This was one of the messages I heard over and over at the UN’s 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York March 12 – 23 this year. Over 3,000 women gathered from every corner of the globe for this annual event in New York. I attended over 15 sessions in which international experts addressed women’s concerns, all globally connected. We are ALL dealing with Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking, Sexual Assault, Prostitution, Cyber Bullying, threats of war, and the impact of Climate Change. In one session, women from Wales were seated on my left, a Swedish leader on my right, and aJapanese delegation in front of me. We listened raptly to a woman leader from South Korea and her collaborator from North Korea share their experience of walking hand in hand across the DMZ. In another session, I listened to actress Mira Sortino and survivors of sex trafficking educate us on the horrors of that reality, and in another, female corporate leaders and journalists encouraged us to develop ourselves in the media.
Over and over, a resounding theme came through: Find Your Voice, and Find it Fast! We CAN make a difference!
Here is a list of action steps of how we women can find our voices, faster!
- March and carry a spunky sign!
- Collect data, then make a request of a group or politician. (Ex: Just how many rape kits have been sitting around for how long?)
- Submit yourself as an expert in your area of expertise to womensmediacenter.com/shesource
- Surround women (and girls) who are targets of online bullying with online kindness.
- Report incidents of vicious threats to the service provider and demand action.
- Join Toastmasters, and increase your confidence.
- Learn to use media to tell your story. Get on Twitter, Instagram, not just Facebook.
- Encourage others to tell their stories:
- Their children
- Join a group that shares your values.
- Write a letter to the editor, a politician, or a corporation. Get a collaborator if you need help researching facts or helping with grammar.
- Practice difficult conversations with your coach first. It’s amazing how much easier they become.
- Acknowledge other women for their courage.
- Ask your daughters for their opinions, then listen. Acknowledge them.
- Site your sources when sharing.
- Get a mentor, then be a mentor. Get a coach (different from a mentor!)
What? You think you have nothing to say? Here are some questions to ponder. Write about them in your journal:
What upsets you?
What needs to be changed?
When do you feel helpless?
Who shares your sentiment?
How do you see a group being victimized?
What outspoken female leader do you admire?
Your life experiences and your heart will speak…just listen. Then find your voice, and find it fast!
Ana Tampanna The Connecting Force, 336-768-9992 Ana@TheConnectingForce.com