by PRIYA MULJI
THERE have been recent debates about sisterhood and when asked to write about the topic, I was torn. A part of me thought, no it absolutely does not and people just think about themselves. Then another thought was that it was something very powerful. When I put this out to my social media followers, my thoughts began to change. I now believe that true sisterhood does exist, but that a lot can be done to improve how women support each other.
Let me tell you about an ex-work colleague who I didn’t ever have the courage to stand up to. I feel like this person was constantly trying to show me up, get ahead of me and be one step ahead. I always wanted to tell her that work wasn’t a race and that we can help each other. I was never able to tell her how I felt, but I hope one day that person understands what sisterhood really means.
There are so many ways we can integrate sisterhood into our lives and this needs to begin from a young age. Whilst on a holiday in Greece, my friend told me that her friend, who has young twin girls, makes sure she takes them along whenever she is out for dinner with her girlfriends. It encourages her daughters to recognise sisterhood and will engrain the notion of being around your friends, and supporting one another from a young age.
We also need to make sure that we intensely support our female friends and family members whenever they need something. They should know that you’re going to be there regardless of the situation and be there to show support whether it is with a key decision, new venture or helping them through difficult times.
If you want to understand sisterhood, I urge you to watch chick-flick The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants. It follows the journey of four girls one summer who visit different parts of the world. They are all different women, but are connected by one pair of shared jeans, which fits them all.
I think what summed the term sisterhood for me perfectly was something that talented New York-based writer Sweta Vikram said to me, which was “you have to find your tribe.” This means the following to me; sisterhood is to want the best for someone without trying to compete with them, outdo them or show them up. It’s about having respect and supporting a friend, work colleague, family member or a mutual individual.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Ntozake Shange. “Sisterhood is important because we are all we have to stand on. We have to stand near and by each other, pray for one another, and share the joys and the difficulties that women face in the world today. If we don’t talk about it among ourselves, then we are made silent by the patriarchy, and that serves us no purpose.”
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