communication to anyone of different ages, gender, financial backgrounds, religious beliefs and more. It is in these simple ways you are helping another woman fight her struggles in the working world.
Call out sexism when you see it
Often times we hear it, we see it and we do nothing about it. It’s not your business is what you might be thinking but sexism is everyone’s business if we are really trying to make a balanced world. I’m sure you know of a lady or two that’s hesitant to negotiate an increase in salary because she doesn’t think she would ever get the raise or maybe you know a woman afraid to apply for a job position because she is afraid to miss out on the opportunity against her male counterpath. Issues such as sexism isn’t just relevant during the month of March when we’re celebrating women and recognising their rights because many women struggle each day to be treated justly. Sexism isn’t only unfair to women but it can even make women sick as it can affect their mental and emotional health. The worst part is this is, sexism doesn’t begin in the workplace but women can experience it from their very own homes at a tender age. Want to support women in their fight for balance, call out sexism when you see it because fact of the matter is whether it’s being done intentionally or not, this is a struggle women inevitably face.
Stand up to street harassment towards women
Almost every woman knows what it feels like to walk the streets and rather than walk freely they keep their eyes glued to their cellphone to avoid the harassment from men in the street. What this does is actually lessen women’s comfort and peace in certain public places which therefore make it difficult for them to go to those areas. Not every time a woman goes out should she have to choose an inconvenient route just to avoid being cat called and even worst having horrible words thrown at her for her lack of interest. This starts happening to women usually around the time they hit puberty and seems to never really end. To help protect women and girls from this sort of treatment, you can call out men for their harassment when you see it happening. Particularly because street harassment is intimidating, it makes women feel peculiar to the men that behave and is almost violent as it can lead to further issues such as assault and rape.
Support women business owners
Supporting women business owners actually help to bring greater balance to our societies as the fight to close the gender gap in business continues. These businesswomen need you to help make their businesses known, they need investors, mentors and a supportive community that would help other people to be aware of the existence of their companies in a world that is still male dominated. It can be as simple as promoting women-led businesses on your social media pages and of course patronising in the products and services. There are many organisations that now exist to support women entrepreneurs that you can donate too in order to help keep their organisation up and running.
As we work towards a world that is better balanced, let’s make a greater effort all year round to stand beside the women in our lives and give them the support that they deserve.