Suyin Aerts
September 23, 2022

Make equality reality

On September 9, 2022  The Nine celebrated her first anniversary. Georgio Brooks asked me to open the evening with a speech about making equality a reality, the theme of the party. These are the thoughts I shared

“What beautiful crowd gathered in this exclusively beautiful place in the heart of Brussels, the heart of Europe. A place that in 1 years’ time became so important in so many women’s hearts.

And that is not a coincidence, I remember as if it was yesterday when I read the first article on the opening of the club in the press. It immediately caught my attention, not because we do not have a women's club, not because we do not have co working places, not because we are not convinced about the fact that we are living in a new reality. But because I could feel that this one was going to be different.

And after one year I can say it is different, the Belgium’s First Female Focused Private member’s Club.

It feels like you are entering your home away from home when you take the steps that lead you inside one of Brussels best-kept art nouveau townhouses.

You feel like the one and only muse when you open the door and step into the vibrating heart of the house. Here you can become the creative person you are ought to be. And you can feel how all the other women in her inspire you and empower you to become more you.

Today the theme of the party is make equality reality. This theme was chosen because in this ever-changing world, it has never been so important to reaffirm our commitment to women's rights and gender equality.

The place and power of women has never been so important to our society. 

Waking up and feeling truly grateful to do what you do is the reward. That can’t be bought. Most of us have careers that last almost 50 years. That’s a significant part of life. What you do for a living takes up a big part of your life, and it should be more than just work. It should be a craft. One of the most common discussions regarding careers is one concerning work-life balance. While the idea of having a balance is important, the distinction that is often created in such discussions is in my opinion not a good idea. It separates your life from work and I am convinced the goal should be integration. In most work, there is always an ever-present conflict between what you have to do to win over external praise and what you have to do to feel a sense of internal accomplishment. 

Our goal should be to become a little bit better today than we were yesterday, and that metric should not be defined by some outside committee, but it should be determined by yourself. 

You are the muse of your own life.

Did you know the Nine is named for the nine muses of the ancient world, as here at the Nine we are a community that believes in being our own muse, and a source of change and inspiration.

We eventually become what we do. The daily actions you take as a part of your job become ingrained in you as habits, which shape your identity. If you’re an artist, you are an artist outside of your studio. If you are an entrepreneur, you are an entrepreneur outside of the office. The core intention we have for doing something shapes every choice we make. There’s an artisan in all of us. Whether or not it shows through depends on our daily choices. So do what you love and love what you do! 

Women’s Empowerment and empowering girls and women is powerful. I think the increasing number of women leaders is the key to economic growth, political stability, and social transformation. 

So how do we empower girls and women? And what exactly is women’s empowerment.

Surprisingly, there is no common definition of women’s empowerment. In fact, the word “empowerment” does not exist in most languages.  But according to the World Bank: " Empowerment is the process of increasing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes"

Empowerment is a process. Through the process, an individual becomes an agent of change. More simply put, it’s the “can do” factor, going from “I can’t” to “I can.”

Foremost, it is a call to action to support girls and young women in self-actualizing their inner power - empower - to truly leapfrog women’s empowerment. The next generation of empowered women leaders and change makers will transform our world.”

What Georgio Brooks created with The Nine, is hard to catch in words, but strong, very strong to feel in your heart.

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