Fortitude & Women’s Empowerment – Faith and Community Support Can Help Overcome Challenges

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Women across the country are reaching new heights in recent times. Should you check out these statistics published by the Forbes magazine, you’ll learn about the scope of women’s empowerment. Around 47% of the workforce or 75 million women are employed in different spheres in America. More of the feminine gender is educated and has advanced college degrees than their counterparts a few decades ago. You may also hear about how more than 11.6 million businesses in America are owned by female proprietors. And, that women earn higher salaries than ever before.

However, whether at home or at the workplace, women also face more challenges. And, the one way to overcome the snags is to stand beside one another and build stronger communities. Personal fortitude, inner resilience, and women’s empowerment are all possible by believing in a Higher Entity who watches over us. Garrett and Andrea Booth, pastors at Grace Church believe in organizing classes, seminars, activities, and support groups so women can reach out when they need help. Join one of the groups and participate in programs where you can help other members and receive assistance when you need it.

Let’s talk about some of the most common problems women face and how to overcome them.

1. Getting Respect and Appreciation for Care-Giving

As President and CEO of New America, Anne-Marie Slaughter reveals to the Politico magazine, “Women in the United States who are caregivers—for children, parents, spouses, siblings or extended family members—have two full-time jobs, while trying to compete with men who have one.” Although the standard response is always to get the men and other family members to help more around the house, real change and women’s empowerment can be brought about, “by raising the prestige of caregiving at home and care careers” like Anne-Marie says.

The fact remains that women traditionally assume roles of taking care of the family and its needs. But, society has never assigned any monetary value to the time and effort women dedicate to keeping the household running smoothly. It could well be time to change that by recognizing that time and effort. And, that can be done by raising awareness within the community. Do your part by building the mental fortitude to demand respect and get it through faith and prayer.

2. Juggling Responsibilities at Home and Work

Managing a home with kids and having a full-time successful career is tough. You’ll find that exhaustion and extreme mental stress from being a mother and holding a job is a normal part of life. The pressure can seem even greater when you’re the sole earning member of the family. If you often have feelings of being overwhelmed by the magnitude of responsibilities, it helps to be able to talk about your problems.

Being part of a support group and taking time out to pray, meditate, and unwind could help you cope better with stress and anxiety. You can also consider sharing duties to have more time on your hands. Take the first steps toward women’s empowerment by creating a support system within your community. For instance, go shopping for groceries for a friend and she can help you with babysitting on the days when you have to work late.

3. Dealing with a Patriarchal Society

The general view of people across the world is that the U.S. is a progressive nation. Women have equal rights and opportunities, and are in no way any less than men. While the female gender in this country is no doubt, more fortunate that their sisters in other countries, women do face the challenges of living in a patriarchal society. Issues like the rape schedule, fearing for personal safety, and unequal rights to education all point to oppression toward women.

A good starting point for women’s empowerment begins at home. Educate the men in your home and the community beginning with your father, husband, brothers, and sons. Praying together, showing respect for the women in the family, and acknowledging their role in the functioning of a home can ingrain impressions of a contemporary world where every person has equal rights. Each time you insist that your husband and son participate in chores around the home, you pave the way for a balanced society in the future. Your daughters will feel stronger, more confident and secure, and expect to be respected – outside the home as well.

4. Standing Up Against Domestic Violence

If you’ve been in a situation where a male member in the family has physically or mentally traumatized you, go ahead and speak up. Know that the act is not forgivable and yes, it will probably happen again. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 35.6% of women face some kind of sexual or physical violence at some time in their lives and most of the perpetrators are an “intimate partner.” Facing domestic violence is a real challenge that women deal with.

Admitting that you need help takes a lot of courage and relying on faith and community support is a practical first step. Most women have their reasons for remaining silent whether emotional, financial, or simply the fear of being alone. Believe in your inner strength and turn to family members and friends for help. Remember, women’s empowerment comes from standing up against wrongdoing and reporting it.

Women’s Empowerment Begins with Changing Perceptions

Respect for women and their rights, and recognizing their contributions to the family and economy can bring about real change. But, these changes cannot be enforced by the law alone. Like this feature on UN Women reveals, women’s empowerment begins when people in the community start to think progressively and accept that gender equality is essential in the new world. Enlightened thought processes can initiate the next stage in human evolution where women can walk the streets without being afraid and take home a paycheck comparable to their male colleagues.

Take the first steps by bringing about change in how your family thinks and acts. And, you could set the trends for other families and soon the entire community where you live.

Thanks to Saroj

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