The United States is taking giant steps backwards in the area of economic gender equality. Just over a decade ago, the US ranked 3rd in this area and by 2016 it dropped to 26th in the world. At the direction and rate we’re traveling, it’ll take approximately 108 years to reach gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum’s most recent Global Gender Gap report.
Gender inequality doesn’t just affect an individual – in fact, it impedes development on nearly all levels of economic growth. Due to the importance of gender equality and its benefits to our nation, it has been nominated as goal number five of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG). Many steps are in place to achieve these seventeen goals by the year 2030. https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030-goal5.html
We can help! It starts with empowerment and empowering women and girls starts with you. It’s important we teach girls at a very young age the skills and mentality they need to be successful in life. Teach them “I can” instead of “I can’t.” Here are a few simple things I challenge each of you to do for your daughters, your granddaughters, your nieces and every other young lady in your life.
- Ask her open ended questions
- Acknowledge her attempts at trying and praise those attempts no matter what the outcome is
- Give her choices
- Teach her how to research things
- Always be honest with her
- Her feelings are genuine, be respectful of them and be affectionate
- Allow her to make mistakes but correct them afterwards
- Teach her the value of hard work
- Put her in a situation where she can’t always win. This is a valuable life lesson for every child
- Compliment her
- Do not yell at her. Yelling not only hurts her, scares her and makes her sad, but it can lead to psychological issues
- Spend quality time with her: Reading, baking, working on a project together or watch a movie and discuss it afterwards
- Ask her opinion and listen to what she has to say
- Model confidence and teach her to be confident in herself and in her abilities
- Empower, a simple 3 syllable word but yet one packed with strength, confidence and attitude.
If you take nothing else away from this Blog, I hope you take this: In order for girls and women to achieve parity and compete on an equal playing field with their male counterparts, it is important we work together and empower them with the tools and knowledge to be successful in life. Empowering begins with you!