Empowerment forum encourages women to speak up - WNEM TV 5

Empowerment forum encourages women to speak up

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Strength, confidence and equality was the goal of a women’s empowerment conference that took place in Mid-Michigan.

Organizers of the forum in Midland want women to feel like they can do anything they put their mind to.

Getting to that point means overcoming long-held views about the sexes that have taken the national spotlight in the wake of several scandals involving sexual misconduct.

“Because women are stronger together. We can change policies. We can change laws,” said Dwan Bryant, CEO of Confident Women on the Move.

It is such a big issue that even Speaker Paul Ryan expects the U.S. House to adopt mandatory training for sexual harassment.

The recent wave began with the scandal that cost Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein his job and reputation. It has since engulfed people like comedian Louis C.K., Senate candidate Roy Moore and most recently Minnesota Senator Al Franken.

It all began when someone had the nerve to stand up and say enough is enough.

“I love that we’re starting to hear me too, me too, me too. Because there shouldn’t be shame in it and it will never get better when we’re ashamed,” said Jessica Rausch, nurse.

Bryant sees the scandal as a wake-up call.

“I think it’s sickening. We look to certain men in power and we trust them. We believe what they tell us. So now we’re at a crossroads of where we see power differently. Power is used to manipulate. Power is used to hurt,” Bryant said.

She said it seems like more and more women are starting to speak out.

“Because we’re finding a voice that has been hidden for years. We’re finding a voice that says I have the courage to say no. This is what’s happening to me. This is what has happened because I wanna impact other women and let them know that you can speak up too,” Bryant said.

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