What is The Power Woman Project?
The Power Woman Project is the very simple concept of giving women access to information that will improve their way of life. Emotionally, mentally, physically and economically.
Power Women are fiercely ambitious, vocal about their rights and passionate about taking responsibility for their own growth. Power Women take control of their lives in order to have full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms.
The Power Woman Project partners with South Africans who support women to take control of their life choices. The Power Woman Project is growing the next generation of economically independent women who will lead South Africa into real freedom.
The Power Woman Project began in 2016 after founder, Keri Stroebel, had gone through a bout of depression and had just come through the Mrs South Africa competition. After speaking at schools about her journey through not fitting in in high school and her difficulty with finding the right career in her 20’s. As I began speaking to young women in schools, and at events, I realised women needed more than a motivational speaker and some pretty goody bags. They needed real support, encouragement and for the rest of the sisterhood to truly be on their side. They needed a place where they could easily access support, knowledge and information, no matter their economic situation. Keri has been voted one of the Top 50 business women to watch in South Africa. The Power Woman Project is only beginning!
Why is it important?
Many women still believe that they don’t deserve the life they really want. We have come a long, long way since the days when women were still marching and fighting for our right to vote and work. However, the old thought processes that were engrained in previous generations still persist today. There are still many people who 1. Either don’t believe that women can do anything that men can do, 2. Think that empowering women means taking rights and opportunities away from men, or 3. Believe that women should still be submitting to men or are items for objectification and self-gratification.
Take a scroll through a post or news article about a woman who was sexually assaulted for example. There are still comments upon comments where women are victim blamed. Comments about the role that a woman played in her own assault, are more common that the actual blame that is placed on the perpetrator. Women continue to be objectified in movies and advertising campaigns. Stereotypes about women not being able to function during their periods, about how it’s their “job” to raise the kids and how they won’t do their jobs as well once they return to work.
Women today are still being raised to think that they are less important and less powerful than their male counterparts. Many women still believe that finding a husband is an accomplishment or life goal, that their looks and personalities need to be adjusted for the benefit of men. This is why we need these initiatives.
What is the role of men in all of this?
The role of men remains critical to the empowerment of women. Regardless of your sexuality, men matter, and the majority of men, are amazing human beings. Women empowerment is not anti men, or a man hating directive. Men and women can play an equal role in all aspects of society. There has to be balance. We need to be raising men who respect women and visa versa. We need to raise men who don’t accept misogynistic behaviour from their friends, colleagues and family members. We need men to stop blaming women for sexual assault. We as a society also need to give men permission to be vulnerable. Women and men have different qualities and strengths that make them different, and therefore complimentary. In the same way that we want permission to be feminine AND powerful, men should be allowed to be masculine and vulnerable. Toxic masculinity is no longer acceptable in our society.
This is about balance, and equality.
What is the goal?
When women are held back, we create a world where a huge part of the population cannot effectively contribute to our society.
The Power Woman Project is focused on the following goals”
- Creating safe spaces for conversations that are women specific, like reproductive health or gender based violence.
- Increasing the rate of literacy in underprivileged communities.
- Facilitating training on how women can take charge of their income, savings and financial future.
- Facilitating training on various job skills, particularly those in high demand in our country.
- Facilitating training on entrepreneurship.
- Hosting events and workshops that focus on building self confidence and sisterhood.
- Creating a platform where women have access to education in various fields.
- Open discussions about reproductive health and family planning.
- Countrywide networks that enable women to come together.
- Mentorship programs that include professionals who offer their time and skills to encourage our network.
- Resources of information, training and inspiration in the form of articles, online courses, seminars and webinars.
How are we going to do this?
Well, we’re going to get to work! My heart and soul lies in women empowerment. Every time I take a step back due to overwhelm, and attempt to focus on something else, I quite literally get sucked back in because my brain can’t focus on anything else. I sleep, breath, and live women empowerment, it is literally all I ever think about.
It’s pretty natural that because of this, I often feel like I’ve been working on this for years and years, when the reality is that it’s been two! Two years of evolution, as I meet more and more women who need different things from the movement. We need to allow this movement to evolve as our needs change.
The Power Woman Project was named for the singular – WOMAN, for a reason. It was not a typo. The project is you, the WOMAN.
The process is as follows:
- Our Facebook group will be our home base, where you will be able to ask, support and uplift other women. This group will ALWAYS be free to access.
- Monthly events will take place where we come together to meet and learn. Different topics depending on the need will be announced.
- Every two months, a networking evening of celebration and support which will be open to husbands and partners as well. They support us, they should be allowed to join us and enter our world.
- Our ambassadors will be working in our communities and taking our info to the women who need and want it, for free. This means we need sponsors who will support and engage with us, to educate women who do not have the same privileges as we do.
- Hosting events in other provinces will of course be rolled out. The network is the heartbeat of Power Woman Project. More information on this coming soon.