This is not to say that protests have no value – because the second thing women can do to support women and freedom is to support their communities. From marches and protests to community gatherings and dinner table discussions, women in history have empowered other women by engaging other people in their communities to strengthen their own and others’ freedom.
Susan B. Anthony fought tirelessly in her community for women’s right to vote. Rosa Parks worked for equality for African-Americans when she refused to give up her seat on a bus. These women would not have accomplished these historical milestones without the help of and passion for their communities. Pollster Scott Rasmussen reminds us that “change always takes place from outside the political realm.” Women interact with multiple communities every day. A community can be created by sharing a common value or goal; it’s not just the neighbors next door.
Empowering others can happen in small ways too. For instance, in the workplace, we can amplify a woman’s voice or encourage her to speak up when she has an idea. When women work together at church, volunteer in an organization or join groups of friends for support, we are all being refined.
Deseret News Opinion Editor Boyd Matheson writes, “The answers to our problems shouldn’t come from a towering body of legislators; rather, they should originate from individuals who quietly and persistently promote change within their own communities.”
So, as we consider how we might promote equality and freedom for women in America and worldwide – before we look to elected leaders, let’s first look within ourselves.