Starting a Women’s Empowerment Group

15

April 8, 2013 by Kate Chaplin

WEB logo

After a lot of thinking and emails, private conversations and a general push…I’m starting a casual women’s group.

The purpose of these meetings would be to gather women together to have a safe place to talk about the every day issues that we struggle and strive at. It would be a meeting of the minds on what it means to be a woman and how to inspire the best in all of us.

The group itself will not have a specific religious underpinning, it’s open and inclusion to all faiths. I’m not planning on writing a book or make a documentary. All conversations would be confidential and held in the highest regard of privacy.

Children will be welcome. I have a 10 year old and a 5 year who has volunteered to play with any of the children who attend.

The group will be called WEB – Women Empowering Balance. Each of us interconnecting to form something bigger than ourselves. We do have a twitter @webswomen to follow as well as a private facebook page.

In the future I hope that this group does go public and we organize ways to help women’s causes and foundations  gather our resources for a greater change in the life of girls and women around the world but first, let’s work on ourselves. Empower ourselves before empowering others.

Meetings would be once a month in a private home near Indianapolis, IN. The group will be invitation only (limited space).

The meetings to be the last Wednesday evening of each month.

UPDATE

Meetings have been awesome! We have a wonderful diverse group of women who are welcoming, encouraging and insightful. We have a great mix of women from ages 20-60, parents & non parents, single ladies to poly, corporate sector to homemakers. Everyone adds value. We got really lucky.

Our topics so far have been:

  • What does society expect of us?
  • Women in Movies with a focus on the Bechdel Test
  • What Does Advertising Tell Women?
  • Conventions: Slut Shaming in Geek Culture
  • Homemaker Vs. Employeed

Start Your Own Chapter of WEB

I’ve had many wonderful emails, facebook messages and comments below of amazing women wanted to start their own women’s group. I applaud you ladies. Here are some tips.

* Create a private facebook group (or you can join ours Facebook me to join the Indianapolis one). This allows all members to post articles, memes and general advice seeking posts to a group of ladies they trust without the backlash. The FB page has been a great communication tool to keep a conversation going after a meeting, prep information before a meeting or create a poll to decide the next topic of the meeting. Invite women from your friends list and encourage other women to invite their friends and your group will grow.

*If you are not a fan of Facebook use emails. Create a list of emails to send invites to your meetings. See who is interested and see what Wednesdays work. We use WEB Wednesday as a helpful reminder. Our meetings are the last Wednesday of the month but you can work out any Wednesday.  If you are going to send out articles try not to send emails to your group more than once a week as people’s email boxes get full and they will start to think the group is spamming.

*The key to this is to start with women you know. Those women will tell others and your group will grow. Don’t worry about advertising publicly at first.

*Find a private location to meet. Women are most likely to talk if they are not in a crowded restaurant or quiet library. A group leader’s home is best.

*For the meeting itself we have handout. This includes our get to know you questions (we only do this is there are new members in attendance) then we get into our topic. Sometimes there is an information spill and sometimes we go straight into questions and debate. Here is an example of our July meeting 2013 topic: What Ads Tell Women. Your group leader will want to have information and questions prepared ahead of time to keep the conversation going.

*The group leader needs to set a tone that everyone’s voice matters and that you’re all in this together. We can all learn from one another.

*At our WEB meetings we’ve started with consciences awareness of issues facing women. We’ve aired our own struggles. After 6 months we are now talking about activism and volunteering. See where your group is at. Don’t push to activism if they are not ready or informed on a topic.

*As always, let me know if you need any help or advice.

 

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15 thoughts on “Starting a Women’s Empowerment Group

  1. vanklink.vk@gmail.com says:

    Hello Kate :)
    I am planning on starting a Women’s Empowerment group in my town also. My only issue is that I’m not exactly sure how to start it, and what I should focus on. I’d love to speak to you more about it so we can encourage each other. I think its great what you’re doing.

  2. Jeidar Ureña Fonseca says:

    Want to start a chapter here in jersey city heights. FB me please. Jeidar Ureña Fonseca

  3. Haley says:

    Hi Kate
    Thank you for your innitiative. I too want to start a women empowering group and struggle to start. Please help?
    Haley

    • Kate Chaplin says:

      I’ve added to this post on how to start your own WEB chapter. Let me know if you need any help. You can do it!!

      • I am thinking of starting a woman’s group…..to share ideas, support, and to learn what it really is that we can do for each other as women. I love most of what I’ve read about your methodology, and emotional focus, and the ideas of inclusion and support. Have a question though.

        Why do you have a cut off at 60? Do we stop being women when we are “OLD”……or are we a separate and unwanted opinion? Turning 69 this year in July, and realizing every day, with every contact I have with women…. women of any age…. that all our opinions, creativity, wisdoms, strength and weaknesses work so much better with the support of other minds, other travelers on this path of mother/sister/daughter/ friend

        We never stop growing, and often in these later years, our tasks have diminished sufficiently enough that we are able to see some of the whys, hows and wherefores of what worked and what didn’t in our long lives. Our issues are all related…….every woman knows other women of every age….has, or had, a mother, grandmother, friend etc. ….and to be able to share each other’s perspectives, and growth is a warm and loving path to more knowledge, understanding and support for each other. Looking back from this OLDER age, allows we seniors to see the commonality in all of us, and often, it is with more patience and ability of time for giving, and seeing through the fog of those extra busy lives we lead.

        I’d love to know what you think on that subject. I am in Massachusetts, and it is often a hectic pace keeping up with today’s tech-assisted and device-challenged world. I know I would look so forward to, above all, the hearing of other’s experience, and the sharing of
        the uncertainties, fears, and knowledge we all share.

        You are the first web page that came up for me in my search for “How to start a Women’s Group”, and I am grateful already, for all your work in this direction, and your generosity and sharing of information gleaned from the actuality of having done just that.

        Thank You,
        Marcia Elizabeth

      • Kate Chaplin says:

        I understand the misunderstanding, we don’t have a cut off age at all. We just happen to have members in that age range at the time of that posting. Every woman, from every age has value. We can all learn from each other no matter the age, race, experiences etc.

  4. linea says:

    hi

    i want to start a women empowerment group, where i encourage women who lost hope in life and academically, i wnt to assit them to gain confidence and to return to school as well as to assit them to look for jobs, how do i start such group

  5. Katie Philips says:

    Hi I live in the middle of England, Great Britain. Having been largely housebound for 15 years through my entire 30′s and early 40′s, I now am much better though still struggle and have very limited energy for activities or outings, and I rarely meet people or make women friends and old friendships have disintegrated. I love the support and humour I find with other women and have been wondering for a while how to make new friends in a supportive group situation, I googled “how to start a womens group” today and found your inspiring story of starting your womens empowerment group. Thank you, I now realise i can simply begin, without worrying that its not a book group or an art group. I realise also that its ok to start small. I have a neighbour id like to get to know and a woman from my slimming group so i will ask them first and see how it goes. I will keep you posted, i don’t use facebook but do use twitter, maybe i will start a separate twitter feed. Thank you again.

  6. Monique gGloster says:

    Hey, Kate. Thanks for your dialogue. As I’m looking to build a group some of these points will be useful. I held a meeting if nine women this past weekend and it was very interesting. Going slow, and working on our name for now. I’ve requested you on FB. THANKS

  7. Jennifer Johnson says:

    Kate! I love the info on your blog! My friend and I have an internet radio show and have been toying with the idea of creating a women’s empowerment group here in Birmingham, AL. Of course we didn’t know where to start and the insight you have is great! I’d love to pick your brain on some things to see if our little ideas could really make an impact here in the Magic City!

  8. Carolyn McCorkle says:

    I am thinking of starting a group in Sandpoint IDaho-with a vision of women who are single, mom and professional that will geer towards an atmosphere of positive energy, love of life and ability to interchange ideas with out blame and or shame. It is hard in this small town to bring women together because of the seasons, but more so the economically down turn. A lot of people are on low income housing and income. I am some what a lose to the initital start and I want to bring speakers in to also assist- any ways of how to start this could be greatly appreicated

    • Kate Chaplin says:

      That is great! I say go for it! Gear towards the positive but allow women to be able to vent and work out problem sometimes releasing the pressure valve is so needed and wonderful. If you are worried about the season perhaps doing on online meeting is an option. Google Hangouts and Skype are wonderful for this. It’s not expensive at all to have an in person meeting, I tend to cook for the meetings but a pot luck works so well! The best way to start is to talk to you like minded friends and see if they like the idea and what day of the week they are the least busy. We tend to do Wednesday as “WEB Wednesday” is easy to remember. Start the group small, you’ll be shocked to see how fast it grows when you encourage each person to invite a friend. Don’t worry about speakers right away just talk. Come up with a general topic and have a free flow of conversation. Go for it the rewards far outreach any risks.

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Kate Chaplin


Hi! I'm Kate! I'm a filmmaker, author, and public speaker.

My screenplays and novels contain mythic themes of strength, personal power and identity. I have 4 books released, The Belief Test, The Celebration Diet, Ingenue: Portrait of the Film, and Mythic Waters: Shoki's Bag.

I've made 17 film projects and won some very cool awards in Hollywood as well as Indiana. I've work on over 50 projects including those produced by VH1, MTV, CMT and the Discovery Channel.

I lead workshops and talks about writing, filmmaking and women's empowerment at festivals, libraries and schools.

I hope you find what you are looking for on this blog, if not message me, I'm always looking to help out writers and filmmakers.

Karmic Courage Productions

Shoki’s Bag

The Celebration Diet

The Belief Test

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