March 15, 2017

 

 

On March 8, millions around the world supported women’s issues through protests, demonstrations, and by donning the color red. International Women’s Day serves as a day to celebrate how far society has come and serves as a powerful reminder of all we have left to do to truly achieve equality for women around the globe.

 

Unfortunately, feminism as a term has baggage.  It is seen as an “us versus them” argument, with rhetoric that positions men as opponents; intentionally or not. The truth is, we all share a common goal and we need to use language that brings us together – not divides us.

 

When it comes to women’s issues - it’s more than what you say, but how you are heard. By using the right language you stand to make a positive contribution and bring people together.

 

  • Empathy is essential.  Acknowledge how women feel. It’s important to identify with women, whether you’re a man, woman, or brand speaking about the issues. You want to let a group know they’re heard and their concerns are valid because you recognize them too.

 

language to use

You have told us these issues are important and we agree…

We understand these are important issues to you…

 
  • Take ownership. Show that you have a stake in the conversation too and that some onus falls on your shoulders to address the issue in the future.

 

language to use

We take our responsibility to women’s rights seriously…

We are committing to creating an environment where women and men are equals in every way…

 
  • Actions speak loudly.  Talk about what you’re doing moving forward, not solely what you’ve done in the past. It’s important to demonstrate continuous momentum around ongoing issues like women’s rights. It’s great if you’ve already established a program that helps women in the workplace, but people will want to see what you’re actively doing today.

 

language to use

We are proud of XYZ program, and we are committing to XYZ going forward. We’re thinking not just about today, but years from now…

…We know this is just the beginning. We are focused on continually improving…

 

 

  • Cite what you’re for, not against. Stay away from negative language and put-downs. Remain positive and speak to who you’re working with or what you’re working for, despite any disagreements you may have.

 

language to lose

language to use

We can’t afford to let another day go by where a woman is overlooked

Imagine a world where we all know that our daughters will have the same opportunities as our sons.  Imagine a world, where we know that women’s rights are human rights no matter where you are in the world. 

 

 

  • Cite common goals with the public. You can increase your chance to be heard by speaking from a place of common ground via your shared goals.

 

language to use

We can all agree…

We all care about…

Our goal must always be…

 

 

In a controversial space, it’s best to begin and end on common ground. To make the biggest positive impact, don’t talk about an issue without becoming a part of it.

 

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