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Ways to empower health and support for women

Women make up half the U.S. population. However, access to healthcare, equal pay and other benefits still often allude women. In honor of Women’s History Month, let’s focus on women’s health services and access to care, while also exploring ways to offer support to women in our communities. Keep reading for ways to empower health and support for women.

Women’s History Month was first celebrated as a week in March in 1980. In 1987, the National Women’s History Project lobbied Congress to declare March as Women’s History Month.

While I appreciate having a month to recognize and celebrate women, the reality is that we need to be part of conversations every day. And women everywhere need to use our voices to push for positive impact in our lives. We can’t expect others to care about us if we don’t step up too.

The importance of recognizing women in healthcare

One of my big passions is healthcare advocacy and access to care for all. As a female cancer survivor, this area is very important to me. But women are unfortunately often marginalized in this area too. One in five women have felt that a health care provider has ignored or dismissed their symptoms. There are higher rates of misdiagnosis among female patients than males.

The Biden Administration recently announced a new women’s health research initiative, committing $12 billion to research and programs focused on improving care for women. This is important. Women’s health has been chronically underfunded and women are often left out of medical research programs.

I’m optimistic to hear this news, especially since menopause, osteoporosis, and other less-talked about issues will be focus areas. As a cancer survivor, I know how critical research, appropriate care and compassionate support are to living a healthy, happy life. And we ALL deserve that.

Ways to empower health and support for women

  1. Advocate for accessible healthcare and reproductive rights: Use your voice to support policies and initiatives that improve access to healthcare for women, particularly those from marginalized communities. Advocate for affordable healthcare options, reproductive rights, and culturally competent care that respects women’s autonomy and dignity. This includes voting for candidates who will protect women’s access to healthcare, based on her medical needs, not your religion.
  2. Educate and empower: Knowledge is power. Take the time to educate yourself and others about women’s health issues, including reproductive rights, mental wellness, menopause and more. Empower yourself with accurate information and encourage open conversations about health within your circles.
  3. Prioritize preventive care: Prevention is key to maintaining good health. Schedule regular check-ups, screenings, and vaccinations. Stay informed about recommended preventive care, such as mammograms, Pap smears, and HPV vaccinations, and make them a priority in your healthcare routine. [Read my ‘5 cancer screenings not to miss’ post.]
  4. Support women’s health organizations: Consider donating your time, resources, or funds to organizations dedicated to women’s health advocacy and support. These organizations play a vital role in advancing research, providing services, and promoting awareness of women’s health issues.
  5. Embrace self-care: Self-care is essential, not selfish. Take time to nurture your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Whether it’s practicing mindfulness, enjoying physical activity, or doing hobbies that bring you joy, embrace activities that replenish your spirit and promote holistic wellness.
  6. Foster supportive communities: Whether it’s through online forums, support groups, or community events, create connections that encourage women to share their experiences, seek guidance, and uplift one another on their journeys. I have been seeking out more women groups focused on shared interests, including hiking, travel, mindfulness/spirituality, entrepreneur, and health. These have been very empowering, helpful and fun for me! Check out local organizations, social media, community resources and more to find these communities.
  7. Stop judging and stereotyping based on pre-conceived, old-fashioned views: Stop judging our appearance and telling us what we should, and should not do, and look like. If someone wants to wear a short skirt or dress, it does not mean she deserves to be sexualized, attacked or judged. Teach your sons and nephews to respect and treat women politely. Encourage young girls and teens to pursue fields that they are underrepresented. Invite your daughter to help with yard work and tasks ‘typically’ given to males. 
  8. Provide mentorship and guidance: Share your knowledge, experiences, and skills to empower other women to pursue their goals and aspirations. I make it a point to work with young women, whether my nieces and their friends, a collegiate sorority chapter, young adult cancer survivor or young professional. I not only love helping other women succeed, but I also feel like it’s my responsibility to help foster our next generation.
  9. Support women-owned and led businesses: Supporting women-owned businesses helps empower women, provide financial support for a gender that typically is paid less than men and creates opportunities for women. If you’d like to support my (woman owned!) businesses, check out my Today I Choose online store and also spread the word about my speaking/workshops and PR/marketing business. I would be super grateful!

Let’s be in this together!

These are just a few ways to empower health and support for women. There are many more! At the end of the day, it benefits our communities to work together to celebrate and support all of us. My philosophy is always that we’re better together!

This Women’s History Month, let’s celebrate the remarkable resilience, strength, and spirit of women everywhere. By prioritizing women’s health, advocating for accessible care, and offering support in various forms, we honor the legacy of those who came before us and pave the way for a brighter, more equitable future for all women.

What other ways can we celebrate and support women? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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