It is inspiring to be part of an organization for which a core value is, “empower the poorest, especially women and girls, to transform their lives.” This aligns with my own personal mission to educate, motivate and inspire women to aggressively pursue their God-given purpose, one that I have been pursuing for nearly 20 years.
Our foundation has funded, among other things, research that tracks the status, education, health and other aspects of well-being for women around the globe. I was particularly interested then, to attend a recent discussion on “Masculinities” which was offering a report out on the results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey.
Even in the year 2016, it was disturbing to hear about all the discriminatory societal norms that are still impacting women and girls. For instance, in developing countries, adolescent girls carry the bulk of the domestic burden, there is less invested in their education compared to their brothers, they are expected to prioritize the health of others over their own, there is an effort to control their emerging sexuality, they often get married soon after puberty and many still undergo genital mutilation to ensure marriageability.
Given the preponderance of these social norms, it was not surprising when the results of the study, asking respondents if they agreed to the question, “There are times when a woman deserves to be beaten” reflected male agreement as high as 65%. As staggering as that percentage was to see, what I found even more incredulous was the percent of women who ALSO agreed with that statement!! Percentages were nearly as high as the men!
That’s right – these women had accepted as “normal” that there are times when they deserved to be beaten. That heart-breaking truth is the insidious side-effect of oppression. The oppressed will often wrap their self-worth around the oppression and believe as truth, whatever the oppressor says about them. The even sadder truth is that it is nearly impossible to change the realities for the oppressed without them first experiencing some sort of inner healing and transformation. Even Harriet Tubman, founder of the underground railroad, had to confront this truth when she said, “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”
You may cringe at these statistics from the developing world, but women all over the world are victims of similar oppression, just dressed up in a different disguise. I would bet that survey results would be just as shocking if we asked American women:
- Do you agree that overweight women are not as attractive as skinny women?
- Do you agree that women under 50 are sexier than women over 50?
- Do you agree that wearing makeup makes you look better?
These are just some of the obvious lies about women that we have accepted as truth, but there are many more regarding our beliefs about business, careers, finances and intelligence! For example, an evidence that we believe theses lies is seen in the fact that not only do men get paid more than women, but that women are actually less likely to even apply for and/or negotiate for a higher paying position!
Unfortunately, when you believe a lie, it is the lie and not the truth that will begin to direct your behavior. As a result, we self-sabotage our dreams, relationships, careers and don’t even know why! That is why self-assessment, knowing yourself, and self-reflection are always the first steps to personal transformation and personal success. Because, until you make the unconscious, conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate!
Where do you start to uncover and unpack your own self-limiting beliefs? Contact me for a FREE Discovery Session to see how we can partner together to strategize a path to your own personal success transformation!
As a Personal Success Strategist, I teach passionately about owning the power of your potential, redefining & reimagining life on your own terms, and making an indelible mark in your destiny through every season of life.
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