The estimated population of the world is six billion people. Out of that six billion, four billion are women and two billion are men. That's twice as many women in the world as men. But the funny thing is, we still see everything from boardrooms to the Oval Office populated by men. Though we have come a long way, it isn't long enough for the amount of women we're representing. For instance, in developing countries out of the money donated into a community only one half of one cent goes towards educating girls. Though most of you reading this don't necessarily live in a developing country, think about how women and girls are treated on a local level. All women come up against sexism many times over the course in their lifetime. It starts from when we are young girls. Sometimes, we don't even see it or realize it anymore because it's so commonplace.
What is the solution? Girls need good role models. We're not talking just the images they see reflected back on them through televisions, on movie screens and in magazines (though those could use some work, too), we're talking day-to-day role models. Teachers that call on female students just as frequently as they call on the boys, female leaders that reach out to the younger women in their community, moms and dads that teach their daughters they are smart, valuable girls that can change the world. And, moms who teach their sons women are their counterparts, their allies and their equals. We want to see more female mentors in the workplace, not competition over who gets the one high-power position allotted to a woman, we want to see more than one boardroom chair filled by the double X chromosome. We don't want to see women look back out of fear over how close their female competition is coming up behind them. Rather, we want them to look back and bring an equally gifted woman up with them, to stand alongside them on the front lines, colleagues in the workplace, friends on the neighborhood or as a team during morning carpools. Our daughters should not see us talking negatively about another woman behind her back, gossiping or walking over one another in our heels. We need a few good women and men to show the next generation who they are and what they can become.
This Women's History Month, teach your daughter and son well. And, if you can, reach out to other girls both locally and globally. The Nike Foundation is investing in the future of girls around the world with their GIRL EFFECT campaign. Check out their video here: http://www.girleffect.org/#/video/