Confidence and Women

Hello All, I've been underwhelmed with all the media attention geared towards women and our lack of confidence that I'm dedicating one of my blogs to it. I would like to glean your views on the matter. Do you believe confidence is a gender problem or a power problem? Or is it both or do you believe they are totally unrelated? What's your experience with confidence? As always many thanks for your engagement.

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  • Heanneah .S. Farwenee

    I think it is a power problem.  For me, confidence boost my autonomy and encourage me to thrive. It makes me move beyond the unexpected and become bold.

  • Christina Deakin

    I think confidence goes hand in hand with being certain of something. When you are sure you are right, sure that someone will listen, or sure that you just make sense. I think women are not sure it's okay to be paid less or not sure it's okay to be ignored. Its been a norm for too long, but it's just not right. I think confidence will grow when women are certain of their rights and know that it's okay to fight for empowerment or speak up when something is wrong. 

  • Tazeen Dhanani

    This is an excellent discussion thread and a prevalent and recurring topic. I echo a lot of what has already been discussed, and would like to encourage you all to read this fantastic article when you have a chance. It touches on a lot of the concerns and issues that arise when discussing confidence in women:

    "Every time you exert your opinion into the world, each time you stand your ground for something you want, each time you exercise your creative energy, every time you take a risk to try something new, even if you know you won’t be good at it—you are building into your own reservoir of confidence, one that you can access anytime you want.

    It’s yours. You own it."

  • Shaheera Jalil Albasit

    Hello Jo, just wanted to reflect from my perspective and add a comment. Confidence I believe is a power problem. The presence and absence of confidence is in the context of how men and women are addressed since young ages. The segregation women face, the lack of outdoor experiences in societies where women are not encouraged to go outside and where their mobility is restricted and comparatively reduced as a consequence, the road attitudes women experience (cat-calling / eve-teasing) in contrast to how empowered men feel in outdoor / public spaces, all contribute to defining the differing levels of confidence of women and men.

    It is a matter of how conducive do we make public space and how frequent and common do we make respect for women's opinions in families, classrooms and social gatherings, that will eventually instill or deprive off the sense of confidence in women.

  • Jo-Ann Hamilton

    I had a great time reading all your comments. The perspective on power, gender and confidence unequivocally plays out as all things do based on experience and environment. I have since started writing another blog where I analzye power from different angles, power which is usurped, power which is owned, power which is relinquished, etc etc. One observation I have made is that power when understood in and of itself creates power.

    Thanks again to all of you empowered women:-) 

  • Jo-Ann Hamilton

    I had a great time reading all your comments. The perspective on power, gender and confidence unequivocally plays out as all things do based on experience and environment. I have since started writing another blog where I analzye power from different angles, power which is usurped, power which is owned, power which is relenquished, etc etc. One observation I have made is that power when understood in and of itself creates power.

    Thanks again to all of you empowered women! 

  • Confidence is not and should not be a gender problem or a power problem. Confidence is the combination of self-efficacy and self-esteem. It is where one belief that we can accomplish a variety of tasks or goals throughout life and believing you are generally competent in what you do, and that we deserve to be happy in life. I had an issue with confidence, until I realized that beautiful reality that I deserved to be happy in Life! I started by liking myself, taking risks to achieve my goals, and thinking positively about the future. Jo-Ann, I believe that this simple tip is so applicable and that it can always work. I call it 'MIRACLE WORKING LOGIC'. Am not opposing that the political system and the society has associated women with Lack of confidence. but My view is whoever has realized who they are, and conscious of "MIRACLE WORKING LOGIC', they are definitely confident notwithstanding their gender or the power system!

  • Teresa Abila

    Women are naturally strong and it's about time the world perceives of that strength,and to be strong,that means you're confident.I am imagining a mere woman who has not be empowered,she knows in herself that it is her responsibility to run her home by fetching water,cooking,fending for her family and taking her kids to school without being told.This means the woman believes in herself and is bold enough to take such steps.However,when empowered,the woman can do greater things to change her community.The issue of women being seen as weak in political and corporate positions is fading away because the world has already embraced and experienced that women can be good presidents and managers,actually countries that are led by women are much better off economically.According to me,confidence is part of a woman's personality and it always starts from the mind.

  • Al Metz

    Confidence and Women should not be a gender or power problem if we understand that a woman with confidence in her self and talents will contribute more to her work and society.  Men should support women as a partner in the workplace and society and not see woman with confidence and power as a threat.   Men should support women in leadership roles when they have the talent and desire to lead. Leadership is a gift that some women have and men can be confident in their leadership and follow them.  Example the CEO of Pepsi is a woman who is doing a good job leading that company.

  • shristi tuladhar

    Hello Jo, living in a place of male-dominant society it is often an issue even today for many of the girls/women lack confidence. Although many things have changed since the past decade, I personally believe it to be an ability of an individual to develop such personality. I, myself had a lot of problems talking to people and participating, but once I pushed myself through one barrier although I didn't succeed, it has made me much more confident, not 100%, but an increase to some level.

    Also, we have always have been seeing men in leading roles that has created lack of confidence.  Hopefully, in the near future this trend would change...

  • Hi Jo, confidence is a relative thing and most of the time woman is compared with the man who is socially in better and higher position being in decisive roles. So, its true as Ushree said confidence is a gender problem which directly relates to the power. Man in generally is confident either by their upbringing or inheritance that their decision can supersede the opinion and decision of female members in family. Thereby, upbringing and the atmosphere also do play role in making women less confident about herself.  

    But with the shift in focus and developing awareness around the world, the women coming more and more in decisive roles whether its at home or work is appreciable and soon the level of confidence shall be in parity with other gender. 

  • Sharon Reed

    Jo-Ann, this is such an important topic and so central to women's empowerment. I agree with Imene's assertion that a lack of confidence is not gender-specific, though how we respond to a lack of inner confidence does seem to have a gender bias.

    Even when men lack confidence, for example, their compensating strategy is often to act 'as if'...putting on a confident air that nevertheless keeps them in the game, while women tend to shrink in the face of self-doubt. 


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  • Ushree Roy

    Hi Jo-Ann.... I  feel lack of confidence stems from power problem. When I am not so comfortable in a particular situation I hesitate to participate. So I personally support Imene Boudali's view that lack of confidence is not a women's thing.

    Though when I analyzed the same through the lens of a larger society and challenges people usually face there, I  realized  confidence is very much related to gender problem. In many countries women have lesser access to technology, financial resources, education and other available services. In such a situation, lack of power is very much related to gender identity. 

  • Imène Boudali

    Hello ! I've been writing in my website a lot about women issues with the media and the society and i guess confidence is one of the most important things to discuss. I think Confidence, or lack of confidence, depends essentially on the person and his/her personality. The lack of confidence is not a "women's thing", i know many guys who suffer from this problem. The problem is not when a woman has or hasn't confidence in herself, the problem is when society is trying to break confident women! Personally, i don't see myself as a 100% confident woman, i have insecurities and i'm trying to work on them and i guess i started feeling more confident since i took the biggest decision of my life, which is letting go my master degree in biology and concentrating on writing and blogging. That was a center point of my entire life and i guess at first i was scared but now i'm starting to gain more and more confidence and i'm starting to really believe in myself!
    Check out my writings : @ImeneBoudali

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