On the International Women’s day, these thoughts have nothing to do with this day, and yet, everything to do with Ladies.
Without harping on the ‘poor us, women’s battle’ and other clichéd words, let us look forward: How we, Ladies can make a significant, even life changing difference to the Ladies around us.
Interestingly, there is plenty researched evidence showing how harsh some Ladies are to other Ladies. Whether in society or at workplace, only a change in our thoughts will result in change in our behaviour. Looking back, many of the classic issues in relationships whether in history or mythology, have been woman pitted against another on some issue.
I hope you agree that ‘Ladies’ sounds better than ‘Women’. To me, even the spelling is an ‘extension’ of the Man, a kind of appendage. It has direct reference to the ‘womb’ and like the words male and female, focuses on the sex rather than the person. So I prefer to call ourselves, ‘Ladies’. Addressing ourselves as ‘Ladies’ subconsciously uplifts our Self Image and self esteem. Try it!
For The Girl Child: Be gentle, empathetic and mindful.
- By age 3, she starts developing her self image, which will determine her self esteem and confidence through her Adult life.
- All of us grew up, thinking we should be like someone we adored isn’t it? Work towards being one for some little girl. I knew I was a role model to at least 4 girls, now ladies, only after they reached adulthood and confided in me. It was such a lovely surprise and quickly I retraced all instances of our interactions, wondering if I was always at my best behaviour then. Be their Positive Emotional Attractor.
- Quickly cue up to non verbal communication. A child could face difficulty in adjusting at school or home for a variety of reasons, which may also include physical and emotional traumas, sexual abuse amongst many. Educate little girls and empower them on sex , safety and inner wellness.
- Be a part of the movement to provide toilets and sanitation for girls in school and ladies at tourist and public places. Make a noise, get attention and escalate to the authorities when toilets are not clean, under equipped or latches broken. Follow up meticulously and effect the change. 23 pc of girls drop out of schooling after reaching puberty. One initiative here can change the lives of some of them.
- Do your tax saving donations and other volunteering work towards such causes: education and scholarships for girls, medical aid for girl patients, adoption of girl child and so on.
For The Young Ladies:
- Stop the following if you are doing it: Moral policing, comment and opinions on their dress, weight, health, behaviour and style. Such behaviour stems from the emotion that if we listened to someone, now it’s time to give ‘gyaan’ and advise to others.
- Acknowledge that each individual is unique. We do not have the right to be judgemental.
Currently Single Ladies:
- Don’t talk to them about their partners, past or future.
- Accept them unconditionally and as appropriate, support them and celebrate their single status.
- Stop talking about why they should get married! (Is there really even a case for marriage?)
- If asked for, do help in prospecting partners for them.
Homemakers, Mid Life :
- Encourage them to leverage from the vast experience and skills they have. An efficient homemaker will make an entrepreneur, once she works in an area of her passion.
- Be part of support groups for ladies and encourage them to join too. There are plenty out there, doing genuine, good work.
- Contribute to the group more than drawing from them.
Ladies At Work Place:
- Be assertive with expectations yet more accommodating at times. As a lady, you’ve been through it all. Behind every successful lady, there is another lady: the transition person, the life line, and that could well be you!
- Support ladies after a sabbatical. Consider flexi timings and work from home as appropriate. Bond with other ladies and have ‘down times’ of your own, off office hours too. Don’t men have boys day and evenings out ?
- Fight for their rightful compensation, promotions and other issues.
- Mentor a lady and you will change her life.
Maids and Staff :
- Coach them to be emotionally and financially strong.
- Educate them on issues where they need help.
- Pamper them on special days. Bond with them over common interests.
- Partake in their children’s upbringing.
- Identify their skills and empower them to earn extra money using the same, thereby kindling the spirit of entrepreneurship.
- Buy goods and services from ladies: At stores, on the streets, salons, taxis, as ladies naturally do not market themselves. Support them. Encourage their craft.
All these require a permanent mindset change. If each of us picks even a few of those listed above, we will do our sisterhood a great favour! Let’s take a pledge to work in this direction, of this year, till the next Women’s day, in our own BIG way. The journey is very fulfilling!
Let us know your comments by writing to me – Kanchan Purohit, The Image Consultant, Facilitative Trainer in Navi Mumbai.