Monthly Archives: September 2017

The Entrepreneurial Revolution In A Woman

Women have generally been looked upon with contempt for centuries with various strictures inflicted upon them reducing their status to the mercy of men.

They have been confined to hearth and home. But now the perspective of the society has changed and a general thinking to work for the emancipation and empowerment of women is being developed so that they could also contribute in the advancement and welfare of the society.

Women constitute almost 50% of the world’s population. According to the last official Nigerian census in 2006, women comprised almost half of the then 140 million populace at 68.3million. United Nations updated figures for 2010 put Nigeria as Africa’s most populous, as well as most densely populated nation, at 155 million in 2010, the New-York based Centre for Reproductive Rights and the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) reported that 600,000 women die in the world annually and Nigeria accounts for 10% of this figure; 60,000 Nigerian women are dying annually due to pregnancy and child-birth related complications. In more comprehensible terms, the number translates to 164 women per day.

According to the Nigerian Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, the latest Nigerian census revealed that women constitute 49.9% of the nation’s population; the under representation of women (2%) in the nation’s development processes in finance, business and investment fronts, renders 40% of the population inadequately positioned to contribute to the economic growth of the country.

As long as recorded history has lasted, so too has women’s oppression. To many people, it just seems natural that women are worse off, because of their smaller size or their capacity to bear children. Men comfort themselves with the thought that women need looking after. Not just the capitalist system to blame but also in feudal society, women occupied second place to men.

Early anthropologists began to speak of an earlier time when women, not men, ruled society.

The history of class struggles shows the continual effects of the “world historic defeat of the female sex” interweaved with and subordinated to class relations of exploitation.

The woman is an indispensable part of the family, for children are an economic necessity, but her role is a secondary one.

Women, though their economic activity was more centered on the home, played a large role in social life.

Why women are poor/oppressed
Women face many challenges both at home and in the marketplace when they decide to seek employment or engage in entrepreneurial activities.
Religion discouraged women status
Low literacy of women in the world: over 640 million of the women in the world are illiterates (UN Secretary General).
Amongst the world children, 121 million are not in school, most of them are girls.
Two-thirds of the world’s 774million illiterates adults are women (UNICEF statistics)
Girls represent nearly 60% of children not in school.
Educating a girl child is life saving for the world.
Women are more vulnerable to exploitation.
Uneducated girls are more at risk to be marginalized
Women’s rights and access to land, credit and education are limited; not only due to legal discrimination, but because more subtle barriers such as their work load, mobility and low bargaining positions in the household and community prevent them from taking advantage of their legal right.
Women status/employment- 90% of the world female labour are called housewives and excluded from the formal definition of economic activity.

Women work more hours than men and they are unpaid. The paid ones are paid 17% lower than men.
U.K, Germany, Italy, France- women are paid 75% wages. In Vietnam, Sri-lanka and Australia they are paid 90%
Women perform 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of the food, but earn 10% of the income and own 1% of the property.

However, in some regions, women provide 70% of agricultural labour, produce more than 90% of the food and yet are nowhere represented in budget deliberations.

Women occupy only 24% of senior management positions globally, 34% of privately held businesses globally have no women in senior management. Managerial position- 39% in developed country, 15% in Africa, and 13% in Asia.
In Arab States, only 28% of women participate in the work force.

Women and society laws
First stage of discrimination begins with women when parents about. In Nigeria, most of the small-scale farming enterprises are owned by men. Women by nature have creative abilities, are blessed with ability to persist and pursue their desires, are good and patient nurtures of children, and this tenacity is usually transferred into business, are good innovators, have ability to develop passion for what they believe in.

Many researchers have shown that poverty is a malady that incapacitates its victim economically and indirectly subject him/her to a state of destitution, voicelessness, powerlessness and even violence (World Bank 2000; Okojie, 2002) Unfortunately, the most affected sex by the above incapacitation are women and children. Statistics show that women are poorer than men. The UNDP (2008) estimated that, about 70% of the world-poor are women. Women are poorer because they are more vulnerable economically.

The findings of Thane (1978), Showalter (1987) and Lewis Piachered (1987) cited in Magaji’s Introduction to Project Evaluation (2004) showed that women have been the poorest sex throughout the 20th Century and have formed a substantial majority of the poor since poverty was first recognized. On why women are the poorest sex, the physical strength of women and various challenges limit them to specific soft duties making it difficult to be enterprising.

Entrepreneurship development therefore is a crucial tool for women’s economic empowerment.

The benefits derivable from empowering the women folk are farfetched, starting with family advancement and eventually touching on the national and global economic advancement.

If women are empowered to do more and be more, the possibility for economic growth becomes apparent; eliminating half of a nation’s work on the sole basis of gender can have the detrimental effects on the economy of that nation. It is the nation that blends the strengths of women and men that will lead the world in development (Kiyosaki 1993) in the field of agriculture and other sectors.

A study found that of fortune 500 companies, “those with more women board directors had significantly higher financial returns, including 53 percent higher returns on equity, 24 percent higher returns on sales and 67 percent higher returns on invested capital (OECD, 2008).” This study shows the impact women can have on the overall economic benefits of a company. If implemented on a global scale, the inclusion of women in the formal workforce (like a fortune 500 company) can increase the economic output of a nation.

Entrepreneurship or investing is not an exclusive reserve of any gender. Both women and men generate the same result provided they follow the principles of investment. Kiyosaki (1993) proves with statistical data in Unites States, that women are better investors than men. Also, a study of National Association of Investors Corporation (NAIC), found that women- only clubs achieved average annual returns of 32% since 1951 versus 23% for men-only investment clubs. The verdict is; women know how to handle money and can be greater entrepreneurs than men if the various obstacles to development is removed or minimized.

Furthermore, entrepreneurship will give women opportunities of owning businesses, thereby increasing their personal wealth. Women’s entrepreneurship will of course generate the needed employment in developing economies in Africa and bring in the long excluded population of women into the labour force thereby empowering them.

The best way to fight poverty and extremism is to educate and empower women.

The Limitations holding back women from achieving much like men in entrepreneurship development.
Manpower and Education
Culture and Tradition
Erroneous Ideas about Women
Entrepreneurial Attitude
Gender inequality

Peter Osalor is a multi-skilled director, chairman of trusts, proprietor and consultant. Peter Osalor has been a successful entrepreneur since 1992 when he formed Peter Osalor & Co and which has since grown to a very large client base with a turnover of millions. He is currently a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Nigeria (ICAN). Peter is also a member of the Chartered Tax Advisors and the Chartered Institute of Taxation in Nigeria (CITN).

He is a business mentor for Princess Trust in the UK. He is a member of the Inter Governmental Committee of ICAN and also a member of BCBC, which represents Black Church Membership of Christians whose responsibility is to ensure that the Christian businesses are not left out in the business opportunities arising from the 2012 Olympic Games In London.

The Responsible Women’s Role in Peace Building

On October 7, 2011, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to three formidable women: Tawakkul Karman, a leader of anti-government protests in Yemen; Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first democratically elected female president in 2005; and Leymah Gbowee, also of Liberia who campaigned against the use of sexual assault as a weapon of war.

Karman, 32, was the first Arab woman to win the peace prize. The award was bestowed in recognition for her role in peace activism in Yemen, long before the 2011 Arab Spring revolution, and for initiating positive change in political oppression and the role of women in the rise of new democracies. The two Liberian women (Sirleaf, 72, and Gbowee, 32) were the first sub-Saharan African winners of the peace prize since Kenyan Wangari Maathai won it in 2004 for the fight against deforestation by mobilizing women to plant trees. Maathai died in 2011 at the age of 71. Sirleaf was seen as a reformer and peacemaker in Liberia, campaigning to end government corruption and to work for reconciliation after fourteen years of civil war. Gbowee, in Liberia, organized hundreds of female protesters throughout Monrovia to demand disarmament of fighters, forcing attention on women combatants exploited and sexually assaulted by warlords. She was honored by the Nobel Committee for mobilizing women across ethnic and religious dividing lines to bring an end to the long war in Liberia, and to ensure women’s participation in elections. Sirleaf campaigned for peace within the government (in the country’s top leadership role), whereas Gbowee and Karman worked as individuals — Karman with limited support from her government.

It was the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s hope that the prize for the three women would shine a light on the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent.

Pakistan set an example by holding a four-day International Islamic Women Police Conference in November 2011 in Islamabad to unite women police officers from more than ten Islamic countries to build synergies and discuss context-specific gender issues. In 2010 Pakistan female law enforcers comprised less than one percent of all law enforcers. In comparison, female officers comprised a third of the total Australian Federal Police workforce. The Pakistan government now has a policy to integrate women in the mainstream police force, which is an increasing international trend in Muslim countries. Research has shown that women police officers bring a public-friendly image of police as they are much less likely than men to use extreme methods of control, such as threats, physical restraint, search, and arrest.

Richard Sennett, professor of sociology at New York University and the London School of Economics, in his book “Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation” (2012) contends that “living with people who differ — racially, ethnically, religiously, or economically — is the most urgent challenge facing civil society today.” That’s because people tend to avoid engaging with people who are different from themselves by acting in a tribalistic manner which, he says, “involves thinking you know what others are like without really knowing them” resulting in an “us-against-you” mentality. Sennett promotes social cohesion that requires commitment to community and empathy with others: from polite social civilities such as saying “please” and “thank you” to mutual communication. It’s not just about talking and listening; it’s about sympathy, empathy, and above all, shared and familiar dialogue. It’s a concept that women understand, naturally and innately.

Women in governments and individual women can work side-by-side to influence, promote, and sustain local, country, regional, and global peace. As governments look toward contributing to peace building, they should look no further than the women in their own communities. Without meaningful participation of women in peace processes there are less chances of durable peace. Women as peace-builders are often leaders in recovery and rehabilitation activities as post-conflict nations, such as South Sudan, transition to stability. The importance of women in peace dialogues and social cohesion cannot be overstated, not only for post-conflict countries, but also for local communities.

Healthy economies support peaceful existences. Investing in women can yield a significant gender dividend through three essential means: (1) women as workers; (2) women as consumers; and (3) women as voters.

Women make up the majority of small business owners across the globe, thus narrowing the gap between male and female employment rates. Women also often influence up to eighty percent of buying decisions in households. In addition, the number of women earning six figure salaries is increasing at double the rate of men earning large incomes. Women can affect economic competitiveness, fiscal health, and sociopolitical stability. Therefore governments that nurture female talent and decision making can become more competitive and can subsequently hasten economic growth — which is becoming increasing more urgent in times of global financial crises. Industries that understand women’s buying preferences and how to market them as consumers, through employing women in leadership positions, can substantially increase their market share. Women are therefore not a niche market — they are the power players in the market.

A 2010 McKinsey & Co. survey found that the majority of executives believed that gender diversity would improve their company’s financial performance. For years males have been dominant in executive boardrooms. In 2010 in America only fifteen percent of board members in large firms were on their boards, thirteen percent in Australia, and ten percent in Europe. This represents a squandered opportunity. Emerging is evidence that mixed-gender boards make better decisions than monolithically male ones. Mindful of this, European countries are also passing laws that would force companies to promote more women to the executive suite. A new French law requires listed firms to reserve forty percent of board seats for women by 2017. Norway and Spain have similar laws; Germany is considering one. Viviane Reding, the European Union’s justice commissioner, says she wants European boards to be thirty percent female by 2015 and forty percent by 2020.

There are two main arguments for compulsory quotas. One is that the men who dominate corporate boards promote people like themselves. The second argument is more subtle. Talented executives need mentors to help them climb the ladder. Male directors mentor young men, but are reluctant to get chummy with young women, lest the relationship be misconstrued. Quotas will break this vicious cycle. The lack of role models is no longer the main obstacle to women’s careers: children are. One study found that two-thirds of American women had, at some point in their career, switched from full-time to part-time or flexible time to balance work and family needs. But in doing so, they made it harder for women to gain the experience necessary to make it to the very top, and to be appointed as board members.

Some argue that quotas are too blunt a tool to solve the problem because quotas may force firms either to pad their boards with token non-executive directors, or to allocate real power on the basis of sex rather than merit. Neither is good for corporate governance. Norway started enforcing quotas for women in 2006. A study by the University of Michigan found that this led to large numbers of inexperienced women being appointed to boards. However, firms that addressed the issue by appointing women with a career path that enhanced their skills and promoted gender diversity, were more likely to reap the financial rewards.

The economic gender dividend can be reflected in increased sales, expanded markets, effective recruitment and retention of staff, and a marketing strategy that actually responds to the market. Hence, collectively, the diverse perspectives — of men, women, youth, aged, disenfranchised, and minorities — can lead to more effective economic growth, financial stability, social cohesion, diversity of leadership, and peace.

8 Big Differences Between Male and Female Brains

Most men always believe that understanding women is impossible. What men really need to understand is that we are totally different and, instead of giving up, we should try to embrace the differences and accept women for what they really are, nothing like us. Only then we can use all of this knowledge to our advantage. The following article illustrates the differences between the sexes and explains how we can use these to our advantage.

Modern science has allowed us to study the male and female brains and come up with conclusions as to why we are so different. This is mainly down to how our brains are structured, and that’s what this article is about. It will not teach you how to pick up women but it will show you why we are so different, and as soon as you can get this around your head and accept women for what they really are, then your it will become much easier to succeed with them.

Human Relationships: Women communicate much better than men, they focus on how to create a solution that works for the entire group, talking trough issues, and utilizes non-verbal cues such as tone, emotion, and empathy. Men on the other hand, tend to be more task-oriented, less talkative, and more isolated. Men have a hard time understanding emotions that are not spoken, while women tend to intuit emotions and emotional cues. These differences clearly explain why men and women sometimes have difficulty in communication and why men-to-men friendships look different from friendships among women.

What does this mean? If you ever spoke to a woman, got deep into a subject and felt like you spoke a totally different language well, this is the reason. In your step to understanding women this is the first thing you need to get down, THEY ARE DIFFERENT. They are so different in fact that sometimes we can’t even communicate but, if you can be more in control of your emotions (and I know, no man wants to be in control of his emotions) they will not so much believe that you understand them, but feel it. Now I’m not telling you to cry for hours after you watch “The Notebook” however, I am telling you that being in tune with your emotions results in you being able to communicate with her at a different level, a level that most men do not get to.

Left brain vs. both hemispheres: Experts have proven that men process better in the left hemisphere while women tend to process equally well between the two hemispheres. This difference clearly shows why men are stronger with left-brain activities and approach problem-solving from a task-oriented perspective while women typically solve problems more creatively and are more aware of feelings while communicating.

What does this mean? Well think about it for a second…any problem that you had, you always tough about it this way: “I need to get this done first, then this other thing, then this, and then they all fit into place and get’s this done”. Does that sound familiar? It should if you’re a normal man. With women however, things are totally different and proves why men are better in some jobs (business, programming) and women in others (teaching, caretaking). This is another prime example that will get you closer to accepting just how different women’s minds are.

Mathematical Abilities: An area in the brain called the inferior-parietal lobule (IPL) is typically significantly larger in men, especially on the left side, than in women. This is the section responsible with mathematical ability, and probably explains why men perform higher in mathematical tasks than do women. What’s even more interesting is that this area of the brain that was abnormally large in Einstein. The IPL also processes sensory information, and the larger right side in women allows them to focus on, “specific stimuli, such as baby crying in the night”.

Reaction to stress: In stress situation men have a response reaction that resembles “fight or flight” while women react with a “tend and befriend” strategy. Psychologist Shelly E. Taylor first came up with the phrase “tend an befriend” after noticing that during times of stress women tend to take care of themselves and their children (tending) and form strong group bonds (befriending). The reason behind these different reactions to stress is down to hormones. When someone is under stress the hormone oxytocin is released into the body. In men, testosterone reduces the effects of oxytocin as it is produced in high volumes during stress; this explains the reason for the “fight or flight” response. In women, estrogen amplifies the effects of oxytocin resulting in calming and nurturing feelings.

Language: The two sections in the brain which are responsible for language have been found to be significantly larger in women than in men, indicating one reason why women typically excel in language-based subjects and in language-associated thinking. It’s also important to mention that men typically process language in one hemisphere whilst women process it in both. This differences offers a bit of protection on case of a stroke, as women may be able to recover fully from a stroke affecting the language areas in the brain while men may not have this same advantage.

What does this mean? Well it clearly means that women are much better with languages than us men, you must have noticed at least one woman that seems to pick up languages very easily. I can only add one thing here, which is probably unrelated but if you can speak more than one language, make sure you use that in your conversations with women; it will be a plus to your end game. I speak 2 languages fluently and know basic words in about 5. I always mention that and, more importantly, if they have no idea what you’re saying; you can easily tell them that you are fluent in all of them. I know just a few words in German but I test her with them, if she doesn’t react, then surely she has no idea what I’m saying…then I can repeat the 2 words tell her what I said and also convince her that I’m fluent. They love this stuff.

Emotions: The most obvious difference is probably the emotions. Women have a larger deep limbic system than men, it allows them o be more in touch with their feelings and better able to express themselves, which promotes bonding with others. This is one of the reasons why women serve as caregivers for children. Sadly this comes with a downside as this larger deep limbic system also opens women up to depression, especially during times of hormonal shifts such as after childbirth or during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

What does this mean? Remember that time when this girl you were talking to, was looking at the other girl, you noticed, and believed that they were talking behind your back? Well they weren’t talking, they just look at each other and communicate…It amazes me sometimes how I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. Anyway this is probably the most important difference and if understood can change the way you interact with women.

Let’s put it this way: women are in tune with their feelings – they are less in tune with their rational minds – so if you the man can make them feel good, all other things bare less importance. This is why when people tell you that looks don’t matter you should believe them. Don’t get me wrong, they do matter in some cases but, most of the time it all bows down to how you make them feel. If you understand that making them feel good is what you should be doing (not impressing them with money, looks, muscles or anything else) then you will have no trouble getting them into bed.

Brain Size: Typically, men’s brains are 11-12% bigger than women’s brains. Sadly, this difference in size has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence, but does explain the difference in size between men and women. Men need a bigger brain to control their bigger bodies and muscles.

Pain: Men and women perceive pain differently. Studies have shown that women need more morphine to reach the same level of pain reduction. They have also shown that woman vocalize their pain and seek treatment much quicker than men. During pain, an area of the brain called the amygdala is activated. Research has shown that in men the right amygdala (controls external functions) is activated and in women the left amygdala (controls internal functions) is activated. This is the reason women seem to perceive pain more intensely than men.

So what can we draw from this article? Most importantly the fact that men and women are completely different, but do you know the fun part? We can’t live without each other!

What can we men do with this sort of information? Women like a man that understands them, although you can’t understand exactly what she’s thinking, you can still understand that she is different and the moment you accept her as that and respect her for it, she will see that you are different…she will feel good about you, she will believe that “this guy understands me” not like the other men… and that is where your success begins.

Women therapy

What do Women Want?

… everywhere women want to be whole together
make stew, simmer all that is true
in the broth of human goodness, invite

every man, woman and child to toss in
a favored spice, a wish, a way to rebuild
our fractured world and with tomorrow
in our wombs, we will carry bowls of peace
from hearth to each table, however remote…
– ┬ęPerie Longo, from What do Women Want?

Women want peace, respect, self-esteem, and healthy ways to express anger. Women want to love, be loved, be heard, dance, wear red dresses, and feel safe in the world and with our families. What else do we want?

As women we may:

care a lot about what other people think
have trouble saying “no”
worry about being seen as “mean” or a “bitch” as opposed to being “nice”
try to take care of things at home and at work -try to do it all
like to connect with others
gather strength from our connection to others
find self esteem in small clothing sizes

What’s good about being a woman

I’m going to talk about the challenges women face in today’s world, but I want to start out by stressing how much is good about being female. The beauty of the body and mind connection and the inclination in humans to reach towards health and healing are both very apparent in women. Women’s bodies are miracles of motherhood, creation, and healing. Women’s minds and emotions, at their best, are paragons of empathy and compassion. As Perie Longo says in the excerpt of her poem above, women are child-bearers, healers, and peacemakers.

Our challenge is to cope with the difficulties we are born with and acquire along the way, and to find the means to strengthen mind, body, and spirit. This can be done with the support of others, through learning and developing, and through looking for ways to create fulfilling and successful lives.

What do you like about being a woman?

Do you like the permission to be emotional, peaceful, connected to the feminine, under the influence of estrogen, not under the tyranny of testosterone? How about the freedom to enjoy flowers, express yourself through clothes and jewelry, be soft, and love babies and small animals? Do you love the feminine body with hips and breasts made for having children? What about girlfriends, intimate talks, and cooking?

What do you not like about being a woman?

Do you dislike being disregarded, disempowered, disrespected, and invisible? Do you not like the idea that a woman is a “bitch” if she is just angry or grouchy? How about being discriminated against for age or marital status, or for how many children you either have or don’t have? Do you dislike worrying about what other people think of you? And what about being expected to take care of household work? And how about PMS?

Women and psychotherapy

Going into psychotherapy is a way for women to understand themselves and find more empowerment, hope, and happiness. When you start therapy you will begin to tell your story to someone who has no preconceived ideas about you and who is there to support and understand you. The therapeutic process happens as you begin to feel more comfortable and safe, consider helpful changes, and find relief from shame or fear. As you talk about your thoughts, feelings, and needs, you may discover ideas or insights that can help you find new directions. As a woman in therapy with a female therapist, you can find support, connection with another woman in a helpful and self-esteem-building manner, and the experience of empathy and respect. You can understand how you may be judging yourself, and how normal many of your reactions may be.

Challenges women face in today’s world

One look at the television show “Mad Men” will tell you that women’s roles have come a long way in the last 50 years. There are far more opportunities and freedoms in the U.S. today. What follows are my thoughts on what the remaining challenges are for women.

How our society thinks about women and what our society expects from us

Women are supposed to be pretty, and thin, and wear make-up. If a woman has an important career, she’s supposed to work out and dress well, not just to feel good, but to look the right way. Women are expected to be great mothers, lose baby weight right away, work happily outside the home or happily stay home with the baby. Women are supposed to be in couples;. Single women are encouraged to find someone and are pitied if they are alone. Older women consider surgically fixing or botoxing their faces so they won’t be invisible. Women of all ages consider augmenting their breasts. Models’ images are air-brushed and idealized in magazines. TV and movie stars are, for the most part, expected to be very thin and buff. This brutal Hollywood environment can be what the average woman uses to judge herself by.

Women are encouraged at times to think of life as a romantic fantasy. It’s no wonder so many women feel depressed and anxious given the difference between that fantasy and reality.

In the workplace, women may be getting more promotions, but they may also feel sexually objectified when in positions of power. There is still a pay differential between men and women (women earn 23% of what men earn in the same jobs), and men still hold more positions of power than women do.

The way our minds and bodies work

If you’re female, then you know the power of hormones! Men have hormones, too, but PMS, menopause, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum depression, infertility-that’s the female body at work or misfiring. And women tend to get more fibromyalgia, migraines, osteoporosis, and breast cancer than men.

Even women’s brains are different from men’s. Although as humans, we are more similar than different, having a women’s brain leads us to communicate more effectively, notice non-verbal cues such as tone, emotion, and empathy, have more creative problem-solving awareness, tend and befriend rather than fight or flight, and have enhanced language skills.

Women and girls tend to feel shame and self-doubt, especially if they express anger, have addictions or are simply being true to themselves. Women and girls also have to contend with higher rates of sexual assault. It’s staggering to think that 1 in 5 women in the US today has been sexually assaulted, and some say it is more like 1 in 3. Childhood sexual abuse is an extremely damaging event in a girl’s life with many repercussions over the victim’s life cycle.

Sexually, women may forgo their own pleasure in relationships with men. In lesbian relationships, women may find it hard to initiate sex because women are not socialized to be sexually aggressive.

How we grow and develop through life

As girls, we hope that we will be encouraged to feel good about our accomplishments and achievements, instead of just our looks. Although there is more emphasis nowadays on helping girls feel confident in science and math, there is still a strong gender stereotype that says boys will do better in these areas. So much more emphasis is placed on girl’s and women’s bodies!! I have heard repeatedly in my (therapy office about women who were told they had a weight problem growing up, only to look back in astonishment when they see pictures of themselves as children with totally normal or average-sized bodies.

Sometimes women have difficulty with the transition from one phase of life to another. This problem could be produced by an expectation to be superwoman, -work, raise kids, and conduct fulfilling relationships,-or it could be caused by basic needs left unfulfilled in childhood. This insecurity can cause some women to stay in self-destructive, abusive relationships or it can produce a tendency to “lose the self” in relationships. For women who have been emotionally, sexually, or physically abused or neglected, there can be a pattern of compromise or self-doubt in relationships that may feel “natural”, rather than self-detrimental. Abused women do not tend to act out as perpetrators in adult life, although sometimes this can happen when a woman who has survived child abuse is abusive to her children. Abused women are more likely to engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as drinking and drug abuse/addiction, or choose unhealthy or abusive relationships.

As women age, changes in their looks and hormones can cause depression and anxiety. Some women worry that their lives and chances for happiness are over.

If these challenges ring true to you, please do not give up hope! Even if you are very financially challenged, and experience discrimination because of color, religion, sexual orientation, body size, or drug and alcohol addiction, there is help and hope available. Even in times of economic distress there are still services available in the community for women in need. In my years of working as a psychotherapist, I have seen many, many women blossom. If you feel isolated and disconnected, there is always a way to reach out.

Psychotherapy won’t take away the difficulties women face, nor can it change what happened to you while growing up. What therapy can do is offer you a relationship with someone who cares and has your best interests at heart. It can give you a way to understand yourself and learn new coping skills. You can feel better about yourself in close relationships and in the world.