Blog for International Women’s Day~ Ways to Connect Girls and Inspire Futures

Girl in butterfly or flower costume

 

Hello and Happy International Women’s Day!

Gender Across Borders and CARE are hosting Blog for International Women’s Day 2012 today!  And this year’s theme is “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures.”

As a culture, as well as members of a global community, it is imperative that we are actively involving, educating and inspiring girls in a positive way.

How do we do that though?  Although this may seem like a daunting task, especially in the hustle and bustle of today, there are in fact many ways that we can do so just in our everyday lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ways to Connect Girls and Inspire Futures

1. Look at our own bodies in positive lights.  This may seem like this does not directly involve girls, but it does.  If we, the women of the world, do not look at our own bodies positively, how can girls who are growing up under constant media pressure that says anything bigger than a size 0 is not good enough?

By accepting and embracing our own bodies, flaws and all, and by radiating our love of our bodies, this could help even just one girl look at themselves in a more positive light.  The media tries to tell us, as a society, what type of body is acceptable, but we can help to lessen this pressure on young girls and teenage girls by saying and believing that this is not the case.

2. Talk about other girls and women (and boys and men) positively, including about their appearance, body, and personality.  Even if we all are able to accept and embrace our bodies, if we are judgemental towards another girl, woman, boy, or man, it shows our insecurities, as well as teaches girls a trait that does not help them to think positively about themselves, or others.

3. Tell a girl that she has a beautiful soul and heart.  Often times, we as a society focus on how beautiful a girl, or woman, is on the outside.  Yet, being beautiful on the inside is often more important in the long run.  Although some girls may feel this is cheesy, it will probably still warm their hearts to hear.

4. Genuinely compliment a girl.  This does go along with the previous suggestion.  So many girls I’ve known that are my age just do not believe a person when they compliment them.  They believe that either they are just saying it to say it, or that they are indirectly suggesting something negative.  This is rather than just believing that someone is, in fact, being nice to them.

We can help so many girls overcome this mentality by complimenting genuinely, and by accepting compliments that others give us too.

4. Be open to talking about topics that girls want to ask about.  So many topics still seem off-limits, between parents and their daughters, between sisters, between friends, and so on.  And therefore, there is often this silence.  Help to break this silence around various topics including menstruation, girl’s health, etc.  If we do not talk, who will?

5. Let a girl know that it is wonderful to be herself.  Remind her that being herself is much more important than being the most popular, or trying to be someone else.  And support her in the journey to find out who she is.

6.  Encourage girls to imagine.  Whether it’s imagining a job they may want when they grow up, re-enacting their favorite book or movie, pretending to be a mommy to their doll, or just playing make believe, let them dream.

And lastly, we need to help bring boys and men into the conversation as well.  Neither women nor men truly live separately in society.  So, we can encourage and teach boys and men to treat girls and women as equals, and not as objects to acquire, or beings to only take care of them.  We can do this partly just by acting and believing that we are equal.

 

Today is a positive day!  Just over one hundred years ago, women were not considered equal really anywhere in the world.  Now, we are in many places.  However, so many women are still struggling for equality.  And even here in the U.S., women still do not have equal pay to men in various jobs.  So, help to connect girls and help them believe that they are equal and that they do deserve equality, equal pay, and respect.  By helping to build girls’ self-esteems and confidence, we can help them to feel empowered.

Sometimes it is the most simple actions that can create a positive reaction.

Let’s get the conversation going! Do any of you have other suggestions to help connect girls and inspire futures?  Let me know by leaving a comment down below!

Want to check out the other blogs that are participating in this event?

Click here: http://www.genderacrossborders.com/blogforiwd/

Have a sunny day everyone! 🙂

~Kim

Please Note: The image above is used under the Commons license, shared by The Field Museum Library on Flickr, and can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/field_museum_library/3405449438/

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