Gender Equality for Women Empowerment By Harshad Patel
“Change is not inevitable - it happens only when each of us does what we can.”
Here are a few of the things that I think we all can do, regardless of where and who we are:
- Know yourself
In her inspiring conversation with Oprah, Michelle Obama shared her thoughts about the importance of knowing who you are. “I tell my mentees and I tell my daughters, that our first job in life as women is to get to know ourselves,” she said. “There is a limited box that we are put in, and if we live by that limited definition we miss out on a lot of who we are.”
It’s hard to know what you stand for, what you truly believe and are passionate about if you don’t know yourself. And if you don’t know your fundamental beliefs, then how can you act on them with reason? How can you convince others to believe them? And how can you fight for equality?
- Challenge gender norms
There is a lot of implicit bias on how the media portrays girls and boys. Yes, these messages end up affecting what we do. But they don’t have to. The younger generations are already throwing these messages out the window, and we should, too. And we should keep sharing the stories of the women scientists, sportsperson, and engineers, of every single person who has dared to lead a different path. Because it’s hard to be what you cannot see.
Income Inequality: You must have often heard that men get paid more than women over their lifetimes. Raise your voice against this injustice and support equal pay for equal work.
- Be courageous, have a voice, stand up for yourself and lead by example
“Be bold. Be courageous. Lead.”
OK, you know what you stand for and you are ignoring the norms. Now you should have a voice and lead. The stories about the people who believe in equality and who challenge the norms should be shared until they are so common that they are not seen as outliers. If you(women) are bullied, raise your voice against them and support them.
At the workplace, encourage your female colleagues to come forward and share their thoughts without any inhibitions. Most often they come up with exceptional ideas that blow everyone away. Showcase your company's successful women. There is nothing as demonstrative of your efforts to promote equality than the women who have achieved success because of it, whether they hold management positions or are rank-and-file employees.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. I’m a strong believer that there is strength in numbers. The more we’re raising our voices and the more we recognize that we, as individuals, have power, the more we can really make the world the place we want it to be.
Author: Harshad Patel
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