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2017 was an big year for women all over the world. 2018 looks to be even bigger. Its all kicking off big style. Viva la revolution!

In the US Trump’s presidency sparked discontent, discussion and protest. Conversations about consent and the language we use around sexual assault are taking place in classrooms, workplaces, and homes. Here in Ireland, women and men demanded that the 8th amendment be raised for discussion at a national level, and in 2018 it looks like there will be a referendum, where we can all have our say.

Its really great to see so many women speak up for themselves, and work as a collective to create change that will affect the lives of women for generations to come. However, there seems to be some misunderstanding about the definition of feminism, which makes some people a bit defensive about what it means. We’ve talked about this before here.

Feminism isn’t all armpit hair and shouting angrily into a megaphone (although if thats your thing, rock on sister). Being a feminist is about having an awareness of the issues and inequality that women all over the world face at different levels. Feminism is about wanting to take an active role in creating positive change. Feminism is about knowing that it is more than just about equal pay, but also equal opportunity, getting more women involved in STEM, Sport, Leadership, Politics and Business. Giving everyone choices.

Here are 5 ways you can become up your game in 2018.

Be a Selfless Feminist

Don’t be hung up on the issue that concerns you personally and nothing else. Most of these issues are interlinked, and while you are right to be concerned about your own life and your own opportunities, we have more power if we all have equal opportunities. Don’t just give up because you got your promotion. This concerns all of us. Fight for what all women deserve not just what you deserve.

Learn the Issues

Educate yourself. Know what you’re talking about, and form your own opinions. You don’t have to agree with everyone, in fact you really shouldn’t, you have the right to ask questions. The 8th amendment is a big one for us all this year, read about both sides of the argument, and how this issue affects you, your sisters, your friends, and future generations.

Speak Up

Call people out on their behaviour. Don’t allow someone to speak over you because they have a louder voice. If someone makes an inappropriate comment or joke about you or even if you overhear it, calmly tell them that their comments are harmful and unnecessary. Use your voice, but be respectful.

Build Yourself Up

Have a little confidence in yourself. Stop criticising and telling yourself you are not good enough. You are beautifully made and utterly unique. You deserve just as much as any other person.  Do not ever settle for less than what you deserve because you deserve everything.

Build Other Women Up

Lets change the culture of rivalry that has existed for way too long. Look for the positive in every woman around you, and tell them how awesome they are. There is room enough for all of us to succeed. Lets support each other.