< BACK  | AT HOME • March 17, 2017
The Ripple Effect | How do we progress as a gender?
With the celebration of Women’s day, I find it necessary to reflect on how far women have come to accurately perceive how far it is we have to go.
According to the 2016 Fortune 500 list, women hold only 4.2% of CEO positions in America’s 500 biggest companies (which is a drop from the previous year). The gender pay gap sees women get paid 20% less than their male counterparts (and it’s worse for women of color) and the gap has grown. Unicef states 31 million girls worldwide are deprived of a primary education worldwide. They also state that 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries. Rape culture is alive and well with a pussy grabbing US President and “a Wall street bro” humping the new statue of the fearless girl to the cheers of his male friends.
It is fair to say, we have a ways to go.
Yet, I’m not waiting on a government body, religious or social organization to bring about much needed change. Down with the superhero that’s going to swoop in and save the world. In fact, it’s the impact of individual effort, which goes vastly undermined, is what will bring collective change. To me, that’s the definition of real sustainable change – the change within to bring change without. You embody self-love, self-respect, self-worth then those around you and those you raise learn to do the same. Alas, we have forgotten the power of the individual, which remains mightier than anything else the world has to offer.
This isn’t about receiving validation from the outside world – this about coming to appreciate, and love, ourselves on a deeper level so our importance in this world is no longer questioned – or subject to a lack of education or job opportunities, physical objectification, abuse, violation, rape, trafficking, acid attacks, honor killings or political displacement.
It only takes one of us to create an immeasurable ripple effect in a world that has looked down on our gender for much too long. Start the ripple…
- Celebrate yourself. Your existence is as important as it gets.
- Take time out for yourself – guilt free.
- Ask for support. The world is quick to place everything on our shoulders and we’re even quicker to say yes.
- Put yourself first. As counter intuitive as it sounds – prioritize you. You can’t give from an empty tank. Your health, emotional state and mental well-being matter.
- Say No. Really, try it.
- For then men reading this, take a minute each day to appreciate the women in your lives and reflect on how you can contribute to women’s empowerment. We’re all in this together.
- Recognize how much you get done in a day. If you don’t believe how important you are – no one else will.
- If you’re raising a son, have important conversations around the role of women, what it means and how to embody respect towards girls.
- If you’re raising a daughter, teach her self-love in a world that propagates self-hate.
Here’s to us, the real leaders of change.