For thousands of years women have been fighting. Fighting inequality, fighting for a say, a vote, fighting for equal rights, for opportunities and equal treatment in the workplace. And we have come a long way.
Our predecessors in the feminist fight have achieved great things. Women have benefited from these battles with solid progression. We are more ‘equal’ than we’ve ever been before. It’s thanks to pioneering women like the Suffragettes who fought for women’s right to vote, Hillary Clinton for breaking the glass ceiling, and most recently Tarana Burke for launching the #MeToo movement, that we have continued to progress in this arena.
But there is still far to go. We know that despite this change, women are at least 100 years away from pay parity.
At DrivenWoman we believe there is another way to help progress towards gender equality, and we believe that we need to change the conversation around women, empowerment and success. We agree that women should not shut and and put up with inequalities in the world, but we also believe that each woman can do something about this themselves.
It is easy to shout and protest especially in these times of online campaigning and social media, but we need to do more than just fight the patriarchal system.
Our Chief Doer Miisa Mink went on CNN Money Switzerland recently to discuss female empowerment and why gender equality does not have to be a fight.
Miisa talks about how the current patriarchal system was built based on the masculine values: competition, fight, conquer and a very linear view on success (winners vs losers, bigger vs smaller ..). and in that environment the feminine values and our ways of being have been overlooked, discriminated and sometimes abused.
We are very grateful for those who fought for our rights in the past and for those who still do. Many of us proudly support Women’s March and other campaigns that achieve a lot of publicity and bring continued voice and awareness to the plight of women.
However, the ‘fight’ is focused on changing the patriarchal system which has been proven reluctant to change, despite women’s relentless campaigning. In this interview Miisa talks about how we can start to build a completely new ecosystem. One that works for women, recognising their brilliance and acknowledging their needs.
For some women this means starting businesses that will help women combine work and family. For some this means leaving corporations where their feminine values are not appreciated and moving to companies with more balanced value systems. For some it may mean starting a campaign that addresses inequalities and helps others see what is wrong with the world eventually opening doors for the new ecosystem to emerge. All this work is equally valuable and of course there will be many other ways to do it too.
And we know, from experience that this change is not easy. It’s a journey that can take a long time, but we must start now. The interview on CNN Money provoked strong reactions, mostly positive:
Many people publicly supported this message of unity and action. But behind the scenes we also heard from some who were divided in opinion.
We received some messages of anger at Miisa’s comments – citing her as ‘unrespectful of the efforts of millions who have been fighting’.
And if you’ve been in a fight, in the workplace, at home, or in your daily life – you might feel this way too. And we get it, because we have every right to get angry at the inequalities around us – many of us have (or continue to) face the reality of inequalities in our work and in society.
However, does it have to be a battle of the sexes? Don’t men also suffer in the current system?
We know that they too want to combine family and career and have no idea why their female colleagues should be paid less. So how do we move forwards?
We change the conversation.
(In this Facebook Live Miisa continues the conversation, expanding on what she said in the CNN Money interview.)
We change the conversation and do more than fight and campaign. We take responsibility for our own lives, our own goals by first looking inside and asking “What do I want? What are the values I want to live by?” Then we start acting from a position of opportunity, not from a position of a victim.
In the Western world, women have better opportunities to be able to create our own opportunity if we are willing to look for new ideas, take a little bit of risk and accept that we will have to step outside of our comfort zone and put effort into reaching our new goals long- term.
Miisa and the DrivenWoman Network offers a new perspective where we women accept our own responsibility. Yes the system is unfair, we don’t get paid the same and sometimes we’re treated badly. And as long as we accept the daily struggle as a norm, the world will not change.
But everyone can start moving away from struggle. We may not be able to change our immediate situation overnight, but over time, gradually we can create a better situation for ourselves and others. This means committing to the path, taking small steps and not giving up. This is hard. Let’s stop complaining and pointing fingers and use this energy to create a new future for ourselves.
DrivenWoman is a platform that helps women start creating the kind of world they want by taking small steps consistently towards their goals and dreams.
Our purpose is to offer a safe space where women can come together to discover their confidence and rebuild themselves based on who they really are not what society expects. We can then go out in the world and do what is our calling.
This is not against anyone and therefore it’s not a fight. To build yourself up is to build a stronger world in peace.
Join us on this journey to help each other find our voices so that we can DO what needs to be done. We know that when women come together and take positive action, incredible things will happen.
Ps. DrivenWoman is not about being ‘right’, it’s about discovering our own path and therefore we can also have different opinions about things without losing respect. We’d love to hear your views, for and against. We’re looking forward to reading your comments.