Maria Shriver is a woman on a mission for women. She wants to be able to live in a world where women are equal to men, where they are thriving and flourishing rather than struggling to get by. Should that really be such a far-fetched request?
This week she released The Shriver Report, a thorough and eye-opening look at the state of women in this country. If you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly recommend downloading it.
We are at an interesting point in the history of women, where some women are breaking glass ceilings and others are creating their own empires. On the other hand, one in every three women in this country are living in poverty or on the brink of poverty. That equates to more than 100 million women, not to mention their children who are living on the brink. We are making progress, but we are a long, long, LONG way from done.
It is time that we took a stand. 100 million women living in poverty or on the brink thereof are not lazy, unintelligent or simply living off the system. They are women from all walks of life, and many of them are mothers who are struggling to make ends meet for their families.
Instead of continuing to criticize and to bicker, we need to help one another. If they want to lean in, let’s give them a nudge. If they want to stop leaning and stand tall, let’s help them up. As bosses, let’s encourage a new way of working that encourages employees to be mothers too, and not have to choose. As women, let’s stop critiquing one another and give each other a boost of confidence instead.
So what else can you do? Here are my thoughts on some of what can be done to help:
– Help when you can, where you can. Whether you have money, goods, time, or skills to teach, give where you can.
– Use your voice. Talk to your legislators about fare wages and hiring practices, or any other issues that will help the advancement of women. Things will not change until women are getting equal pay for equal work.
– Take on the stereotypes. Sadly, the perpetuation of old gender stereotypes in the media is not helpful in the advancement of (and equality for) women. Let’s not let our daughters or sons be fooled by these exaggerations, so that the next generation has no limits.
– Get men involved in the advancement of women. This is not a female issue. This is an everyone issue. Women make the overwhelming majority of household spending decisions in this country, so helping women succeed is vital for our economy. Helping women helps everyone, especially the future generations of this country.
None of that is anything I haven’t said before here on this site. Yet there still lies the real remaining questions. Can we work to make a change? Will we help to make a change?
We can make the difference, but will we? I sure hope so.
You can download The Shriver Report at http://shriverreport.org/.