Making thoughtful purchasing choices can be challenging, so a big high five goes out from us, to all the amazing conscious consumers who choose to buy from women Makers. Helping women in other countries is one thing, but let’s take it further and ask ourselves how we can inspire and empower the women in our own communities. From disengaged or at-risk youth, to new mothers, migrants, retirees, people living alone and widows – there is a diverse group of women that all need support in one way or another. There are plenty of ways we can shake things up to give women strength and support to be empowered, even when circumstances have not been on their side.
Here are a few simple things we all can do in our own communities, to support engage and be part of movement where women empower women:
Find and support local women in need
There are plenty of organisations working hard to help women in need or in crisis. Many of them rely on the assistance of donations and volunteers, so find out who needs what and identify what your best contribution could be. Another useful contribution is to offer yourself as mentor to young women of high school or early tertiary education age. Education may not have been a priority in their home so being able to access advice and support from someone who has experience and knowledge about their career path can be life changing.
If that kind of support is not possible for you, your role could simply be to look in on an elderly neighbour, or to offer some help to a new mum in your neighbourhood. Every little thing makes a difference when there’s a newborn in the house, or when you live alone, are elderly, or unwell so don’t think that your contribution might be too small. Drop off a quick and easy pasta dish, offer to sit with the baby while they have a shower, or drop in on your way to the shops and ask if they need any supplies.
Build women up, don’t tear them down
Aside from practical things that need to be done on a local level, we can also have a role in creating a better, stronger generation of women for the future. If you have women in your house, make it your priority to build them up, not tear them down. Rather than telling them what they are doing wrong all the time, encourage them to try different ways of doing things and to learn how they can do better and be better. Tell them regularly that you care about them and how important they are to you. If you have regular contact with young women who respect your opinion, encourage them to find their passion and believe that it can become their career. Encourage them to take up leadership roles and support them in the process and of course, all women should be encouraged to pursue an education if it is a key part of ensuring they can achieve their goals.
Make choices that empower women
If you know of female led enterprises that can provide you with a product or service you require, support them, then positively review them and encourage them (if your experience was a good one). Supporting small businesses run by women helps those businesses grow and prosper. If you are in a leadership role in a business, do what you can to provide more access to decision making roles for women and as mentioned earlier, mentor, support and engage whenever you can.
Of course, here at Finders and Makers, we are a female led enterprise. We have a team of fabulous women on board, all using their best skills to bring the stories and beautiful handmade products of our female makers to our customers. So we encourage you to shop fair trade gifts and choose our ethical handmade products next time you are looking for something special.
Until next time,
Photo authors in order of appearance: Drop the Label Movement, Bruno Aguirre, Emma Goldsmith, Rawpixel.
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