What is Women’s Empowerment?
We hear the term increasingly thrown around in this post #metoo era. But what is it really?
In our journey of defining the She’s Independent community we’ve been asking ourselves this question and redefining the term as we dig into our intentions and develop more awareness around what empowerment means to us.
There are a number of businesses out there aimed at those looking to further establish their careers. Ask for more, negotiate more strategically.
We love seeing women-owned businesses locally and nationally springing up to address personal finances and skill women up to feel more confident with their bank accounts and spending habits. How much should I be saving? Am I making a decent salary?
But there’s so much more when it comes to the topic of empowering women. It’s about alignment with a greater purpose. It’s about life fulfillment and mindset.
From a young age, we were taught to be nice and sweet. We were taught to listen, not to push boundaries, not to speak out of turn. We learned different skills from our male counterparts. Our fathers and teachers protected us from the real world in ways. They still do for many of us. They want us married and taken care of. They’re worried about their girls in ways they don’t give a second thought to when it comes to their sons.
Where does confidence fall into the equation? As women, are we speaking up? Are we okay with “no” and pushing boundaries? Are we putting ourselves in positions of risk where we aren’t fully prepared but have a good shot at learning or achieving what we’re looking for? We often hear that women only apply to jobs where they meet 100% of the criteria. Men regularly apply where they meet 60%.
We can enter a negotiation with our employer and employ the same tactics but if we’re not presenting ourselves with confidence, if we don’t BELIEVE we’re worth what we’re asking for, they won’t either.
As women we experience life transitions and transformations often. We are initiated as women through menstruation. We make decisions (and face judgement) when we choose a relationship status (“is she still single and not prioritizing a husband in her 30s??”), when we have kids or choose not to have kids, through divorce and transitioning through life stages, through aging and losing the superficial societal standards of what beauty is. The list goes on.
Empowerment to us is awareness and skill-building. It’s the ability to navigate and appreciate these life transitions. It’s knowing what we need and acting on it. How do we develop into intuitive, empathetic, and balanced individuals. How can we nourish ourselves and not just others. What can we learn from our bodies through the menstrual cycle? (Hint: We shouldn’t be using birth control as a blanket remedy to ease cramps.) How do we feel good and invest in our mental and physical health in this life?
Empowerment to us is also healing and growing through trauma and loss. It’s facing ourselves, it’s accepting our inner critics, and those who judge us. It’s a mindset that offers us gratitude and the ability to heal and grow through anything.
It’s choosing the life we want and living it fully.
Where are you on your journey? We’d love to connect with you.