Women empowerment starts with me. The way I think and speak with myself. How I feel about myself, what I believe is possible for me. It contains personal care of my body, mind and spirit. How I treat myself when no one is around. How I use my skills, talents and how I choose to educate myself and create a life that I truly desire, without fear, excuses or limiting beliefs.

Knowing my rights and speaking up for myself and others, is another important component that becomes stronger as my confidence grows.

As I feel empowered to be and do whatever my heart desires I embody personal power. Through my example, I can inspire other women to achieve, cultivate and embody, step into and claim their own version of personal power.

I believe that there is a strong desire in many women to pass on their expertise and lift up others through sharing their experiences. This is the next step of empowerment.

When women feel confident, strong and capable to achieve whatever they want to do and see evidence in their life that there are no restrictions, excuses because of gender, they naturally embrace a new vision of life and opportunities.

I picture a world where a girl doesn’t understand anymore why we had to fight, stand up and demand equal rights for women. I see women passing on their knowledge, experience, and confidence to their sons and daughters, coworkers and friends freely and generously, regardless of gender, sex, nationality, religion or culture.

I was born and raised in Austria and moved to Canada in my early twenties. I have lived longer in Canada than in Austria, yet I don’t feel like I am a “true Canadian” since I wasn’t born here. Yet, at the same time I don’t feel like a true Austrian either, since I have changed.

Over the years I have discovered a space between the two cultures, which I feel I inhabit. This space has allowed me to take everything Austrian that I value and appreciate and to incorporate it in my life. I have done the same with Canada. One might say I am an Austro-Canadian, a hybrid of the two cultures. Yet, I feel that I was able to create, step into my true self in this space. This space allowed me to invent, create myself as I saw fit.

I strongly  believe that today’s women also have access to this space between two cultures.

One of them is what we were raised to believe about being a woman and the other is what we as women expected to be in, what used to be a men’s world. Trying to consolidate what our mothers told us about being a woman, and what the realities of life taught us was often a precarious balancing act.

We don’t have to reject one or the other, we can pick and choose what has the most value for us as a person. When we are capable of doing this, we bridge the gap between the two seemingly opposite sides. As an immigrant I always knew that my experiences in both worlds brought the two closer together, through my love, appreciation for both countries and my personal experiences and knowledge.

How can you take steps towards women empowerment?

Start by listening to yourself. What kind of person are you yearning to be? What kind of restrictions, limiting beliefs does your own mind come up with when you dare to ask for what you desire? Listen to other women; ask them about their dreams, goals, problems and difficulties. Share your own thoughts and struggles. Start to acknowledge your strengths and abilities. Celebrate your accomplishments and encourage others to strive towards their goals. Write and speak about your experiences and share your expertise with others.

 I envision and work towards a world where every woman can dream about and accomplish any goal that she wants to, without any restriction, apologies or excuses.

Text by Karin Goldgruber Photo courtesy of Anna Shvets pexels-rfstudio-3810753, Mati Mango pexels-rfstudio-381o832 and Anna Shvets pexels-anna-shvets-4672559