What Is the challenge that we have identified?
To paraphrase Snoop Dogg, being a woman isn’t easy. In our patriarchal society, there are all kinds of daily challenges women face that men simply don’t have to deal with — after all, that’s what happens when you live in a culture that’s structured to benefit one gender over another. As much progress as the fight for gender equality has accomplished over the course of decades, women’s rights still have a long way to go in many countries around the world. Even in the modern-day, we’re expected to force ourselves into all the boxes society gives us, and there are a few big issues that get the most media attention: The wage gap, street harassment, equal division of childcare, media representation, and discrimination in the workforce. That being said, sexism is frequently more subtle than most people realize. There are daily microaggressions most women experience, but the challenges we face go beyond other people’s sexist behaviours although those certainly add to the problem. In fact, much of the sexism we experience is imposed on us by cultural expectations rather than meninists and Internet trolls, whether it’s the pressure to be sexy all the time or lack of representation in the media.
Here are some of the daily obstacles that most women deal with:
- You’re Expected to Compete with Other Women: One of the most harmful narratives out there is the idea that only one woman can succeed at something. You can see this in media, as well as the workforce, where women are pitted against each other and expected to shed their feminine characteristics to get to the top
- You Can’t travel alone: Between street harassment and the very real threat of violence hanging over our heads every day, women have more to worry about even when they simply go out in public alone, let alone when they travel. It’s possible to travel solo, of course, but women have to weigh the consequences in a way that men rarely do.
- You pay more than men for so many things: Study after study has shown that women don’t just deal with a wage gap — we also pay a “pink tax.” It’s a questionable name, but the phenomenon itself is very real: Women’s products cost much more than men’s, and over a lifetime, women can end up paying thousands more than a man for the same kind of products.
- You are expected to represent all women: When you’re a woman, there’s enormous pressure to perform well, because everything you do reflects on your gender. As the politician 2 Clare Booth Luce once said, “If I fail, no one will say, ‘She doesn’t have what it takes.’ They will say, ‘Women don’t have what it takes.'” then there’s Women Driver’s, in Sport women have to behave or they are labelled hysterical but when men lash out in anger it’s totally ok.
- Your interests are devalued: The reason why watching a ‘chick flick’ becomes something only weak men do to please their partners or girls’ sports teams are not as valued as their male counterparts.
- Doing Anything on Your Period, Ever: It’s an undisputed fact that periods are The Worst, but for some women, they’re debilitating. However, the stigma surrounding periods is so strong that women are expected to suck it up and go about their business, even if their cramps are so severe you can’t stand, let alone think.
- You’re Told It’s All in Your Head: As much as you may try to explain how the patriarchy hurts women (and men!), some people just aren’t going to listen. In fact, they’re probably going to tell you that the misogyny you’ve experienced is all in your head — after all, surely decades of campaigning for gender equality means sexism is over. It’s not, of course, but unless you experience it first-hand, it’s easy to rationalize sexism away as the result of being too sensitive. Not only is this infuriating, but it also serves to perpetuate the cycle of sexism.
- You’re Not the Default; You’re The Afterthought: In a patriarchal society, men are assumed to be the primary audience for pretty much everything: Ad campaigns, books, magazines, and more. Even our language is structured with men in mind; male pronouns are still considered grammatically neutral, even if that’s begun to change recently. Furthermore, a movie directed by men or written about them is simply a movie — and you never hear anyone ask why a writer chose to write a character as male. (Thanks, male gaze!) In contrast, anything created by or marketed toward women is slapped with the label “for women,” even though we make up half the population. On what planet does it make sense for half the population to be considered niche?
- Smile: Are you also tired of being told to look happier whenever you leave the house? Even if you’re sick, tired, just plain cranky, or any combination thereof, women are expected to be physically appealing at all times. Next time someone tells you to smile, you have my express permission to screech like a velociraptor and fling a tampon at their head. It’s easier than punching the offender in the face, it doesn’t get you in trouble with the law, and it’s an excellent release for all that feminist rage. Three birds, one stone.
- Ageing: Men become more distinguished, but women just become old, according to the media anyways. So, how can you empower women to stop being complicit in enforcing these stereotypes that have been put upon us. And why is it important that you do so.
What Is the solution that we offer?
Empowering girls and women are powerful. Today, we know it is the key to economic growth, political stability, and social transformation. World leaders, experts and scholars alike are giving their voice to this critical endeavour.
When women succeed, nations are more safe, secure and prosperous. – Barack Obama, 44th US President
There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. – Kofi Annan, 7th UN Secretary-General
Empowering women is key to building a future we want. – Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics
So how do we empower girls and women? And,
what exactly is women’s empowerment?
In a global study conducted by 4GGL – For Girls GLocal Leadership a non-profit and a social change movement with the mission of igniting the next generation of empowered women leaders and changemakers around the world, launched the first-ever global survey on women’s empowerment, targeting today’s millennial women. Women from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe participated in their online survey and the results were amazing. Among these results was the fact that more than 60% identified themselves as the main ingredient for creating lasting change in their lives but they lacked the tools to do so. Our response to this is Ignite Life Restore & Imagine
What is Restore?
Restore Spa Nights – Run by women for women. They are carefully crafted get-togethers hosted by a woman for a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 of her friends in her home that is facilitated by one of our trained facilitators.
Restore Events – Fun, quarterly Well-Being Events that bring ethical providers and ethically minders consumers into one room. The goal is education, connection and a promotional platform.
Restore Workshops – In addition, we will also host various workshops that women can sign up to like,
- Learn how to make your own natural beauty products
- Be your unique brand
- Confidence for life
- Style me Beautiful – learn about your colour palette and how to develop your personal style
- Upcycle your wardrobe
- Natural Weight loss Club
Restore Job Opportunity – Our programme also includes an opportunity to be empowered to become a facilitator of our Spa nights across Scotland and join a natural health business network to generate an income.
- A 3-month interactive online course called LIFE by Design where we give you all the content and we train a facilitator of your choice to facilitate quarterly courses for your clients.
- Continual monthly training, guidance and networking for your facilitator
- An Ignite Life Community where your clients can feel even further connected to their community and they can engage with other people who have started their own personal journeys thus bringing them out of isolation and into an accepting and embracing community of like-minded people all on their own path towards becoming their best selves.
- A Networking Platform that connects you to other organisations, tools, services, and resources to help you grow and expand your reach as a change-maker.
- A Well-Being platform that connects your clients to resources that will enhance their continued personal development journey.
E-mail us if you would like to host a spa night for your girlfriends or co-create with our Restore Project.