In celebration of International Friendship Day, we are paying a huge tribute to all of the women in our lives, past and present.
In this article, we honor the benefits of women's empowerment. You’ll also get inspiration on how to support your friends and the women in your lives, along with learning why it is so important.
Why Is It Important For Women To Work Together?
Women must work together as it helps socio-economic status, and emotional, mental, and physical health. There are vast amounts of research that prove the importance of women supporting women.
The research confirms the benefit of female support all the way from doula support during childbirth and support in civil rights reinforcement, to breast cancer support groups.
Although not all of us choose to have kids (or can have kids), there is a lovely African proverb that reminds us “It takes a village to raise a child”. And whilst this proverb seemingly centers around motherhood, the wisdom extends well beyond into womanhood.
The proverb reminds us of our unique ancestral lineage, and how many hearts have unknowingly touched our lives. And it also reminds us that life is not a journey that you should walk alone. Through the ongoing battle of wise women reclaiming their power from the grasp of gender inequality, we have developed some contradicting ideas of how to move forward as individuals and communities. And not all of them are helpful.
Have you ever heard of the frog in the boiling water analogy? The boiling frog story describes that if a frog is put into boiling hot water, it will jump out to save itself. However, when the frog is put into cold water, and the water is slowly heated until boiling point, the frog doesn’t perceive the danger or save itself from death.
It’s an interesting analogy that has been used to describe many environmental and civil rights issues around the world. And it is also relevant for the modern women’s civil rights movement. There are many of us who do not perceive or notice that the chains of patriarchy still exist. However, they unquestionably do across the board from access to finance, education, healthcare, positions of power, and equal opportunities.
In 2021, Janelle Jones wrote a piece for the US Department of Labor blog that highlights some uncomfortable truths about the gender wage gap.¹ The differences vary depending on the circumstance but she notes that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of 2020, on average women earn 82.3% in comparison to the salary of a male. The figures for women of color are even more shocking. Black and Latina women with a bachelor’s degree earn 65% compared to the salary of a white man of the same educational status. There has been a lot of progress in gender equality since the formation of the Suffragettes in 1903. But there is still a long way to go to close the gender gap.
As the beautiful journey of female empowerment marches on throughout magical circles of fearless wise women across the globe, the reminder to unite and hold hands has never been more important. Making your way through self-empowerment encourages you to be strong, sovereign, and independent. But this can sometimes lead women into distancing themselves from other women, or even worse - seeing them as competition.
But the truth is other women are not your competition or the captor in your journey of self-empowerment or equality. All women - irrespective of age, race, sexual, gender, religious, or cultural identity - are your allies. In fact, all oppressed minorities are your allies. This is why the most recent years of BLM (Black Lives Matter) and LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer+) protests have seen a huge unity of support between the two movements, and it’s truly remarkable.
Your self-empowerment flourishes when you unite with other women and minorities, as does theirs. There is power in numbers. Asides from choosing to support the development of a world which protects the earth, and treats all sentient beings fairly, there are huge benefits of shared female empowerment.
Why Female Friendships Are So Important
It is incredibly healthy to have female friendships where you can rely on each other for support. Can I get a hand raise for those who struggle sometimes - Right? Life isn’t always easy. In the midst of the million different roles, you juggle daily as an employee, boss, business owner, friend, therapist, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, mother, granddaughter, and Google certified doctor for your kids - you too need support.
As women, we have gotten so wrapped up in trying to drop the label of being the ‘weaker race’, that the flip side results in us feeling shame for needing help and support. Can we get a break over here? *Frantically waves white flag*.
It doesn’t make you weak for needing, wanting, or loving support. It is so important for your mental, emotional, and physical health to have other women to lean on for the shared joy and struggles of life. Needing support makes you unquestionably normal and human.
In sustainability, we often talk about circular systems. Meaning that nothing is wasted, and everything is in a continual feedback loop. Female friendships are the same, the energy you spend in supporting the women around you, comes directly back to benefit you. Also known as ‘karma’ for the crystal-wearing moon dancers.
Every time you see a woman needing support, or feel ashamed for needing it yourself, please remember that - it takes a village to raise a child.
Key Benefits Of Women Supporting Women + Female Empowerment
- Improved Mental Health + Emotional Health
- Decrease In Stress
- Enhancement Of Inner Strength + Power
- Overall Increase In Positivity
- Improved Physical Health + Accountability For Self-Care
- Economic Benefits Of Women Being Educated + Women's Participation In The Labor Force
- Better Birth Outcomes For Women Supported During Childbirth
- Lower Risk Of Addiction + Self Sabotaging Behaviour
- Lower Societal Cost Of Healthcare Due To Mental, Emotional, And Physical Effects Of Oppression, Loneliness + Isolation
How To Honor A Woman
Show her that you care, in whatever way feels intuitively right. This does not necessarily need to be in the form of ‘things’ or money spent… But if you’re looking for a little somethin’ somethin’ to support women-owned brands and the special women in your life, then here are some great gift ideas for International Friendship Day.
Women have to work so hard, just to get the same level of financial freedom or education in comparison to our male counterparts that self-care is integral to our survival. But who wants to survive? Let’s thrive. These gift ideas support the environment, the land you leave the next generation, and your self-love empowerment.
One of my personal faves is the Āthr Beauty Palettes. For busy women, looking after the way we look can often be the first responsibility that gets left behind because it is deemed as non-essential for survival.
But here’s the thing ladies - looking after the way you look means that you thrive in every other aspect of your life. You feel more powerful, motivated, and energized. Looking after the way you look and feel is the biggest investment you can make towards your self-empowerment.
The Āthr Beauty Joshua Tree Eyeshadow Palette is perfect for that bold, charismatic, and confident friend that loves to show her beautiful personality through her makeup. Complete with earthy tones for those days in the office or dropping the kids to school, to mauves, blues, and violets for dinner with the ladies.
The Āthr Beauty Ametrine Crystal Eyeshadow Quad and Topaz Crystal Eyeshadow Quad are also delicious. The Āthr Beauty Ametrine Crystal Eyeshadow Quad is a palette of nude and earthy mauve metallics with cool pink undertones. And one of the best parts is that it is infused with real healing ametrine and citrine gemstone crystals.
The Topaz Crystal Eyeshadow Quad is a palette of golden beige and bronze earthy metallics with a dose of real healing topaz gemstone crystal. The Āthr Beauty eyeshadows are highly pigmented and formulated with sustainable clean beauty in mind. The smooth texture and infusion of organic skincare oils and butter such as Fair Trade shea butter, Fair Trade coconut oil, organic rosa canina seed oil, and cannabis sativa seed oil mean that they are a delight to apply and nourish the skin.
My next personal favorite is to encourage the beauty, empowerment, and inspirational sleep of the women in your circle. How do you do this? With the Silk Essential Travel Gift Set. This set inspires the women in your life to get a good night’s sleep, nourish health through proper rejuvenation and downtime, and book holidays and travel. Gosh, all wrapped up in one gift.
This Luxurious Silk Essential Travel Gift Set smells of indulgent self-care and self-love. It comes complete with a 30 momme pure silk pillowcase, 22 momme extra-wide silk eye mask, and pure silk face mask. Light pollution is a massive issue in our modern world, and clinical research shows it affects our ability to sleep properly, heal and restore.
The eye mask helps to block out sleep-disrupting light pollution, the face mask enhances proper ventilation and breathing for naps on the go, and the silk pillow protects and nourishes the hair, minimizing the chance of hair damage and split ends.
How Do You Support A Woman?
There are so many ways that you can support women's rights, empower women, and yourself. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Let your friends know that you are there to support them however you can - emotionally, mentally, physically.
- Support individual choices without judgment.
- Don’t shame others for making different choices than you.
- Encourage other women to engage with revolutionary education and higher education. Knowledge is power.
- Take the time to nurture your friendships, and inspire each other to live the lives of your dreams.
- Choose to support each other’s business financially. Buy from women-owned or minority-owned brands wherever possible.
- Participate in civil rights discussions and events. Support the women's rights movement.
- Join women's groups that focus on gender equity, female education, women's representation in the labor force, women's employment, gender diversity, women’s leadership, and intersectional women's advancement.
- Use your voice in the workplace to speak up on gender stereotypes and gender inequality, or support women who do.
- Volunteer for (or fund) community projects that support working women, indigenous women, adolescent girls, women in developing countries, domestic violence victims, and the eradication of child marriage and sexual harassment.
- Disconnect from any form of media that encourages women to adopt low self-esteem or self-worth. Defund companies that rely on women purchasing their products through adopting a sense of low self-worth.
Happy International Friendship Day. We hope you have a great day nourishing your connection to other women. Remember the importance of cultivating circles of women in your life that are uplifting, supportive, and nurturing for the benefit of us all.
All of the brands Fait avec Coeur promote are cruelty-free, sustainably and ethically sourced and made, and are manufactured using low-waste or plastic-free packaging.
Carmen Lee is a certified yoga teacher, childbirth doula, and wellness coach. She educates on womb wellness, sacred wisdom, and ancestral-connected living. You’ll find her passionately advocating radical self-care and transformational self-empowerment through sustainable beauty and self-love rituals.
Some of the products promoted in our blog are from our online store. Many others are brands we have researched and found to be great examples of sustainable, ethical, and innovative brands in their field, and we don't make any profit from mentioning them in our blog. #CollaborationOverCompetition