Since starting this website in June 2011, I have noticed a couple of things and thought that I would go through my vision and objectives again to see where we are at;
“Is to flood the internet and the media with images and stories of real women, enhancing the positive image of women which, in turn will enhance each woman’s image of themselves, helping them to change the world one woman at a time”
I created this forum in June 2011 to encourage discussion around self-esteem for women, and since then the focus has expanded and solidified. This forum is only my first step. It will discuss general issues of women’s equality and a woman’s place in the world. It will promote health and well-being and push the boundaries of change for women. The emphasis for Changing Women is on the positive, always striving to explore positive strategies for change rather than focusing on the negative aspects of inequality.
At this moment, this site has had over 11,000 hits, we have more than 100 followers on the blog and Facebook and a further 300 or so on Twitter @changingwomen1 and about 30 on our LinkedIn group. So all in all, we are doing pretty well.
The major thing that I have noticed is how many similar websites and blogs have sprung up over the last 2 and a half years, and this is fantastic! More and more women are ‘getting off the sideslines’ to quote Kristen Gelibrand the US Senator and doing something about their lives and making a difference for change. There is even another Changing Women Facebook page! I will put a list of the other sites that I know of and am following at the bottom of this article, but suffice to say – we are mobilising! Women everywhere want change and are really doing something about changing themselves, others and the way the world operates. Keep up the good work!
In June 2011 when I started, these were my main Objectives for the Forum;
1. To flood the internet with positive images and stories of real Changing Women by encouraging women to register and contribute their own stories and photos to the site;
In a way, I hope that this forum has contributed in a small way to the abundance of sites, blogs and articles that are telling the stories of real women. Many of you contributed your comments, photos and stories and I appreciate that you felt that you could share them with us. Many more images of real women have been posted to the gallery, and whilst there is much more that could be done, this is a start.
2. To interview as many “Women of Change” as possible so that we further flood the internet with positive stories of real women, creating many positive role models for women and girls;
I interviewed a number of women directly and spoke to many more in person at various events and still there are more stories being posted across the internet on additional sites and web communities. The stories of women are being told everywhere and it is truly wonderful. We need to retell history as many many women’s stories have been left out.
3. To collect the stories of older women that demonstrate the progress of previous women’s movements – stories of the past told by the women themselves;
There is still an opportunity to do this and I will try to interview more in the coming year. Everyone has a story, and what I found by talking to older women was that they were surprised that anyone would even be interested in their story!
4. To promote realistic design paradigms for women’s fashion by working with designers to recognise the Changing Women’s body. Enabling comfortable stylish clothes for women will help more women to “Embrace their Shape” and to live free of the pressure of the fashion industry and media. Let us change the model of what it is to look like a woman!
After speaking to and writing to a number of fashion houses, I think that we are well on the way to changing the way that our clothes fit and are designed. There is still a way to go, but at least now you can find comfortable fitting, stylish clothes at a reasonable price at both the lower end of the market and the top end and there are some examples of this throughout this blog site. Check out the Fashion section on the menu for more stories about fashion.
5. To discuss the many issues of body image, and to highlight issues of behaviour and inequality that effect self-esteem.
We have certainly covered a number of topics on Changing Women! Body image and self esteem have been constants and the gallery of photographs is one of the most visited pages on the site. Whilst I would like many more positive images, this takes time and the website is not yet set up for people to easily add their own profiles and photos, so this section will just develop as there is available time.
6. To work collaboratively in developing positive solutions for change across corporate, industry and government so we see a greater number of female leaders take their places as decision makers.
Over the last two years I have been working with a number of women’s and men’s organisations to find out how we might best instigate changing behaviours, and how we might “Change the world one woman at a time”. I am now heavily involved in research and consulting around what I call Gender Economics and Diversity Economics and have also started planning for the launch of the Female Investor Network around June this year to help women become investors in emerging and sustainable companies. This is one way that women can achieve decision making input to the economy first hand, they can also practice their management and Directorship skills for those women that want to take up a leadership role in a corporate, or if they are building their own business and want the first hand skills of capital raising and share floats.
One of the most surprising things that I found during this time with Changing Women is the number of men that respond to, or follow the blogs. I have had discussions with many men in countries like India, Korea, the US and the UK as well as Australia and the comments have been interesting, but the major takeaway for me is that men want change as much as women do. Some of the comments that I have received have been surprising. Many angry young men speaking to me over twitter start out very hostile to my tweets and then after a few tweets back and forward they become positive and start to open up about their frustrations. Many of these young men are disconcerted, uncomfortable and confused by the trend of young women to be overtly sexy, to drink to excess and to basically behave in aggressive ways that we mostly associate with young men. Whilst women have come along way, men are largely floundering, but the strongest messages that I got from many of these young men was that they want ‘substance’.
It is important to note that this forum is not restricted to Women. I welcome anyone to join.
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SOME OTHER GREAT CHANGING WOMEN SITES THAT I HAVE FOUND