Simple ways to support women in your community
With International Women's Day only a few days away, it's time to think of not only how your own life as a women needs to be improved, but of how we can improve the lives of other women and empower them in any way.
Whether this is done through small gestures or large amounts of time, every small step to support each other is a step towards something better. Here are a few ways that you can help women on the lead up to International Women's Day and beyond.
Volunteer for a charity
There are so many brilliant charities in and around Brighton; supporting women and girls for a better life. Why not try volunteering with one of our local charities? This can be done through direct contact with women, such as mentoring or providing support, working in a shop or raising awareness about the organisation itself through flyering and campaigning.
Brighton Women's Centre is a great organisation offering a variety of services, including peer groups, mentoring sessions and campaigning projects.
RISE is a Brighton-based charity supporting women who have been affected by domestic violence. They ask for previous service users predominantly, but welcome any women volunteers to come to the organisation in support of the women and families that access the family.
Donate or raise money for a charity
This is something that not only helps local women, but also national campaigns to support women. Organisations such as Women's Aid and Girls Not Brides are always looking for donations of all sizes to support the projects that they run to support vulnerable young women across the world.
You can also raise money yourself through marathons or sponsored events. Although this is a larger commitment, it raises money for a charity while helping to raise awareness of important women's issues.
Small acts of kindness
Stop and talk to a stranger in need and ask if there's anything that you can do for them. Let your colleague know that they did a good job in their presentation. Buy a small gift for someone that you know having a hard or stressful time and drop it off with a note. Check in with friends and let them know that you're there if they need you. Look out for the women around you and offer them solidarity at every instance.
We all know that there are days when life can feel like too much and the smallest of gestures can make all of the difference for your mood. Why extend a hand to help someone feel that little bit better today?
Educate the next generation
This can be a little harder for some people, however, if you have any contact with younger generations, educate. I don't mean lecture or preach from a standpoint of 'I know it all!' but allow them to feel empowered to consider all the options and make the choices that they want.
Encourage them to speak out against small injustices, so that doing so for larger ones later in life won't be so hard. Don't allow them to wallow in self-doubt or accept being mistreated. Be mindful of your language when doing this and don't use sexist or problematic comments that we take for granted like 'Don't be such a girl' or 'man up!' Take a look at Everyday Feminism for helpful articles on how to go about doing this.
There are so many ways to support women in this world, and in your community in particular. Any help can make all the difference, but always remember that in order to help others you also need to help yourself: focus on maintaining your health, fighting your own battles and striving for equality within your life.
Remember: "If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else!?"
Written by Amara. You can find more from Amara on her blog Brighton Born and Bread.
Photo by Kitty. You can find more from Kitty on her website.