Make women’s empowerment a daily practice

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Cornell Chuaseco

Some Golden Eagle students took the time to share their thoughts on women’s empowerment.

Denis Akbari, Intern Reporter

Rape, low prosecution rates, threats to abortion and reproductive services. These were all on the minds of Cal State LA students during Women’s History Month.

Golden Eagles took the time to reflect on what women’s empowerment truly means to them and how they can contribute to social change every day. Many felt it was important to focus on supporting diversity and women of all backgrounds.

Mariana Ruvalcaba, a communications major, shared that women’s empowerment means learning from other women and understanding the differences that make women who they are.

“I think women’s empowerment is inspiring women to be the best they can be,” Ruvalcaba said. “However to me, women’s empowerment means accepting all women for who they are and acknowledging differences in age, race, sexual orientation, abilities and much more.”

Psychology major Charlize Molina said that in her opinion, women’s empowerment can be defined as women regaining a sense of self.

“They have self worth, they’re independent and they have the power to create change,” she said. “Women’s empowerment to me means women taking charge of self improvement.”

Ruth Hernandez, who is pursuing a master’s in political science, likes to highlight and strengthen women’s voices as well as promoting the advancement of women in society.

“Historically, women have been marginalized and stripped of many rights,”Hernandez said. “There has been much progress since those times, yet in many states women do not have the right to make decisions over their body, and many times, the legal system does a terrible job in protecting women from violence.”

Hernandez finds the low prosecution rate of sexual assault reporters to be telling.

Out of 1,000 sexual assaults that happen, 975 perpetratures will walk free, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). RAINN also states on their website that data shows it is rare that sexual assault is even reported to police due in part to stigma and lack of knowledge about the process or resources.

Political science major Elba Castellanos believes that women’s empowerment is about uplifting and advocating for women.

“I think women should be respected in the workplace in regards to equal pay and recognition and they should be respected in their reproductive choices such as access to abortion and health care,” Castellanos said. “I know those are the most common areas, but that’s the point. It’s common because they’ve been injustices for such a long time.”

Sonrisa Lopez, a business administration major, believes women’s empowerment wants to build a society that supports women.

 

“We often hear about women that succeeded despite their hardships as women,” Lopez said. “I would rather hear that women succeeded because of their environment and that is when we will stop feeling the need to ask these types of questions.”

Castellanos and Ruvalcaba agree on practices they do daily to empower women, such as listening to women and respecting their choices.

“In my daily life, I empower women by supporting them and encouraging them to make decisions that will later empower other women,” Ruvalcaba said.

Molina and Hernandez empower women by supporting women-owned businesses and making a point to spread kindness.

“I empower women in my daily life by using my personal struggles to voice solutions to various problems, such as underrepresentation in the workplace that women face,” Hernandez said.

Lopez empowers women daily by looking out for women she sees regularly.

“If a woman tells me about an experience where they were discriminated against, I support them by making sure they know resources designed to help them,” she said.

Castellanos and Lopez agree on the way they have celebrated Women’s History Month, which is by reading books written by women authors such as Rachel Swaby and showing appreciation to all women.

Hernandez celebrated Women’s History Month by advocating on the issues women have faced throughout history.

“I have been sharing the stories of women that inspire me the most, hoping to educate others a little more,” she said.

Ruvalcaba and Molina spent Women’s History Month focusing on themselves and fully embracing the women that they are.

“During Women’s History Month, I have not only supported other women in their journey to self improvement, but I have finally started mine,” Molina said.