We should empower the next generation

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By Denise DuBois

I was talking with one of our Channel 7 team members last week and she said something to me that reminded me of a passion I’ve long had but since forgotten. She said to me that a lot of young women don’t know their worth. They don’t realize what they possess, what they bring to the table, what they’re capable of. And I agree. The Lord instilled in me a passion for helping young women understand who they’re made to be.

Let’s take a look at what women’s lives were like over the last few hundred years:

The women of The Renaissance, like women of The Middle Ages, were denied all political rights and considered legally subject to their husbands. Women of all classes were expected to perform, first and foremost, the duties of housewife. Peasant women worked in the field alongside their husbands and ran the home.

Daily life for women in the early 1800s in Britain was that of many obligations and few choices. Some even compare the conditions of women in this time to a form of slavery. Women were completely controlled by the men in their lives. First, by their fathers, brothers and male relatives, and finally, by their husbands.

In the U.S. in 1844, married women in Maine became the first in the U.S. to win the right to “separate economy.” In 1845, women gained the right to file patents in New York. In 1848, the Married Woman’s Property Act was passed in New York. It was later used as a model for other states, all of which passed their own versions by 1900.

By the mid- to late 1800s, there were women who were able to go to college. In the 1900s, things were moving right along. Ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote—a right known as women suffrage.

All this came from a quick Google search because I wanted to see how different women are today. Today, American women have every right to be fierce, strong, financially independent, and anything else we want to be. We have the ability to work almost any job and succeed based on our own merit. We weren’t made to be the same as men. Rather, we’re meant to be everything a man isn’t (I’m not knocking men; this column is about building women up). But it seems that women sometimes fall short in the relationships department because we forget how amazing we were created to be. And that’s where my team member who started this conversation comes in. We discussed, as a topic for a TV show, how much young women need to be built up. We need to talk about issues teen girls and college-aged women face and how they can overcome with grace. We need to be open about fears of “being alone forever,” as some girls think, and reassure them that taking time to find the right person is not the same as being alone.

Women are accomplishing amazing things today. Today, ladies hold 24.8 percent of state government seats. In March of this year, an all-female flight crew circumnavigated the globe on Air India. They were the first to do so on a passenger plane. In March, a girls’ soccer team in Spain found a loophole in the rules and joined a boys’ league. They then defeated all 13 teams to win the championship. Kim Reynolds became the first female governor of Iowa in May. Only six states are led by women (including the awesome Alabama). In June, Lt. Col. Megan Brogden took command of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Special Forces Group Support Battalion. She was the first woman to lead a battalion within any of the Army’s Special Forces. In September, Beth Mowins called the play-by-play on Monday Night Football. After Hurricane Irma, Sister Margaret Ann wielded a chainsaw and cut through trees in her Miami neighborhood to help people. A teacher in Illinois tackled a student gunman in September, saving lives.

Women are capable of so much and young girls need to realize their potential. As the older generation, we need to set a good example and speak life over ourselves and girls. They’re going to mirror what they see. If teens and young adults see us being lazy or calling ourselves ugly or complaining about “adulting,” they’re not going to be different.

How can we invest in the generation coming up behind us? How can we show girls what they’re worth?

If you want to read the full article “50 Times Women Dominated in 2017” (where the above came from), search it on Marie Claire’s Web site.

Email me at  ddubois@citizenea.com