Category Archives: Women

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.
Finance
Manpower and Education
Culture and Tradition
Technology
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…
– ©Perie 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.

How Do Women Feel Feeling About Their Look?

Some people referred to me as a male feminist, and others referred to me as a misogynist. In reality I am neither. I neither like nor dislike most women, just as I neither like nor dislike most men.

What some people do not understand is that women are not a homogeneous entity. Women range as everything from Andrea Dworkin to Edna St. Vincent Millay. One cannot like one without disliking the other. Their messages were opposites of one another, and if they ran into each other they would have torn each other to shreds.

Ultimately it makes sense to neither like nor dislike women. To demand that one like all women is as unrealistic as it is to demand that one like everyone. People will like whom they like, and they will dislike whom they dislike. And while some people see liking everyone as a worthwhile project, I disagree. To like all people means that one has to like Jeffrey Dahmer. People – both men and women – will always exist, and they will all make their choices. It is wrong to demand that one like everyone. In the real world, people choose whom they like based on what they have to offer and on the choices that they make.

It is a worthwhile project to be understanding; it is a worthwhile project to be compassionate. But while the likes of Andrea Dworkin demand compassion, they show none. Any beautiful woman, any man who loves a beautiful woman, anyone who values beauty, comes under malicious attack, even if one has been through much worse things than has the Dworkin feminist. Since they do not show compassion, neither do they deserve compassion for their own, solvable, problem of being physically and personally unattractive. An African or Middle Eastern woman has suffered much greater wrongs than has the Dworkin feminist, and she has in most cases chosen to be a good human being. These women in most cases have more reason to hate men than any Western woman, but they for the most part refrain from doing so and continue to be good people and to be good to men.

Which brings me to my central point, and that is: It makes sense to be neither for nor against women – to be neither a feminist nor a misogynist. It makes sense to be for women who choose to act with kindness and warmth and against women who choose to act in an ugly manner. As with men, women should be seen for who they individually are and treated on the basis of that. And the same approach has to be taken with people, period.

As it of course already is, whatever anybody’s pretentions to the contrary.

With Dworkin feminists, I have seen a manifestation of what I call the Mobutu character. Mobutu posed as the disadvantaged to get the aid from the West, which he used to oppress the truly disadvantaged – the people who lived under him in then-Zaire, while he lived in absolute luxury. The Dworkin feminist poses as the voice of the disadvantaged group that is women and then uses the compassion and resources she receives to abuse other women, especially ones nicer and prettier. And it is time that more people see through that racket and help, not the professional abusers that are the Dworkin feminists, but the kinder and warmer women around the world – and many in Western countries – who truly have it in a bad way.

Is feminism wrong? No, women are half of the world’s population, and it is important that this half of the population have rights and powers commensurate with those of men. But this form of feminism creates a degenerative effect upon women where it attacks their virtues of kindness, beauty and tenderness and teaches them to act in ugly, mean-spirited and abusive ways. The person who actually likes women will be against this, as he will be seeing a crime being committed against womanhood: The crime, that is, of attacking the virtues that are more natural to women than they are to men while aggressively pressuring the women to become the very worst thing that they can be.

What actually makes sense is to support good conduct by women and men both while fighting bad conduct by both women and men. What actually makes sense is to reward virtues rather than flaws, and to support the positive qualities with which women are more naturally endowed than are men while fighting those who attack these positive qualities. What actually makes sense is to support kindness, warmth, beauty and other positive feminine qualities and protect women from those who would attack and abuse these positive qualities. And that is as much the case with respect to attacks by the Dworkin feminists as it is the case with respect to attacks by genuinely misogynistic, violent, abusive men.

In fact, the Dworkin feminism is in its essence misogynistic. It attacks the naturally feminine virtues and robs women of these virtues while teaching them to behave like the worst among men. It denatures womanhood and turns its followers into scoundrels. And that does not benefit women, any more than does it benefit the reputation and standing of women. More men – and women – will be willing to fight for women’s rights and well-being when they see women acting in better manner. And the nastier these women get, the fewer of both men and women will be willing to do the same.

In recent years we’ve seen a men’s movement, who have used the misconduct by Dworkin feminists to claim that the misogynistic statements in the Bible and the Quran were right all along. The result has been innocent women suffering in horrible situations all around the world, while the Dworkin feminists remain comfortable in their academic, media, social work or corporate worlds and continue to attack and abuse the women who are nicer and prettier and men who love them. The worst in each gender are claiming to speak for the gender and create a coercion upon everyone else in their respective genders to be the very worst thing that they can be and to treat their partners in the worst way that they can treat them. This is how far we have come.

These wrongful sets of incentives must be overcome and inverted. Kindness, warmth, beauty, tenderness, and other positive feminine qualities, should be encouraged and rewarded rather than attacked. Nastiness and meanness – either by men toward women or by women toward men – should be punished, and its possessors stripped of their power. Men should be encouraged to be good to women, and women should be encouraged to be good to men. Those who are willing to do that should be rewarded with good relationships, and those who are unwilling to do that should go without relationships until they are willing to change their attitude. And each gender should be represented by its best, not its worst, elements in the public debate.

Thus it makes sense, for example, for Western men to get together with Third World women. Western men would treat those women far better than they could expect to be treated at home, and those women would treat them much better than would women schooled in Dworkin feminism. An international flux for relationships will make winners of people of both genders who are willing to act rightfully and to treat their partners in rightful manner. And it would make losers of both men and women who insist on being horrible to the other gender. A real-world mechanism of rational choice based on what the other party has to offer will create incentives on people of both genders to behave better toward their partners. Without a single shot being fired and without a single dollar of taxpayer money being spent, a mechanism will be put into place that will reward – and thus make more numerous – good man-woman relationships.

As for women, more should look up to someone like Edna St. Vincent-Millay than to someone like Andrea Dworkin. Her way was much more noble and much more beautiful. She got famous through creation of beauty, when Dworkin became famous through creation of ugliness. She was in every way better than Andrea Dworkin, and she should be a model for more women in America and in the rest of the world.

The part of men in this is as follows: Love, reward and treat well the women who are willing to behave beautifully, so that more women see the future and promise in acting beautifully and are willing to do the same. Once women see that acting in beautiful ways pays off, more will be willing to do that, and men as well as women will benefit.

How Do Women Feel Feeling About Their Look?

In 1991, Naomi Wolf published The Beauty Myth detailing her understanding on how women continue to be oppressed throughout society for the benefit of men.

Wolf argued that the instigation and use of the myth of beauty would be men’s ultimate weapon against women and their perceived rising power.

Women continue to face blockades in the workplace due to the political and systemic use of beauty to define worth. Although men define the ideology of beauty, the demarcation of beauty is not defined thereby leaving the female confused about her own feelings of self.

This allows big corporations to levy unfairly the work that women do increasing their revenue whilst enriching both female expenditure and manageability. This has in turn reduced the female’s self-esteem, a powerful tool for control.

Naomi Wolf wrote this book in 1991 following both the first and second wave of feminisms. Are we embarking upon a third wave of feminism? Many skeptics of feminism report that the previously overwhelming injustice towards women and their cries that created and sustained Women’s Rights movements have now been diluted to a mere whimper. Is there any truth to this statement?

I want to use this article to examine what if any changes have happened since 1991 and how women’s lives may or may not have changed.

Women have always been necessary to the workplace even if not respected for their contribution. Latent history informs us that due to the First World War (WW1) in 1914 -18, women were necessary to move out of the home where they worked to fulfill the employment gap due to men being at war. When the war ended, women did not naturally want to give up this level of financial independence and return to the home. Cross-referencing historical information, the fight for Women’s Rights began much earlier therefore women were already aware of the injustices towards them thereby informing of the reluctance to ‘return to the home.’ In 1848, 68 women and 32 men outlined grievances towards women including women having the right to vote and signed a Declaration of Sentiments in New York. It was in 1872 that saw the national movement begin in the UK in the form of the National Society for Women’s Suffrage and later the more influential National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. Without this cross-referencing, one would be forgiven for mistaking that up until WW1 in 1914, women were not knowledgeable about their unjust treatment towards them.

With the knowledge that women did indeed know that they were being treated unfairly and that they actually felt strong enough to take action in different forms showed both tenacity and strength; words that were not used to describe women at all. Since 1991, what has changed to strengthen Women’s Rights to being more equal to men?

Not much in my opinion from the viewpoint of entry-level top careers for women although according to a recent research carried out by Astbury Marsden, they found that this year has seen an increase of 100% of women in management positions. This equates to 12% overall from 6% overall last year. We should be grateful! What about the significant pay gaps between men and women for equal jobs? Well, according to Dr. Carla Harris from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), the gap is widening, currently for every dollar a man makes, his female counterpart earns 82 cents. I doubt very much that you will find a noticeable difference in the UK. In fact, upon research, women earned 15% less than men. Is this gap made worse in poor economic times?

So not much has changed in terms of respect for females and the contribution they make in society and for society. Not much in terms of how females are viewed, mostly negatively and for sexual pleasures. However what is more startling (perhaps an over-exaggeration) is that although there have always been women ‘night-workers’ (prostitutes), women appear to be engaging in their own war against themselves. Let me put this into perspective about this internal war going on with women. Notwithstanding the ‘glamour’ needed for night workers to attract for work, women are now using this same concept for approval from men and in the meantime waging an unsubstantiated war on their self-esteem. Not that those women did not care for their looks previously, as their grooming ritual is natural in attracting a mate. However, because of the Beauty Myth, the natural birthing process of grooming for a mate has become blurred, confusing and instills a lack of confidence in a female. The precocious instigation of the Beauty Myth undertaken by men but calculatingly not clearly defined (Naomi Wolf) has left women attempting to attain not just the indescribable but the unattainable as beauty is left open for interpretation by the beholder (men).

What has been the result?

Financial contributions to cosmetic, diet and surgery have all seen a surge in willing captors, all seeking this beauty myth and all rather quite despondent when they realise that the goalposts keeps shifting. Cosmetic companies revel in ascribing what their latest product is and how wonderfully powerful some ingredient is, now contained in their product. I mean, who on earth really heard of Pentapeptide, let alone researched what it did before buying the product?

Companies such as those in the cosmetic industry rely on the poor self-esteem of women to direct their products to. Women in return respond in an impassioned grab for the ‘miracle’ product that will stave off or at least slow down the ageing process. Women are made to feel that they no longer visually please and according to Wolf, companies can take steps in removing the female from her role in the workplace in favour of a younger model. Remember Miriam O’Reilly winning her claim against the BBC for what she alleges being dismissed on ageism and victimisation grounds? A second rate victory because she did not win on the grounds of sexism. What this tells me is what Wolf already identified in her book, that it is very difficult for a woman to claim against sex discrimination as the law fully supports what it calls a BFOQ (bone fide occupational qualification- USA) or the UK’s version of GOQ (genuine occupational qualification- Wolf). What this means is that a company may dismiss a woman if they feel that she does not measure up to their ideology of beauty. Now remember, this level of beauty is not defined and what would this really say? As beauty is in the eye of the beholder (self) is it not?

The tribunal for Miriam O’Reilly was held on the 4-19th November 2010, 19 years after Wolf’s publication therefore women are still demonstrably being targeted and treated according to how they look and not what talents they may have in the workplace. So no real progress here then!

Next time you go shopping, look out for the number of different beauty products. Be aware of the amount of time and energy that commercials use to sell you their copious amounts of products and the images they use. The use of anti-wrinkle creams on models probably not even yet 20 years old yet. Why on earth they need anti-wrinkle cream is beyond me. Next, these kinds of adverts will be shown using a 13 year old!

Now look at grounded products such as lipsticks. Now you can get ones that last all day. In fact, you need another product to get the lipstick off because normal cleanser and water does not always work. Companies have to keep re-inventing the wheel to keep their profits up so their imagination runs riot and comes up with all sorts of products all doing the same thing but differently. Women fall for this; just take a look at her make up bag, products of the same but different thing, hardly used due to the copious amounts.

What about products containing a certain ingredient that will ‘benefit’ perceived ‘bags’ under the eyes. Do you really think that by buying this product will alleviate ‘baggy eyes’? Why should it, because if it did then you would have to stop buying the product once you have been cured? So companies use only enough to make a slight difference and you have to keep re-buying to secure better results. I imagine companies laughing at women as they stand far at the side of the room throwing in the magic ingredient (that is to say how offensively low the ingredient is in terms of weight and productivity). Now, I am not saying that a particular ingredient does not work, for example caffeine. However, following your lovely cup of tea, you could quite easily reconstitute the teabag and put this on your eyes. Probably has more caffeine in the teabag than in the expensive product you buy.

Let us look at how other companies have cashed in on the creation of poor self-esteem in women. An ostentatious amount of money is spent by females on diet products in the hope that the ‘extra’ pounds they think they are carrying will disappear leaving the female with a sense of acceptance and perceived beauty. The sugars used in many foods are replaced with a substitute that is less calorific. To me, this is just a lot of useless chemicals being pumped in the body and for no real gain. Processed sugars are not good for anyone in huge amounts and a wise thing for health purposes would be to reduce your intake not substitute this with something that requires the body to work harder to break it down if it is able to use at all.

For research purposes, I typed in ‘what effect does artificial sugars have on the body?’ and I did not have to look far to clearly see the dangers of artificial sweeteners. According to author Marcelle Pick, (Obstetrician and Gynecologist) she speaks openly about being properly informed of possible side effects of sweeteners. I will not mention the company as I do not wish to give them any form of exposure but you can do your own research. This particular name brand is the trade name for Sucralose; a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formation. (Marcelle Pick) What this company did was twist the sugar component of their product by citing the ‘natural sugar’ aspect. Yet more importantly, did you catch the word ‘pesticide?’

Now we go onto cosmetic surgery. This phenomenon has increased tenfold since the 1970’s. Now you can book a botox in your lunch hour and be back to work. The lackadaisical procedure should be seen as worrying and not that companies are seeking to make life easier for women to attain this face stiffening procedure. Remember the poor actress infamously known for her ‘trout pout?’ I will leave this here to save her blushes! The point I am making is some of these procedures are downright dangerous yet women are still clambering to risk life or limb.

We do not have to search our brains too hard to recall some other poor soul who underwent breast surgery to enlarge her already natural assets and perceptually ended up looking misplaced. The female body is perfect as it stands and whilst some females may have to undergo a surgical procedure on medical grounds, this should not be confused with the female body, being nature at its finest.

Women are undergoing all sorts of procedures in an attempt to gain the unattainable body. Bum enhancements, face lifts, eye lifts, neck lifts (anything that is deemed lift-up-able), nose adjustments, liposuction on any part of the body and do not get me started with lace fronted weaves or extensions. The woman spends a great deal of time and money on products and services to achieve the ideology of beauty and remember this perceived beauty is undefined. So what this means, is they end up chasing a mirage that disintegrates the moment they think that they are now acceptable. This results in a cyclical pattern in women dabbling in metamorphosis, re-inventing something else to feed that ever-growing pit in lost souls leading to other behavioural and emotional difficulties.

If you look at the objective of The Beauty Myth, the power is monumental and the devastation that this myth leaves behind is great news for those instigating this concept for nothing more than mind-control over women. This concept reminds me of the Lynch (Willie Lynch) method; create a divide and rule mask, in this case, in women.

My name is Marcea Hibbert-Roye, qualified Social Worker and Life Coach. I work as a Strategic Lead Develop for Women. My specialism is developing emotional awareness in females. I have devised a 6 Step Program that promotes good emotional health by accessing information held in the subconscious mind to the conscious mind. The result is having more control over thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

Visit the website for great motivational cards for females that will support during difficult times or just to say ‘You’re worth it.’ We have cards designed at the younger female especially as she is navigating through puberty.

Is Beauty Causing Jealousy?

Women can be so beastly to one another. Women can also be the perpetrators of hate towards other women. Women can instigate and continue a trail of destruction towards another woman.

It can be very uncomfortable to acknowledge that women can act just as aggressively as men and cause the emotional breakdown in others especially towards other women.

There are many diverse and oddly strange reasons for women behaving badly and jealousy is one of those reasons.

When the green eye of envy glares from the pulpit of internal vision in a woman, the results can range from mild verbal contact to being downright unbelievably heinous. Due to jealousy, a woman could temporarily appear insane. Some behaviours include verbal rages appearing irrational and incessant; her stiffened body taut from the venom squeezing from every pore. Jealousy is potent and can destroy both the holder and the receiver.

I covered my perspective on the Beauty Myth in another article but wanted to pay particular attention to jealousy in a woman because of beauty noting the Beauty Myth.

The Beauty Myth looks at the overall impact on women and I will be examining the psychological impact on women. To surmise the concept and explain the Beauty Myth, here is a quick précis.

The Beauty Myth is an allegorical ideology about what a woman should look like to be readily accepted in society. Men, for control over women construct this ideology. The ideology of beauty as in the Beauty Myth is not defined, therefore there are no clear guidelines or demarcation.

There are many ways in which a woman gravitates towards making herself appealing and to appease men and the resulting language, spoken or not, determines how women view themselves. Women then systematically enshrine the essence of the Beauty Myth by plundering themselves to a regime of incessant grooming including the use of surgery, cosmetics and diets. A woman does not have to be aware of the Beauty Myth to be complicit in its language. The control over women by men renders women out of control in mind and body as she strives for attainment of acceptance. Remember, what the actual concept of beauty should look like is not defined! Whilst this is happening locally for women, the woman then sees other women as potential rivals. Women compete with other women vying for the attention from men creating a war on each other that may appear comical to some but is in no doubt very debilitating for women reciprocally.

Women readily accept striving to achieve the ‘ideal’ weight and maintain this notion even at the risk of their own health. In some contexts, this ideal is nothing short of experimenting with their life. In an attempt to mask over her own lack of self-esteem, a woman may originate a furtive competition with her colleagues, peers and even friends to appear to be the better looking therefore more acceptable to men. Is the archetypal jealous woman real or fictitious? Just take a look around you.

Women eyeing up other women whilst measuring their own selves and sometimes leaving others feeling as though they are below standard. If a particular woman measures against another woman and feels she is more attractive than she perceives her ‘rival’ to be, just watch her physiology prolifically change in an instant. If she perceives this same ‘rival’ to be featuring an attribute she is keen to personally gain this same change in her physiology is evident but this time, she retreats within herself. The Omni-presence of the Beauty Myth is indeed powerful even if not understood by its participants. The concept of the Beauty Myth makes women jealous towards other women a certainty.

Throughout my working experiences in some companies, I have sometimes felt it was better to have a man as a manager than a woman. I work passionately to improve women’s lives so how can I possibly justify the previous statement? Well, if your female manager is managing her own set of negative self-perceptions and gracelessly views you as having something that she does not, well, put it this way, your working day can be hell. This information should not be taken out of context. Women are able to manage effectively managerial roles, I am speaking about the female manager who may allow her position to denigrate another female based on the idea of perceived threat. I am also admitting, however uncomfortable that women in ‘powerful’ positions can use this to feather their own pride by reducing another women’s intent. The inception of jealousy not just in thought but put into practice has some very untenable traits for the recipient, the acts done against her is nothing short of bullying. Even in an informal group of friends, there is always some kind of rivalry going on, some form of argument stemming from the lack of something, the underbelly being self-esteem. Yet, if we took a look back into the lives of much younger females (ages 4 – 8 years old), you can see a characteristic in them that might explain the neuroticism that follows later on.

Young girls are tenacious; they are determined and self-assured. They can appear bossy and knows how to get their wishes completed. They can manipulate others for their gains without blinking. The young female knows who she is and will fight for control in her circle. (This description is architypically of young females before society teaches them that their voices are not to be heard, another discussion!) Many times, the young female who views herself as mentally and emotionally strong will seek friends who appear to her to be the opposite of her traits. This way, she will continue to reign. When she does befriend another young female who then goes on to outwardly presenting with the same strong traits, they may remain friends but will experience bouts of rivalry towards each other. However, why they would remain as friends needs further explaining. The need to reign is secondary in spiritual terms to the more important aspect of having, nurturing and maintaining friends. This means that whilst the need to reign is strong, this is borne from the pressures put on them from their outside world. The need for friends is borne from their inner world (subconscious) and is much stronger than the need to reign. Young females, growing females and grown females will find a comfortable place with each other that accommodates their rivalry as long as they are friends. So does this mean that the Beauty Myth perpetuates the traits already found in females and uses it against them? In my opinion, most definitely a YES.

The competition between women to beautify self to surpass their ‘rival’ is not done explicitly. There are no words that are used that determine such acts of rivalry; the competition is clandestine. There are times when a female will depict her sense of being at war when she negatively calls on the ‘flaw’ of her rival, teasing her about her perceived ‘afflictions.’ Or when a female has been perceived to have ‘achieved’ the mythological beauty, the backlash from her peers is all too evident. The sniping, the backbiting or even the silent treatments towards to the poor female are tools that are used to demonstrate the discomfort women feel towards their ‘rival’ but borne from their own lack of a positive self identity. The need to reign (starting in early age) is ever-present but made more complex when they become older and now also vying for acceptance from men.

Young girls in the playground demonstrably sending some other poor girl ‘out to Coventry’ merely for having a super pair of shiny shoes that the reigning girl does not. The teenage female who turns on her friend because that boy she likes is not reciprocal with her attention-seeking activities. The new woman at work who makes the standardised corporate uniform look incredibly perceptively sexy even without trying. Supermodels are dicing with their health in an attempt to be the thinnest therefore prettiest amongst her peers. She has learnt that this ensures continuous work for her. Media depict background scenes of the clichéd females behaving beastly towards each other in the same attempt to reign and be accepted. Movie celebrities all seeking the reduced weight as the camera ‘puts on pounds’ and media shouts out any imperfections on a woman in a public way. Not all publicity is good publicity! Feuds are started by women with other women just because of perceptions based on looks. Especially worsened if the female celebrity is newsworthy and over-exposed. So all women are somehow affected by beauty and can become, coupled with a typically feminine trait, extend into jealousy. The levels to which jealously can extend to, is dependent upon what the attacking female feels she has to gain to extinguish her rival or equally how she much she has to lose.

Here are a few explanations of jealousy:

Fearful or wary of being supplanted; apprehensive of losing affection or position; resentment or bitter in rivalry; having to do with or arising from feelings of envy, apprehension or bitterness; vigilant in guarding something; intolerant of disloyalty or infidelity, autocratic.

The need to feel beautiful therefore accepted by self and others is inextricably linked to having better self-esteem. This increases the competition in and for women. The ‘rewards’ are both self-serving to women and for men. However, with the Omni-presence of the Beauty Myth makes jealously a sure fire win for men, whoever wins the competition, they cannot lose. Until women build their self-esteem on feelings on individualism, compassion for other women and acceptance of other women and their equally beautiful features, the war with jealousy will continue. The Beauty Myth continues to reign over the female who thinks she reigns. Until women understand that they are men’s half-witted sense of delusions and will never aspire to true equality, they remain incarcerated spiritually. The creation of ‘the woman’ needs to happen and how this is done is by understanding who they are and remove self from men’s expectation. Women then need to build up spiritually by becoming aware of their inner resources to begin the trade off with men for equality because at the moment, men do not have to trade with women on equal grounds.

My name is Marcea Hibbert-Roye, qualified Social Worker and Life Coach. I work as a Strategic Lead Developer for Women. My specialism is developing emotional awareness in females as I am passionate about improving women’s lives. I have devised a 6 Step Program that promotes good emotional health by accessing information held in the subconscious mind to the conscious mind. The result is having more control over thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

Celebrate Women in the World of Fire

Did you know that International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8?

Worldwide thousands of events occur on this day to mark the social, political, and economic achievements of women over the centuries. Millions of people have gathered around the word this past weekend in honor of International Women’s Day.

I am no stranger to the achievements made by women. I spent my formative high school years at an all-girls school, soaking in the histories of women throughout the world-leaders, academics, scientists, doctors, artists, and activists–and the transformative and lasting accomplishments they made for humanity.

As a woman who works as a firefighter-which is classified as a non-traditional career for women-I wanted to do my part on this day celebrating women. So, I recently asked some folks, friends and family, between the ages of 7 and 77 for some help. I asked, “If you could ask a woman firefighter any question, what would it be?”

Here are their questions and my answers. Enjoy. And Happy International Women’s Day!

Why did you want to become a firefighter? Do you think the reasons that a woman wants become a firefighter are any different than the reasons a man wants to become a firefighter?

I wanted to become a firefighter, because I wanted to help people and serve my community. I always pictured myself in a career that was service-oriented, and being a firefighter is a way that I can do that.
When I discovered that women in the fire service were few, I was daunted. But I have to admit, I was also motivated by that challenge. (Maybe that goes way back to my childhood… Once when I was five, a boy challenged me in the sandbox. He said, “I bet you can’t do this.” And he proceeded to unzip his pants and pee in the sandbox. I immediately pulled down my pants, and peed in the sandbox too!)

In answer to Part 2 of your question, I have found that women and men whom I have met in my career, usually seek out firefighting for many of the same reasons-desire to serve their community, help others, the daily physical challenge of the job, the team aspect, and the mental, physical, and technical challenges that mitigating an emergency brings.

What do you like about being a firefighter?

See all of the above!

What do you have to do to get a job as a firefighter? Do you have to do the same thing as the men?

Like everything else, the fire service is evolving. The first firefighters in the United States were men (thus “firemen”). The first paid female firefighter in the US was hired in 1973. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, many departments implemented affirmative action measures to increase the diversity of their fire personnel ranks.

Today men and women, alike, need to go through the same rigorous testing process that can take anywhere from six to twelve months. The testing process usually begins with a written exam. Those who pass the written, go on to the physical agility test. Women have to pass the same physical agility tests required by the men to be firefighters.

To be an effective firefighter you need a healthy balance of cardiac endurance and upper and lower body strength. In general, while many men may be able to rely more on strength due to muscle mass to accomplish fire ground tasks, women learn to use body mechanics and smarter techniques, in conjunction with their strength, to be effective firefighters. In truth, this is the smarter way to go, and all firefighters would do well to keep their bodies healthy and free of injury by practicing body mechanics and smarter techniques.

After agility tests are passed, the process continues with oral board interviews, a Chief’s interview, and extensive background checks. Thousands of people apply for usually only a few firefighting positions. Once hired, men and women must all go through a fire academy where they learn and practice firefighting skills. If they pass the academy, they begin their probationary year as a firefighter. As a probationary firefighter they continue to be trained and tested throughout the year, on the fire ground through written exams and manipulative skills.

Do men and women share the same types of jobs in the fire service?

Yes! Men and women firefighters participate in the same tasks whether it is going into fires holding the nozzle and the hose, cutting ventilation holes on top of roofs with chain saws, climbing aerial ladders a hundred feet in the air, using hydraulic power tools to cut apart cars to get to patients that are trapped inside, or using their EMT or paramedic skills in treating sick or injured people.

There are far fewer women in captain’s positions, and even less in chief’s positions. The first paid female fire chief in the United States was Chief Rosemary Bliss of Tiburon, California. She became Fire Chief in 1993. In 2012, Teresa Deloach Reed became the nation’s first African American woman Fire Chief of Oakland, California, Fire Department.

When you started working in the fire service, were there an even number of women and men in the fire department? How about now?

The fire department in which I work is comprised of about 10% of firefighters who are women-and that is on the progressive side according to national standards. According to the 2010 Census, women make up roughly 4.8 % of firefighters in the fire service in the United States. The first woman to be hired in my department, just recently retired. She is living history in my book!

There are about the same number of women in my department now, as when I started about 15 years ago. Some of the first women have retired and we have a few new women firefighters, but there have, steadily, only been about 8 to 10 women in that span of time out of about 100 to 110 firefighters.

Are there many female firefighters? If not how does it feel to be one?

As you see there are not so many women who are firefighters. But, one of the great things I love about being a woman who is a firefighter is being a role model and mentor for young girls/women. When we go to the schools to talk about fire safety, there is always whispering and pointing, “There’s a girl,” the little people say. I hope to be an example to them-the girls and the boys-that they can do anything they put their minds to.

What are the challenges that women face in the fire service today?

The fire service is steeped in tradition, a para-military organization, so change happens slowly. Lack of facilities-sleeping quarters and bathrooms-are challenges that have been gradually addressed in recent years. Today most fire stations are designed to accommodate separate facilities for men and women.

In the beginning, fire gear was designed for men, so women wore ill-fitting gear, making the job more difficult and dangerous. Over the years, fire departments have become better in providing protective gear that fits all shapes and sizes.

The greatest changes will come as the fire service culture itself shifts. The fire service culture, in regards to women, has been called exclusionary because of under-hiring, glass ceiling, social isolation, and discrimination in the worst cases.

Here is what I see: a new generation of young men, many who come from families where both father and mother worked. A new generation of young men who watched their sisters become independent women. A new generation of young men who live in a changing world. They are more open-minded than many of their predecessors. A new generation of leaders, stepping into positions as examples in which they have the opportunities to be proactive in mentoring and advocating for women. My department sends a group of our women firefighters annually to a local expo, designed to encourage women to enter the field of firefighting. That’s a good first step with a lot of work yet to be done in the creation of an inclusive workplace.

My question would be: how did you earn the respect you deserve in the face of automatic lack of respect which just happens automatically by being a woman in that type of career (even the best intentioned conscious men have it on some level).

A question that gets straight to the point. Here’s my straight answer. The burden of proof lies on the women. Gleaned from experience and conversations I have had with women firefighters over the years, there is a similar version of this feeling of having to constantly prove oneself, long after being hired. I believe this too will shift over time, as it slowly has. While I believe that women still currently bear the burden of proving themselves over and over, I believe the first women fire fighters had many more “eyes on them” and more to “prove” than current women firefighters.

I admire women who go against the grain and choose a career that is male dominated. My question would be: How do you take care of yourself before, during and after a shift at work? Since it is a very masculine field, how do you keep your femininity alive… or do you have to suppress it?

In the beginning of my career I wanted to “blend in” as much as I could, so I did not embrace my full womanhood in my fire career context. I cut my long hair short, and shoved my inner tomboy to the forefront. That got old quick.

I decided I had a lot to offer as a woman and as a firefighter. Today, I believe strongly in being my authentic feminine self, especially as firefighter. The more diverse we can be–in all areas whether in our gender, race, our thinking, our physical, mental or emotional makeup-in the fire service, the greater the pool from which we can pull, when it is time to solve problems on the emergency scene or within our own organizations.

Women Who Hate Fellow Friends

(In this article, I am using the term mother– however; it can be equally exchanged to refer to the primary female caretaker in your family.)

Have you ever wondered to yourself, “why do women hate each other?”

Teenage girls ask the question why do girls hate me?

Women who hate other women at the deepest level of their subconscious have unresolved conflicts with their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, or female caretakers who abandoned, abused, or neglected them emotionally, psychologically, and/or physically. Little girls raised by emotionally unstable mother figures never learn how to love and/or trust other women. However, please remember that it is challenging and difficult for a mother to raise her daughter to love and respect; women if she has not learned this lesson herself.

Society put so much pressure on mothers to be perfect, unlike fathers. There are saying such as, “As precious as a mother’s love” or “The child has a face that only a mother could love.” People tell “Your Mama” jokes because the expectations for fathers are so low that there is nothing funny or hurtful that anyone could say about fathers that would cause an emotional response. When athletes accomplish an amazing fete or entertainers accept awards, they acknowledge their mothers. Mothers receive all the glory and blame for how their children’s lives ultimately turn out.

Society put women on an unrealistic pedestal that cause women to strive for an illusion of perfection that is humanly impossible. And when this hefty emotional and social goal is not met, we learn to hate and blame other women – and subconsciously ourselves.

It is very common to hear women say, “I don’t trust women!” “Females are fake.” Women declare that other women are treacherous, two-faced, backstabbers, who sleep with other women’s boyfriends and husbands. Women brag about hating other women and not having females as best friends because women are competitive, devious, and jealous-hearted. What women do not realize is that all women are connected to the collective consciousness of feminine energy… and therefore-deep down inside they have the same negative thoughts about themselves.

10 Primary Reasons Women Hate Other Women:

1. Mothers in Abusive Relationships

Girls raised in homes with psychologically unstable mothers who attract abusive relationships with men tend to have a difficult time establishing healthy relationships with men and women. The mother is indirectly teaching her daughter that she is worthless and unlovable when the mother allows a man to verbally, emotionally, and/or physically abuse her. The mother is a role model to her daughter and she is indirectly teaching her how to allow men to treat her in a relationship. Additionally, in many homes riddled with domestic violence, the man may also abuse the children. When children do not feel protected, safe, loved, and respected by their caregivers they have difficulty developing healthy relationships with other people throughout their lives.

2. Mothers who are Promiscuous

Women raised in homes with mothers perceived as being promiscuous may find it challenging to trust other women due to the double standard regarding male and female sexuality. Women and men alike are more likely to judge critically the women’s role in having an affair with a married man than blaming the husband for cheating. People learn to see themselves through the eyes of other people. Little girls see themselves as reflections of their mother, if people view their mother as being a whore, slut, or tramp-the daughter begins to identify with this persona-even if it’s incorrect. In turn, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. She would rather be the man-stealing woman who is the predator– than the supposed unattractive, angry, victim-woman at home who couldn’t keep her man faithful. Both are negative personas of femininity and womanhood that make it difficult for women to establish loving and supportive relationships with each other.

3. Mothers who Fail to Protect their Daughters from Sexual Predators

Little girls who are molested or sexually abused by family members, step-fathers, biological fathers, boyfriends, or close family members and neighbors have a tendency to blame their mothers for failing to protect them from the abuser. Even if it’s not the mother’s fault-and she is not aware that her child is being sexually abused– many children still feel that their mothers failed to recognize behavior changes that indicated some type of trauma had taken place.

Women are expected to see the unseen and know the unknowable. And when they fall to recognize the pain, shame, and fear hidden behind their children’s eyes, buried underneath their souls-society’s psychologists, therapists, and counselors first question is: “Did you tell your mother?” The question is loaded with accusatory implications of: if your mother doesn’t know was she such a “bad mother” that you couldn’t tell her? Your relationship with your mother still comes into question as contributing to your emotional health and overall wellbeing.

4. Mothers who have Negative for Poor Body Image

Mothers, who hate their bodies, have negative or poor body image, or who are obsessed with looking youthful tend to have daughters who learn to feel the exact same way about their bodies. Children learn to love themselves through their parent’s eyes. If a mother doesn’t like her nose, and her daughter feels that she has the same nose as her mother-the little girl learns from her mother that something is wrong with her nose as well. That she is not beautiful-not good enough–unless she changes her nose.

Spiritual growth plays out through the human DNA. For example, if a mother hates her body size and has cosmetic surgery to alter her appearance-her DNA code may still express itself through her daughter. What will she say to her daughter who is trying diet after diet– but continues to fail to be a size that she was never born to be? The love or hate that we feel about ourselves is boldly displayed through our children.

Even if our children are not born from our bodies they still carry the DNA from their mother’s souls. The way their mothers look into their eyes, cuddle with them, caress them, kiss them, feed them, take care of them, read to them, tell them how much they love them or not-this is what encodes children’s internal behavior for self-love, self-worth, and self-esteem.

5. Mothers who are Flirtatious

Mothers who are flirtatious with their daughter’s boyfriends, father’s friends, or who seem to thrive on being the center of male attention sometimes cause young women to believe that they are unworthy, unimportant, and invisible unless their self-worth is validated by a man. The daughters learn to objectify themselves and see their own self-worth, self-esteem, and feminine-value by how much attention is “paid” to her by men.

6. Mothers who are Competitive with and Jealous of their Daughters

Some mothers display behaviors that may indicate that they are jealous and envious of their daughter’s youth and beauty. Girls who grow up in homes with mothers who are competitive with their daughters by wearing the same clothes, makeup, i.e. fashion in general; who brag about being a smaller size, or try to dress and act like a teenager instead of an adult woman– raise daughters who feel insecure about their femininity and physical beauty.

7. Mothers who are Emotionally Distant and Non-Affectionate

Mothers who withhold affection, who are emotionally distant or critical tend to raise daughters who struggle with relationships with female authority figures. They will find themselves being people-pleasers; subconsciously seeking the approval of their nothing is ever-good-enough mothers. Women who hate women in this category have the most problematic relationship with other women because they love and hate their mothers equally. These mothers tend to be perfectionists who demand that their daughters chew with their mouths closed; never spill ketchup on their dress; and always sit with their legs closed. The perfectionist mother gives her daughter everything that she needs financially and physically–the only thing that she is incapable of giving her daughter is unconditional love and acceptance.

8. Mothers who did not get along with their own Mothers

Mothers who have tumultuous relationships with their own mothers have a tendency to have antagonistic relationships with their daughters. If the mother was not raised in a family where she was taught how to get along with other women-this may simply be a social skill that she is lacking. In some families, women refer to each other as bitches and other derogatory names. They physically abuse each other… slapping, biting, pulling hair. Wear each other’s clothes and shoes without permission. All of these behaviors are perceived as being “normal”. They have been conditioned to believe that this is just how women are supposed to get along.

When women have daughters this is when the universe is giving them an opportunity to reassess what it means to be a woman– to be a part of a sisterhood that has been oppressed for centuries. They are being asked to take stock of the assets and liabilities of the paradigm of womanhood and femininity for the next generation of girls.

Mothers need to look deep within their souls and ask themselves the tough questions:

  1. What changes can I make in myself that will give my daughter(s) opportunities that I never had?
  2. In what ways have I not truly loved and respected myself that may be reflected back to me through the eyes of my little girl?
  3. What did I love about the relationships with the women in my family?
  4. What do I hate about the relationship with the women in my family?

Their relationship with their mother could be strained for any of the reasons mentioned in this article or various other reasons. But the most important reason is that the mother lacks a role model of what healthy relationships look like between women.

9. Mothers who put their Daughters up for Adoption

Women who were placed for adoption tend to resent their mothers but not their fathers. I had a client who was adopted tell me; “How can I expect anyone else in this world to love me if the woman who carried me inside of her body for nine months, pushed me out of her vagina–looked at me as an innocent newborn baby-and still decide that she did not love or want me.” She sobbed for 10 minutes or more after saying this. Her pain made my heart ache.

The biological responsibility that Mother Nature has given to women to protect, nurture, and raise the human soul is a spiritual mission that many women in modern society have abandoned.

10. The Mainstream Media discourage Mothers and Daughter from getting along.

Sometimes the mainstream media portray teenage daughters and middle-aged mothers as natural enemies-one is emerging into her “idealistic portrayal” of fertility and mainstream beauty and the other exiting. There are many mothers and daughters who are very close who describe their relationships as being “abnormal” because middle-aged women and teenage girls are not supposed to get along.

Some women are just playing out an indirect expected social pattern of behavior that they believe is normal. However, once they get together and really communicate, many mothers and daughters learn that they have more in common with each other than not in common. And they truly enjoy each other’s company.

Sometimes we forget the social media thrives on conflict. Movies and televisions shows will be boring without antagonists. Advertisers need women to feel unbeautiful and old in order to sell makeup, fashion, and hair care products. Women are being conditioned to believe that they are in competition with each other-mothers against daughters, sisters against sisters- and so forth.

Media Law and Women’s Rights

Introduction

Women’s rights, as a term, typically refers to the freedoms inherently possessed by
women and girls of all ages, which may be institutionalized, ignored or illegitimately
suppressed by law, custom, and behavior in a particular society. These liberties are
grouped together and differentiated from broader notions of human rights because they
often differ from the freedoms inherently possessed by or recognized for men and boys,
and because activism surrounding this issue claims an inherent historical and traditional
bias against the exercise of rights by women.

Issues commonly associated with notions of women’s rights include, though are not
limited to, the right: to bodily integrity and autonomy; to vote (universal suffrage); to
hold public office; to work; to fair wages or equal pay; to own property; to education; to
serve in the military; to enter into legal contracts; and to have marital, parental and
religious rights. Today, women in most nations can vote, own property, work in many
different professions, and hold public office. These are some of the rights of the modern
woman. But women have not always been allowed to do these things, similar to the
experiences of the majority of men throughout history. Women and their supporters have
waged and in some places continue to wage long campaigns to win the same rights as
modern men and be viewed as equals in society.

Evolution of women’s rights in India

Position of women in ancient India

The position of women since long has been pitiable in all aspects of life and her
subjection by males has been throughout a matter of history. She could not feel
independent, and act as so, barring a few exceptions.

The women in Vedic period enjoyed equal status with men and independence in action.
Not only they had the place of honour, but were entitled to participate freely in social
activities. They were allowed to pursue the academic attainments and shared the family
life with full vigour. They were free to select their conjugal partner and exercised free
will in entering into the matrimonial bondage.

The privileges that women enjoyed in the Vedic period were short lived and the position
of women began to decline from the latter Vedic period onwards. Post Vedic period saw
the emergence of Manusmrithi. The injunctions of Manu merged the wife’s individuality
with that of her husband and recommended strict seclusions for women and rigorous
discipline for widows. While glorifying motherhood and allowing women all freedom in
the management of the household, he permitted child marriage and polygamy. In the
Dharma-shastra women are unambiguously equated with the sudras. Even the Gita
places women, vaisyas and sudras in the same category and describes them as being of
sinful birth. Moreover women lead a life in abject misery. The women were denied the
right of equal opportunity in the field of education as well as in employment. The
inhuman system of .Sati. was prevalent as a compulsory custom. Widows were not only
precluded from remarrying, but they were also not allowed to live after the death of their
husband. There also existed the system of Purda, were the women had to cover her face
and body with a robe when she was to be seen in public. These were not only deprivation
of the rights of women but were also social evils which plagued the ancient Indian
society. The other evils which affected the women in ancient India were child marriage,
female infanticide, Dowry system etc.

During the British rule, many new rules were being legislated to abolish certain social
evils which have direct impact on the rights of the women. Many social reformers during
this period including Raja Ram Mohan Roy worked hard for the abolition of the system
of sati and reinstated in its place the right of widows to remarry. More emphasis was
given to provide opportunities for improving the plight of women like improving
opportunities for female education etc.

After Independence, most of the social evils like Sati system, child marriage, female
infanticide etc which affected the rights of women adversely were abolished. More laws
were enacted to provide women equal status with man in the field of education and
employment opportunities, laws were also enacted for preventing discrimination against
women on the basis of gender. Constitution of India also provides for provisions in order
to protect the rights of women. Reservations were made in the public sector to increase
the ratio of women population and to bring it in par with the male population. The Indian
penal code has also adopted stringent measures to deal with crimes against women. Penal
punishments were incorporated for dealing with the crimes of rape, marital violence
against women, prostitution etc. The Dowry Prohibition act also provides for punishment
in giving and accepting of Dowry. Recently a bill was enacted to prevent harassment of
women in their work places.4