Is it true that women are their worst enemy? (Photo: iStock)

The idea that women are their own worst enemies is one that has been repeatedly debated as a barrier to gender realizing its full potential.

In 2010, The Guardian reported that a survey of 3,000 women at the time proved that women are their own worst enemies.

“Nearly 85% of those who took part in the 50-question survey admitted to having suffered severe and upsetting beatings at the hands of other women,” The Guardian wrote in the report, “Women are their own worst enemies. , according to a study. .’

The article added: ‘They reported that many of their female friendships had an ‘intense and sinister underbelly’, characterized by ‘intra-female incivility’ and insidious ‘gratuitous negativity’. More than 75% had been hurt by jealousy and competition from a friend.

Whether in school, in business, or in politics, if women stood together, they would shine alongside their male counterparts in all walks of life.

Supporting a woman is so good for a woman that Forbes reports that those who do end up being more successful.

“A new Harvard Business Review study finds that if both men and women benefit from a network of well-connected peers in different groups, women who also have a tight circle of close female contacts are more likely to land jobs. leadership with greater authority and higher pay,” the business magazine wrote in its report, Power of the Pack: Women Who Support Women Do More.

Standard Digital discussed the concept of women supporting women, with a focus on whether women support each other and how far they have to go to have the same opportunities as men.

At the Twitter Spaces chat held each Wednesday, over 1,700 listeners tuned in, a mix of men and women, mostly Kenyan.

Women are often jealous and hurt by the success of their friends (Photo: iStock)

Myth or reality ?

They pondered the question; ‘Are women supporting women a myth or a reality?’

Dinah Twumasi, who is passionate about empowering women, said women are very supportive when it comes to family matters.

But that challenge comes when they are expected to support each other in taking on leadership roles, more so in politics.

“We all need to come forward and find out what is really holding us back from supporting each other 100% in leadership. We have, however, made some successful gains,” Twumasi said.

“If we support women in leadership; this is when women will become bold to pursue leadership opportunities and do more in the space.

Twumasi blamed any hostility between women on “cultural and societal foundations”, which she said everyone must unlearn.

Twumasi said that traditionally in African society, women have been taught to compete for men’s attention and approval rather than participating in healthy competition that is good for their education, careers and businesses.

“We taught the little girl to be simple, to know how to cook, to dress well. We tell them, ‘like a girl knows how to do this so you get a good man to marry you,’” she said.

“But when you have two boys at home and there’s a family dispute or an issue that the elders are meeting to talk about, you’ll find the boy sitting around even if he’s not contributing.”

In this sense, Twumasi argued that while one gender learns to compete for leadership opportunities, the other learns to compete for the “male gaze”.

She said, however, that women support each other in many ways, setting an example of what is happening on social media and social networking sites.

Don’t teach women to fight for men’s attention (Photo: iStock)

Throw under the bus

“Generally and on a large scale, women do support women. Take here on Twitter for example. When a woman is in distress and she takes it here, we have a crowd of women who rally to her side. Of course, we will still have few cases where one or two will throw their companion under the bus.

Twumasi said teaching girls about healthy competition from an early age will solve the problem.

“If we want to change this conditioning, we have to start at home and in what we say to the little girl. Don’t teach her to compete just for the attention of men. Teach him healthy competition that will propel his life forward.

Ms Yimbiha said women often support each other but face challenges when they need support from their male counterparts.

“I believe women supporting women are easy – as a woman, if I get another woman and we decide to start a business together, it’s very possible that it will be successful,” Yimbiha said.

“However, if you’re a woman trying to break the societal ‘chains’, where the man was seen as the capable leader, it becomes difficult. Starting a project with a man or asking him for an opportunity means he might want to something in return.

Some men involved in the discussion said they felt; according to social media, women are cruel and harsh towards each other.

Source: Forum of standard digital Twitter spaces #Inmyopinion, every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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