And despite attempts to direct funding to organizations that serve women and girls, support is surprisingly deficient when compared with philanthropic giving as a whole.
With the knowledge that making investments in women and girls promotes a ripple effect of change throughout families, communities, and even entire countries – why aren’t more of us supporting causes that lift up women and girls? And what can we do to change that?
Perhaps the answer lies in the confusion over how we can effectively support our sisters around the globe. Of the philanthropic giving directed toward women and girls, 90 cents of each dollar is focused on reproductive health, leaving inadequate funding for a range of other issues. Although reproductive health is of critical importance, the factors that will lead to women rising into co-equal partnership with men are varied and go beyond our ovaries.
So what does this mean for those of us who desire to lift women and girls out of oppression? It means we need to focus on multiple issues at the same time. We can’t devote resources in one area and expect it to be enough.
But it can be a daunting task to sift through data and information and identify those efforts that have the greatest potential for effecting real and lasting change. Many different frameworks exist, but no single framework that is commonly used across the field. For example, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are not specific to women, do not organize the topics that improve women’s lives holistically in one place, and can be overwhelming given there are a total of 19 goals.
But what can feel overwhelming doesn’t have to be. In an effort to simplify the approach I’ve created the:
7 Pillars of Re-Powerment
Let me first explain why I use the term “Re-Powerment”. Most of us are more familiar with the concept of empowerment when speaking of women and girls. However, empowerment doesn’t accurately describe what we hope to achieve. The definition of empowerment states that one person or group of people are bestowing power on another. This implies a hierarchy where those wielding power choose with whom to share it.
“Repower = to provide again or anew with power;
to rebuild the power source”
Repowerment, on the other hand, is a practice of “reminding” women and girls of the power we inherently hold simply because we are alive. It’s a power given to all by Source, the greatest power in the Universe, and from which we are all equally created. Re-powerment is ultimately a reminder of our inherent worth and dignity as Divine beings.
Now on to the 7 Pillars. Using research from the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania, we begin with the five core areas with the most promising solutions for women and girls globally. These five dimensions are inextricably linked and provide a holistic view of how to create the greatest impact:
- Health & Wellbeing
- Economic Empowerment
- Freedom from Violence
There is terrific work being done on the ground to address the issues that keep women and children disempowered. But is it enough? Are we moving women from a life of suppression and oppression quickly enough and at scale? What might we be missing?
Can we really make an impact on the re-powerment of women and girls if we’re living under the old constructs and beliefs of a patriarchal, hierarchical society? Constructs and beliefs around culture, religion, politics, business, education, and healthcare that we have accepted as truth. Until now.
The rise of the Divine Feminine on the planet is shifting the way we look at women and men, the roles we play, the privileges we have, where the power is held, and ultimately the imbalance that is prevalent in all sectors. It’s time to incorporate two long forgotten pillars into the women’s re-powerment movement and all sectors of society:
- Re-connecting to Mother Earth
- Restoring the Sacred
I believe these two anchor pillars merged with the five core pillars are the missing links to ending oppression, restoring equality for all, and ultimately saving our planet.
It’s time, SiStars, to shift the paradigm that has allowed the pandemic of “-isms”: sexism, racism, classism, etc…to fester and infect the health of our planet and all humanity. Over the next couple of months I’ll share more about how we do this together.
Be bold. Be Daring. Be AWE-DACIOUS!