9 Ways to Empower Women Everyday

Between the pay gap, college rape culture, damaging media depictions, and everything else that can make women feel less than, advocating for women’s empowerment can seem like it has to be a full time job. 

It's true that women are in probably the best position that we have been in the history of the nation. According to NPR, 2019 was the first year that college-educated women made up a larger part of the labor force than men. There’s also more women in Congress and in executive positions than ever before. Even with all of that, however, it can sometimes feel as if we have a long way to go to have true equality among all people. 

What we have to remember is that we all have the ability to empower women every single day without really having to go out of our way to do it.

Here’s 9 ways to empower women on any given day:

  1. 1. Recognize the Privileges You Have

    Not all women’s experiences are created equal. We all have a certain set of privileges that might make us unable to understand each other fully, even if we are of the same gender. In sociology, it's referred to as intersectionality, and it involves the way our different identities, such as class, race, gender, sexuality, etc. affect our lives. 

    Because these make us all unique, one way to support women is to fully respect their experiences and all aspects of their identities. Some of us are fortunate enough to not face the same oppression as other women, and we have to recognize that in order to respect and validate what each other has gone through. 

  2. 2. Appreciate the Women in Your Life

    It can be as simple as leaving a note on the fridge for your mom or your roommate telling them they mean a lot to you. Or it can be going into office hours and telling your professor that you appreciate the work they put into the class. It can even be just remembering to tell the woman driving the bus or making your food thank you, because your day wouldn’t be the same without them.

  3. 3. Call Out the B.S.

    Forms of bullying and oppression can happen anytime and anywhere, so we have to speak up when we see it. Stand with and support the women you see being verbally attacked online and in person and let them know that they deserve respect and are valid. Hate can come in many different ways, and even from other women, especially through jealousy or slut-shaming. 

    In order to empower women, we can’t sit idly by and watch this kind of negativity affect each other. It's time to stand up for one another.

  4. 4. Be Kind

    It's not enough to only empower the women you know personally on a day to day basis. It's so easy to be nice to everyone you see during the day, even if it's just offering a smile or making friendly conversation with someone you don’t know in a class. If you like someone’s outfit, tell them. Or if they made a good point in a class discussion, let them know you thought it was interesting. Small kind actions can go a long way. Although it might be easier to not make the effort to go out and help each other, a friendly gesture might make someone’s day.

  5. 5. Support Women's Work

    This means supporting any woman’s work, whether they be artists, writers, directors, business leaders, etc. The more women there are in different industries, the more representation there is and more precedent for women entering that field in the future.

    It's as easy as seeing a movie you know had a female director or reading literature by women. For the film industry especially, men have dominated and this left us with detrimental stereotypes depicting women. Having successful women professionals can give us the true representation women deserve. 

    Another way is to look for businesses run by women. Read here for 4 women-owned businesses.

  6. 6. Follow Female Empowerment Accounts

    On social media there’s all kinds of accounts that are purely meant for the empowerment of women. Many are information based and give any user access to sources about feminist topics from all fields. For all us ladies, it an easy way to empower ourselves and then be able to repost and offer some encouragement to our friends and followers.

  7. 7. Participate In and Support Safe Spaces

    A safe space could mean a club designed to support women, empowerment groups in the community, online groups, or just having female-oriented events. My freshman year, our Resident Advisor would host a “Feminism and Face Masks” event every quarter where we could sit around in our PJs, do face masks, and talk about our experiences and struggles as college women. 

    A great group to join can also be Her Campus! It's an opportunity to create content, be creative, and meet other college women.

    If you don’t know of any other groups you want to join or support, then start one! It could even be just a group of your friends getting together to have an open conversation about what it means to be a woman.

  8. 8. Educate Yourself So You Can Educate Others

    Not everyone is a Women and Genders Studies major, nor do we need to be in order to educate ourselves on how to better empower one another. The internet is full of videos and articles about feminism, it's history, and how to benefit ourselves and each other today. Anyone can educate themselves and then share that knowledge with their friends and family. The more people that understand the feminist movement and the importance of empowering women, the better off everyone (not just women) will be. 

  9. 9. Be a Role Model

    Make an effort to put yourself in a position where you can inspire other women and girls. This doesn’t mean you have to become famous or get some high-power job. It means helping the women you might already know in your major, in your field, or at work improve in the areas you already feel comfortable in. Lead by example and let those coming after you and be their support system.

Empowering women isn’t something that ends with the conclusion of a women’s march or the last day of an event. It's something that should be happening everyday and become a habit for all of us to pass on to each other.