Recently, Labour MP Jess Phillips won special dispensation from the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons to b real time limits and read out a list of over 100 women killed by male violence over the past year.
The list of names was supplied by Karen Ingala Smith from the Counting Dead Women Project.
A few things struck me:
- First, how sad it is that there is a need for Counting Dead Women Project.
2. A number of the women on the list read out by Jess would have likely experienced months/years of anxiety, depression, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness or being abused in their own homes as well as on the streets
3. Why aren’t we more shocked about the violence experienced by our mothers, sisters, daughters?
It is a huge problem with no easy, one size fix solution. For me, in situations of domestic violence, empowerment and self belief is key. No one can move forward when they believe the negativity drip fed to them over time by their abuser(s).
I have delivered empowerment components to all participants of the employment programmes I’ve compiled from the Real Apprentice to Growing Talent. Throughout lockdown, I’ve delivered various workshops voluntarily including empowerment to clients of JobCentre Plus.
In these workshops we discussed:
- Definition of empowerment
- What stops us moving forward
- Dealing with procrastination
- Personal roadmap
- Identifying your purpose
- Selfcare toolkit
Feedback on the workshops included:
“This workshop helped me change and adapt a more positive mindset to navigate the hard times in life” Chui Yen
“I learned that we should not be afraid to take risks, face our fears no matter the circumstances and to not hold back.” Elizabeth P.
“The atmosphere was relaxed and hearing the facilitators experiences put things in perspective. The session was very clear and stuck to the point.” Karen
“I loved the session. In 2 hours a huge amount of thought provoking points.” Magda
” I have learnt new techniques to empower myself” Malie
“I will definitely be adopting the tools shared – affirmations, 5 second brain hack etc” Samantha
“The workshop was a good confidence boost and gave me alternative ways of looking at things. I gained more knowledge than I expected to” Trish
Out of these energising, interactive workshops, a request to form an on-going Womens’ Empowerment Network Group was requested. The inaugural one takes place tomorrow.
For me, building women’s self-confidence and self-worth is key to their empowerment to leave toxic relationships. Big journeys start with one single brave step.
Of course women’s empowerment is just one tool to improve society’s safety.