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A Call To Women Everywhere: It Is Time to Arise and Take Back Your Glory is Now

A Call To Women Everywhere: It Is Time to Arise and Take Back Your Glory is Now

Calling All Lionesses To Arise and Take Back Their Glory 

This one is for all the ladies out there that are sick and tired of being treated as nothing more than an object for a man’s needs and desires. The ladies out there that are tired of crying tainted tears of rejection and abandonment. The ladies out there who are desperately looking for their worth and are starting to realize it is not in the slap of her butt or the long-awaited touch of a busy man.

Distorted Image of Who We Are

No matter how much we believe we have received an equal standing with men, the reality of the matter is: we are still seen as the weakest link, the worst drivers, and as individuals whose place are at home cooking dinner and taking care of the children that we love but that we might have had before we were ready and had the opportunity to accomplish our dreams.

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Unfortunately, due to our inability to see past the propaganda bombarded on top of us by the various outlets in the world today, we believe that the balance between women and men are even and that we no longer have to pay any mind to the whispering of an “Us vs Them” battle. Yet, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, in 2015, women received 79 cents for every dollar earned by men – giving us a gender wage gap of 21%. It should be clear that men and women are still circling each other in the boxing ring and that the majority of women are forfeiting the fight and putting their hands up in surrender.

Catalyst, a non-profit organization with a mission to accelerate the progress of women in society, gave us a more global view on this issue. In Australia, the gender wage gap is 18%. In Germany, it is 13.4%. In Japan, it is a whopping 26.6%. In Mexico, it is 18.3%. Lastly, in the United Kingdom, it is 17.4% (we shall see what happens to this statistic as time goes by since their departure from the EU).

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This is only in the workplace, but there are many other avenues where women are still subject to abuse and rejection. It seems women are under the impression that they have to succumb to the ideal picture society – which is mostly dictated by men – set out for them to be. As a result, they take extreme and many times, dangerous measures to comply to this “ideal picture.” They have to look a certain way in order to be considered beautiful and worthy. They have to own certain things in order to be considered important. Most of all, they have to behave and think in a certain way in order to avoid being rejected and labeled as “odd”.

Where Has Our Sense of Equality Gone?

What has happened to the spirit of the lioness fighting to find her voice amidst the curses of the repelled man wanting to contain and imprison the wonder that is woman? What has happened to the unity we use to have as lionesses, working towards a cause that is brighter for us all? Today, we would rather spend time criticizing and breaking each other down in order to feel better. We would rather spend time begging a man to give us a few minutes of his time and attention, even if that means changing who we are in the process.

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It is jaw-dropping to see the level we have sunk to as roaring and influential individuals, but most of all, it is terrifying to watch how we have forgotten the legacy of the powerful women fighting for the “equality” we have today. Yet, the pivotal point that truly alarms me is the legacy we are leaving for our daughters, our sisters, our nieces – the generation of tomorrow. I look at what follows us and I am morbidly saddened – they are looking at our ways of doing and thinking, and they are naively and innocently repeating it.

Can we stand proud at the example we are giving them? Can we really stand blameless in the face of all the unwanted teen pregnancies and suicide – all the physical and emotional abuse that young women are suffering under today?

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It Is In Our Hands, Now Arise

Ladies, it is time to remember our worth.

It is time to remember the roaring lionesses that we are and that no one in their right mind would dare mess with. It is time that we stop our bickering and criticizing, come together in unity and teach the cubs – and by cubs, I mean the girls and the boys of tomorrow – that they are worthy and influential beyond measure. We should teach them that there is absolutely nothing wrong or “faulty” with the way they look and act, that the thing that makes them stand out as unique individuals, is also the thing that will make them an invincible force of nature.

We have to get out of our selfish bubble of comfort and start thinking about tomorrow. Let us not abandon the responsibility we have towards the future. Let us start arising with the knowledge that we are powerful forces of light made to demolish darkness, we have a mission, a purpose – let us start to live it!

Featured photo credit: Cara Delevingne via xtrafondos.com

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Bianca Gouws

Freelance Writer, Director and Actress

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

Reference

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