Be Happy When Women Succeed
When we acknowledge another woman’s success, it doesn’t take away from our own accomplishments, even though you may feel that initially. So when you see a friend or even a stranger making big moves, tell her congratulations and support her. By celebrating her, it can ultimately boost your own confidence. When we sit in jealousy or envy, it affects our well-being and only hurts both parties. There is an unbelievably large amount of success to go around. Plus, when you celebrate other women, they will celebrate you too! Believe it or not, you will also start to see the good in your own life. Don’t always wish you had the same thing they have. Instead, realize you are creating your own lane of success that is purely unique to you!
Stand Up to Sexism
While women have made lots of social progress throughout the last century, we still face sexism nearly everywhere we go. Whether it’s in the workplace, at home or in our social lives, sexist stereotypes follow us. When others try to silence us, ignore us, or demean us because of our gender – whether they know their aggressions are gender-motivated or not, it can feel very isolating.
When you witness something sexist, make a point to do something about it. When women bring up serious concerns we are often met with responses such as “You’re overreacting” or “It’s not a big deal!” When you see a woman getting the brunt of sexist humor, objectification, or gender-based exclusion, make sure she feels like she is being listened to and understood.
Shop at Women-Owned Businesses
Shopping at women-owned small businesses gives many female businesses owners the opportunity for financial independence. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, 51% of businesses of two or more employees are owned by women. However, these businesses only contribute to 8% of US employment, and 4.2% of revenues. By spending more at women-owned businesses, we can help solve these disparities!
Talk About Money
In the United States today, women earn an average of 84% of men’s typical income, often for doing the same exact jobs. It’s important to talk with your female friends about saving money and investing.
Be Honest About Your Reality
If you’re on social media, it can be easy to fall for the illusion that everyone else’s life is perfect. When you’re sharing about your life on social media, make sure you’re being honest with your audience (even if it’s only 50 people)! Editing your selfies, purposely leaving out the sad moments of your life, or pretending that everything is always fine leaves important things out of the picture. What you share on social media is your own decision, but creating a false, filtered, and edited persona is not good for you or for others around you who may compare themselves.
Talk About Safety
Even if it seems silly sometimes, talking about safety with your friends is important, and it can literally save lives. There are some easy measures that can prevent tragic outcomes. For example, if you part ways with your friend on a night out, always make sure to check that she got home safely. If your best friend is going on a date with a stranger, ask her to share her location with you!
If a friend is in a relationship that seems toxic, tell her what you see before things get worse, and express that she can come to you for help. If you live in a big city, tell your friends who are new in town which neighborhoods and scams to be aware of. Let them know where to buy legal self-defense tools, such as pepper spray.
Keep your Eyes Open
If you see a girl walking alone who is being followed or harassed, pretend that you know each other or welcome her into your group of friends you are traveling with. Attackers are far less likely to target women in groups, whereas a woman on her own can be seen as a very vulnerable target. Don’t live in fear, but keep your eyes open for situations where other women may be in danger.
Donate to Female-Focused Charities
By donating to female-focused charities, we can give women all over the world their chance at success. By funding women’s education, health and social services, we can build a better world together. Some charities doing important work include Partners in Health, a charity that helps to improve women’s health outcomes in Sierra Leone, the National Women’s Law Center, which champions women’s rights, and Girls Not Brides, which is committed to ending child marriage worldwide.