Throughout history, women and girls have been made to believe that they are inferior or less important. We still live in an era where women must march in the streets for their voices to be heard and to campaign for gender equality. This has led to a lot of talks, movements and policy amendments that has brought a change in some areas. However, in many parts of the globe, there are still countless girls who have never stepped into a classroom. As well, many industry sectors (e.g., technology and engineering) still give preferential treatment to men; and deny women the right to prove their worth thereby propagating the belief that they are not good enough.
There are still many communities engaging in harmful traditional practices on young girls such as forced marriages and female genital mutilation. Such practices increase feelings of unworthiness and low self-confidence, decreasing these girls’ chances of success in the future. It is our common responsibility to do whatever we can (no positive action is too small) to change the status quo and teach girls that they have what is necessary to take over the world. Men have had their turn and failed miserably.
Here are a few ways to empower young girls and help them realize that they have the power to not only change the world, but to take over the world:
- Educate them
An educated young girl becomes a powerful woman, and a powerful woman has all the required skills to take over the world. An educated woman knows her rights and stands up for them. An educated woman knows it is her responsibility to help other disadvantaged women and young girls. She knows how to take care of herself without depending on anyone else. Providing education to young girls puts an end to harmful practices like early marriages and female genital mutilation. It promotes socioeconomic growth and advances the fight to end poverty. Education lays a solid foundation for how far young girls will advance in their lives.
- Build their communication skills
One of the reasons why some communities and countries have become more inclusive when it comes to gender, is because a few women stood tall and made their voices heard. So, if today’s young women (collectively) are ever going to make a paradigm shift in society, they must make their voices heard. Therefore, it is imperative that they build their communication skills. Girls need to be taught to express themselves confidently and articulately from a very young age. This must start in their homes with their parents and extend to the classroom. They must be encouraged to read literature of all genres and must also learn from mentors. Learning how to communicate effectively will not only help them speak out against gender inequality, malicious practices, and other illegalities, but it will also help them become more effective leaders of tomorrow.
- Give girls decision making-roles
Do you allow your daughters to have a say in some of the affairs of the house? Are they allowed to make decisions pertaining to their own future? There are still many countries where women have no voice even when it comes to issues that affect them directly; such as abortion, marriage, the right to vote, allocation of resources, governance, etc. The root of this evil can be traced back to culture and family upbringing that perpetuate side-lining women when important decisions need to be made. How then will they feel confident enough to make decisions that could affect an entire nation? Consequently, it is important to give girls decision-making roles as well as provide leadership opportunities right from their homes. This will be the impetus for building the required confidence needed to affirm themselves in a male-dominated society.
- Teach young girls that men are not entitled
One could argue that anything that has caused a detrimental effect on humanity has been instigated by a man. Most world leaders are men and their policies have led to wars, death, world hunger, depletion of natural resources, etc. And because many of these world leaders are xenophobes, demagogues and unempathetic, their rhetoric has led to prejudice, hate, strife, murder, etc. Within society, the male psyche also wreaks havoc. Most murders, mass shootings, and unthinkable atrocities are committed by men.
Despite men’s inherited propensities they still think that they are entitled to govern at every level in society, particularly governing over women. Someone once argued that because men rule the world and men value women for their sexuality, there will never be equality between the sexes. So, what does that have to do with women? That is a man’s problem! Parents should teach their young daughters that strength, power, intelligence, and ability, lie between the ears – nowhere else. When women realize their inner strength and the power they possess; and the fact that men are not ordained to be leaders, women will change the world.
Empowering young girls and teaching them that it is time to take over the world should start in the home. We all have a role to play in this endeavour. We can start by appreciating and valuing the girls and women around us, as well as supporting those who need assistance. Every one of us stand to gain from an all-inclusive and empathic society.
Just imagine what a completely different world we would live in if women took over the world!