As conversations and rallies about equality become more frequent, now is the time to vote for a better world, for women everywhere.
It feels like we are more empowered and technically able to be activists than ever before, and the world is waking up to the issues half the population face every day as a result of this.
Now that activism have gone mainstream, here are 11 small acts of activism that you can do RIGHT NOW to make the world a better world for women.
1. Support women by passing the mic
Never assume what a women wants, you always need to ask, even as a woman. If you are a man or a woman with layers of privilege, then make sure to pass the mic to people less fortunate than you, with less privilege in their lives. The more we listen to women, the more we can make the world better for them and this has to include every. single. woman.
2. Call out sexism
If you are catcalled, or know someone that is, then call it out. Change happens when we speak up against injustice as well as challenging it when we see other people being treated poorly. If you’re interrupted at work, then call it out, as its important to have your voice heard as a woman as well as calling out bias in others, even if its your own partner.
3. Challenge bad design
The world is designed with men in mind, so if you have a problem with your uniform, safety equipment and other products then inform the manufacturer or your employer. After all, the consumer is always right and there are lots of women in the world to demand change.
4. Donate period products and suits
Even though having an eco-friendly period is important amongst those that can, this is not necessarily the case for other women, so find out what women want before you donate period products.
Women need to feel comfortable when they’re having their period, especially if they are in a vulnerable time of their life. Period products and interview clothes mean that women can feel confident enough to go for job interviews to become financially independent from men.
Smart Works is a company that you can donate interview clothes and other accessories to in order to help women succeed in business.
5. Buy from female businesses
Female-owned businesses are rising up all over the world, and studies show that supporting entrepreneurs could add 5 trillion to the global economy. Not only that but women employ other women to give them financial independence that helps prevent them from becoming trapped in bad relationships.
6. Support legislature change for women
Gina Martin was upskirted at a music festival and there was no law to prosecute the man who did this to her. She launched a campaign which changed the law and there have been prosecutions since then as a result. The rights of women need to be supported by the law, as women are disproportionally affected by austerity cuts and legislature change can protect them. Show your support for women’s rights by signing petitions and campaigning for change.
7. Make your workplace female-friendly
One thing that really helps women in the workplace is flexible working to fit around parenting, something currently being championed by Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka who believes in Flex Appeal. The case is compelling – keeping talent, saving rent and improving productivity by supporting women and parents at work. Not only that, but providing rooms for breastfeeding and expressing as well as decent maternity benefits. Having women in the workplace is the best thing any business can have, and you can keep them by making changes.
8. Use language that includes women
This is something that we’re all guilty of, but using gender-inclusive language like police officer, fire fighter or camera operator is important, not just for women, but for trans and non-binary people too. As I mentioned, equality is about making the world a better place for every single person and language is a big part of that.
9. Support the end of violence towards women
The #MeToo movement has shown that so many women have experienced violence and sexual assault at the hands of men. I am one of those women. So how do we change this? By supporting campaigns like End Violence Against Women who help women who have been raped, experienced racism, lobby for better sex education, campaign for women who have been abused as well as many other issues.
10. Support women’s health including FGM
Pregnancy, childbirth and children mean that women are on the frontline of any healthcare crisis. Not only that, but female genital mutilation is still practised around the world, despite being banned in many countries. Find out more by visiting the FGM Network. There are many charities that work to support women through pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood like Maternal Mental Health Alliance, MSF and Every Mother Counts.
11. Support the end of child marriage
Female education is vital for the world as the untapped potential of women is worth millions and millions of pounds. More importantly, it helps to stop women being trapped at home or becoming the victims of child marriage.
At present 41,000 girls are forced into marriage every day and 70,000 of those die in childbirth every year. Charities such as World Vision, Care International and Action Aid all have programmes to educate, change laws, empower and provide safety for those at risk.
Equality is about much more than babies as periods as not all women have babies or periods, but these issues affect women more than men. At present women are much more responsible for childcare and are affected more by government cuts than men so we should continue our fight for equality.
We’re in a time of change and we can certainly move closer towards equality even in small steps and make the world a better place for women.
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