March 8, 2012 is international women's day. Today's article is about empowerment of women and the role each individual woman can play in empowering each other.
Although all the principles by UN and the ones mentioned by Willa Shalit are of paramount importance , none grabs my attention as much as the one that says, "Women can empower women".
Inherent in this statement is the truth that women already are powerful. We don not have to take away anyone's power in order to have some for ourselves.
An article in The Vancouver Sun reports that women make up about 49.6% of the world population, perform 66%of world's work and produce 50% of world's food. This does not take into account the household responsabilities of women including taking care of the children and elderly.
Although there are a lot of external factors that affect women's empowerment, one that is detrimental to women's empowerment is how women do or don't support each other. For the most part, instead of supporting each other, we work hard to bring each other down.
Because women have been oppressed for millenia, we have learned to be survivors. We have learned that there is a limited number of men (not true) limited attention and limited power. So we compete with each other for these things we hold so dear.
Survivors count on their survival instincts of fight or flight. Our survival instincts teach us to compete and bring down "the enemy" at all cost so we can keep an upper hand. (Women often consider other women their enemies who can take away what they have.) It is a culture where only the fittest survives and the rest must serve them or perish. Shame and blame plays a vital role in this world. Divide and conquer is the name of the game. Sounds familiar?
To be powerful and to empower others we must leave the world of the survivors and enter a world where it is possible to uplift each other and thrive. So the focus must shift from surviving to thriving.
Thriving is a joint venture of mutually beneficial agenda. This is a world where we journey together. It is a world where the "weak" are not a burden but fellow human beings who need a helping hand to tap into their own power. It is a world where other people's strength does not threaten us but makes all of us stronger. It is a world where we don't discard those who have passed their prime.
How can we shift focus from surviving to thriving? This is a great questions that begs to be discussed and explored. The journey is perhaps long too, but not as long as the journey of oppression, by men and women alike, we are already enduring.
The best news is that our power resides within ourselves. The only way to claim this power is to tap into it and then use this power to help others find their inner strength.
Nathalie Tancrede of Hati, Oprah Winfrey of America and many other women have learned the art of empowerment. Instead of allowing their survival instincts to control them, they have learned to tap into the power that lives in them and now they are using it to empower others.
Each woman is capable of making a difference in her own way. There are countless women we will never know about who are empowering others already.
Lets take this journey up another notch. Lets come together as women and take personal responsibility for our own empowerment. Let us make each other's empowerment our main agenda.
Our first step on this journey of women empowering women is conquering our own need for survival.
Yours in love, peace and gratitude
Shahina Lakhani RN MSN Author, Poet, Speaker, Expert Holistic Life Change Strategist. She advocates using holistic strategies in personal empowerment, care of the sick, the dying and their loved ones. Shahina Lakhani has been a nurse for more than 25 years. She has worked as an educator, Nurse Practitioner and a Hospice Nurse. Her passion is to empower people to Live Powerfully and experience Wellbeing until their last breath.
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