Here’s How We Can Lift All Women Through Small Acts Of Kindness #Women’sDayMonth
A rising tide lifts all boats. And this March, through Women’s Day Month, here’s how we can lift all women through small acts of kindness that help empower them, as well as ourselves in the process. It is the small things that count, things that you do for yourself as well as champion for other women. By doing so, you not just help your gender in subtle ways to combat the all-pervasive patriarchy, but you also raise the bar for yourself and your own potential. There is power in lifting another, there is power in standing up for yourself, and there is power in the collective.
Kindness begets kindness, and karma is always circular. So reach out, give a shout out, a hand up, a kind word, you never know just how much your one little action could make a difference to yourself, and to another woman.
- Ask for what you’re worth. Don’t allow yourself to settle for less. Make sure you are getting paid as much as the men in a similar position are.
- Work because you love it. If you don’t love it, find other stuff to feed your soul that is not contingent on your job.
- Be independent. Earn your own money. Teach your daughters, your nieces, the young girls around you that they must work towards being independent financially when they grow up.
- Do not explain or apologise for your “No.” Say it loud. Say it clear.
- Stop saying “I’m sorry, but..” as a preface to a statement.
- Know that you don’t have to be likeable. Likeable is a pit women fall into and then struggle to climb out of.
- Keep learning constantly. A new skill. A language. An art form. Follow a hobby to the point that it becomes a passion. Learning is the fodder that keeps your zest alive.
- Raise your voice without thinking you are loud.
- Join the SheThePeople community of badass women who help each other right here.
Make your money work for you, don’t move money matters to brother, father, husband or uncle. Take charge.
- Find women around you who need support, and take them along.
- Give shout outs to those women you love, admire, are peers and subordinates. Let’s up the inspire quotient ladies.
- Be a connector. Connect women who you think could do with knowing each other. Create circles of support for women. Don’t think of it as networking. Networking doesn’t work when all you do is shove a visiting card into someone’s face. Make meaningful contacts and stay in touch without an agenda. Create and build an old girl’s network in your professional and personal circle.
- Do a breast self examination every single month. Get a mammogram done at regular intervals. Exhort the women you know to do the same. Get your annual medical check ups done if you’re over 35.
- Keep on top of the happenings in your industry, note the movements and job openings, keep your resume constantly updated and ready.
Support and patronise women owned businesses. Seek them out and recommend them to others once you try them. Champion women’s enterprises that work with underprivileged women or help rural women become self sufficient.
- Seek out and surround yourself with positive uplifting women. Be one yourself.
- Compliment a woman who deserves it. Do it in public, with an audience, so others know how fabulous they are. Or send them an email or a message to let them know. Be sincere. Everyone can smell the fakery coming a mile off.
- Resist the urge to be judgemental. Everyone is fighting battles you know nothing about. Be kind. Accept other women as they are.
- Silence your inner critic. Tell her to shut up when she pipes up, and pay no heed to her.
- Read more books by women. If you like what you read, talk about it on your social media and recommend it to others who like reading. Encourage more men around you to read women writers.
Seek out and champion entertainment that portrays women in a realistic, positive and empowering light. Recommend movies and television shows that have empowering female narratives and protagonists.
- Support organisations that help the girl child. Put your money where your mouth is and fund the education of an underprivileged girl child.
- Call out sexism wherever you see it. Call out toxic masculinity where you see it.
- If you see a woman’s work not being acknowledged, call it out and ask for it to be. In meetings, on social media, in the workspace. If you see someone talk another woman down, mansplain, call it out. If you see someone else take credit for a woman’s work, speak up and stand behind her when she claims it as her own.
- If you think another woman is doing a great job, tell her so. Tell others about her. Doing so will not diminish you.
Share your struggles. Sharing makes it okay for others to share too, and acknowledge that the struggle is real. And combating it and coming through is what is truly empowering.
- Step out of your comfort zone and encourage the women you know to do so too.
- Set yourself career, financial and personal goals. Both long term and short term. Work towards them. Make these goals realistic and achievable.
- Own your flaws. When you own your flaws, no one can use them against you.
- Cut out the toxicity from your life. Toxic thoughts. Toxic people. Toxic attitude. While toxic thoughts and toxic attitude is well within your control to change, if you can’t completely cut out toxic people, distance yourself from them. Don’t be a toxic person.
- Mentor a young woman who deserves it. Give of your learning and expertise.
- And finally, don’t be afraid to take up space. Stand straight and tall, and sit comfortably in a public space. You deserve it.