For years now, we have been crying for change, for platforms to express ourselves, for equal opportunities as well as reasonable representation in policy making platforms. Platforms have been provided, opportunities are there and representation has since improved, but are we bold enough for change. I believe change begins with us and it all begins with changing our mindsets.
- Getting rid of the Inferiority complex
Everyone is talented in different ways but some people tend to hide their potential, leaving success for the others. What we forget is success is not for anyone else but us. We often complain that not many opportunities have come our way but sometimes it is not about the opportunity that comes your way but it is all about standing up and doing what you can do to the best of your abilities and opportunities will certainly come your way. Never think less of yourself, you are worth more than you can imagine. Women are so gifted and I believe if we stop feeling inferior and come together, we can do wonders and change the world to be better.
2. Changing the dependency mindset
Most ladies my age, who are not yet married and looking forward to marriage tend to have the mentality of looking for someone who will take care of them while they sit and gladly accept hand overs. Yes, a man is ‘supposed’ to take care of his wife but what are you doing to sustain yourself in case he leaves you. Society has taught us to rely on men but it is time we changed that. Let us teach self reliance to the little girls and change the gospel of finding a rich husband but the gospel of working hard and being a rich wife. Be a rich girl before you find a rich man, so that you complement each other. Marriage should be about companionship and not financial benefits.
Reliance is the same reason why most women have stayed in abusive relationships, mainly because they do not have anywhere to go, if they leave that marriage they have nothing to sustain themselves hence they live for the money. I don’t blame them, but I blame society that has, from the very first day, taught us to rely on men. It’s time to change that and try as much as possible to be able to sustain ourselves before we can think of marriage.
3. Making other people’s lives your career
Unemployment is on the rise and this has often seen most people having nothing to do other than spend the whole day on social media, admiring and criticizing the celebrities’ lives and also following other people’s lives. ‘Who is dating who? Who got dumped by who? Who got married? Who got impregnated by who? And so on..’ But how does this edify your life?What benefit is it to the world? What value does it add to your life knowing and rejoicing on someone’s progress or recline in life?
If the answer is nothing, then why not invest that time in doing something that will help in making you a better person. If you can’t invest in the smallest project, better invest your time in reading and in that will you find motivation or tips on how to be a better person.
Gossip, viral threads and jokes only give you something to laugh about at that moment but it does not make your life any better. Make something out of your life and find things that will bring food to your table.
Use social media to your advantage. Social media is a chance to show yourself to the world, what you can do and how you can help in the world. There’s more to facebook other than selfies and funny skits. Take action.
4. From Pull-her-down to pull-her-up syndrome
Women tend to have a problem of finding it hard to support fellow women in what they do, they are good at telling her, ‘you are bound to fail’. It is difficult to let the men believe in us if we do not believe in our fellow women. The more we support each other, the more we are represented in policy making affairs. It is quite unfortunate that recently, the minister of women’s affairs, Nyasha Chikwinya, who is supposed to be supporting the women, recently appointed a male chairperson for the women’s bank where there were a number of female applicants. So much for empowering the women.
From a tender age, let’s teach the girl child to support the women as much as they support the male counterparts. Opportunities and positions should not be accorded as to one’s gender but as to one’s abilities. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie puts it, “Teach her to question or culture’s selective use of biology as ‘reasons’ for social norms.” If the girl wants to be a mechanic, let her be, mechanics is not in the DNA of men, neither is cooking in the DNA of women. As a woman, you should not be bound by societal expectations but by what you want to do. Never mind the other women who won’t support you, well they will admire you when you are up there.
5. Getting married because society feels you are ‘ripe’
So when ladies get to their twenties, and they graduate from university or college, what society expects from them is marriage. They are now old enough to get married, which has often put pressure on them. Ladies end up getting married because of society and not because they have found the right person which I think has contributed to the influx on divorces before five years. Get married because, deep down in your heart you feel you have found the right person and deep inside, you are ready.
It is all about changing our mindsets, shifting our focus not only on being caregivers but being leaders and innovators. Women are blessed with the gift of multi-tasking, there’s nothing we cannot juggle. Let’s stand up and do something for ourselves, something we can be proud to stand up and say, I achieved this as a woman. Get rid of people who do not push you up and discourage you and start associating yourself with those who encourage you to do better and become innovative.
Happy women’s month! May we aim to change the world for the better.