We’re getting there. According to the World Economic Forum, the disparities between genders across health, education, economy and politics are closing. In fact, the gap should be completely closed by the year 2186.
If you’re not willing to wait that long (or not physically able to wait that long), consider taking some action today, in honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day.
Many feel a lack of empowerment in enacting large-scale changes resulting in a big move along the parity timeline. Certainly, those who are in charge of workplace hiring definitely need to throw out notions of separate male/female pay scales and gender-specific job roles. Others with a voice in politics should take up the mantle of gender equality.
The rest of us? We can begin to enact change in reasonable, but powerful ways:
1) Flex your muscles! The tongue is the strongest muscle in the body. Use it to tell stories of gender empowerment. All of us have women in our lives who we admire. We can all tell stories of positive influence. Share those stories. Talk about the women who have mentored and inspired you. You flex your story-telling muscles through your fingers, too: Why not tweet out a few lines about a woman you admire right now?
2) Cut it out and call it out! The words we use have big impact. We run the risk reinforcing negative gender stereotypes when using phrases “like a girl” or “like a man.” Consider how you’ve used those phrases in the past. Are there better ways to communicate our ideas than by falling into negative gender stereotypes? How can you call out this language in your workplace, school or home?
3) Just do it! Share responsibilities across gender lines. Are there things you do in the home or expect someone else to do because of gender? Enact change and do it. In the workplace, rotate tasks like note-taking or moving paper cases, providing a chance for everyone to pitch in.
4) Step up for someone else! Supply much-needed funds for an organization that works to empower young women, like a group providing vocational education to girls in Ghana or an organization offering micro-loans to enterprising women. Or consider sponsoring a female child. Young girls worldwide need empowering role models who tell them they have worth — provide that for a child. Your financial support will make a big difference in supplying access to quality education and health care. Consider sending your support to areas where the gender-equality gap is the widest.
The Bible encourages its readers to consider how they treat each other, especially through the lens of how they wish to be treated. May we remember to love neighbors as we love ourselves — whether those neighbors are male, female or non-binary.