Over the next few months we’re going to be sharing a series of posts about what it means to ‘empower women’, to people around the world. Inspiring women from around the globe shared how they empower women through what they do and the action behind these words.
This week we’re sharing Here for Herfounder, Rachel Ettinger’s story. She shares her thoughts on the meaning of female empowerment and how she’s helping women change the stigma around feminine health.
What does it mean to you to empower women?
“This is one of my favourite discussions. Many women, in many industries, easily throw out the term “female empowerment” but then the words are not put into action.
Empowering women means many things; such as giving them an outlet to voice their opinions, being listened to, being supported and basically giving women the tools that are needed to allow them to take control, to make change, to take a stand and therefore feel valued.”
How are you empowering women through what you do?
“With Here for Her, I’m creating an environment where women feel comfortable speaking out and taking control of their health issues and that empowerment will hopefully lead them to feel more confident in other areas of their lives. I feel that empowering women means to provide an outlet for them to embrace themselves and to feel confident and valued.
The idea of Here for Her is to create open discussions about women’s health issues, such as periods, birth control, sex, body image, eating disorders, fertility, pregnancy & other vagina-related issues! Women can open up comfortably about their health, relate to others who identify as female, and educate themselves on women’s health issues as well. I’ve tried a billion different birth control pills (the struggle is real!) and because my family is in the healthcare profession, we discuss these topics quite often and it’s normal for us – but it’s not like that for everyone.”
“Women’s health issues are natural and should be discussed openly and there’s no need for us to PANIC when we drop a tampon on the way to the washroom (we’ve all done it!) OR how about the classic calling in sick to work when really you have the most HORRIBLE cramps and you can’t breathe.
Using my radio/tv platform I decided that it was the perfect time to talk openly about my own health issues in the hope that women will join together to discuss these issues in public and work to remove the stigma. Once we create awareness about periods and vaginas, THEN we can seriously create change, such as addressing the cost surrounding feminine hygiene products in general! Why aren’t these products free in public bathrooms, just like toilet paper?
Here for Her is not just about being proud of wearing your pink PERIOD sweater (which is super cool) but also about creating sustainable ways to improve health for women.”