You may not think you can make a difference, but even the small actions you take on a daily basis to empower yourself (and the women around you) can contribute to equipping girls and women around the world.
1. Supporting women-owned businesses: Do you know that women invest most of their incomes back into their homes and their communities? Empower women by supporting businesses owned by women – use their services, buy from them, and refer friends & family to them.
2. Invest in a female business owner: There are so many hardworking women out there who require just a token to start-up. Investing in them is an investment in the future of their families and communities. Consider giving out micro-finance loans. Do you know that women make better use of small loans than men? You can also crowd-fund from families and friends. There are women out there looking for just N20,000 to take their businesses off the ground.
3. Deliberately mentor a girl: It’s easy to take your knowledge and experiences for granted, not considering that there are a lot of young ladies who can benefit from what you know. Think back on your life, and the influences people had on it – subtle or otherwise. Remember, “Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back”. I believe that as women, it is important we pay it forward. Let’s get young girls reaching for the stars and create many more women success stories.
Girls come into this world with the odds stacked against them. Volunteer to mentor and influence lives- one girl at a time.
4. Make your workspace childcare friendly: In most climes, women are the primary caregivers especially in the early years and as such usually have to sacrifice a lot of dreams and opportunities to focus on their children. Consider setting your workspace up to facilitate the advancement of women by making child-care available. Evidence suggests that the availability of childcare is strongly associated with an increase in women’s labor force participation and productivity.
5. Share your stories: Empower other women by sharing experiences. So many times women suffer in silence because they are scared or ashamed. Share your personal stories and experiences for women to find inspiration in and strength from. There are many women experiencing the same things as you have/did.
6. Show the women in your life that you care: They say charity begins at home so let the women in your circle feel your support and encouragement.
Go forth and pay it forward!