inspire to aspire

International Day of the Girl

Two years ago, the United Nations declared October 11 as the “International Day of the Girl,” to raise awareness about the issues of gender inequality worldwide.  This monumental task is critical for a number of reasons, and  the movement provides a number of reasons why:

  1. By 2015, females will comprise 64% of the world’s illiterate adult population.
  2. Only 30% of all girls worldwide are enrolled in secondary school
  3. Although girls make up half of the high school population, they only receive 41% of all athletic participation opportunities.
  4. Women hold only 15% of top leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies.
  5. One in 7 girls in developing countries is married off by her family before she turns 15.
  6. Over half (54%) of all rapes of females happen before age 18.
  7. One in 5 high school girls in the United States has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.
  8. Children as young as 11 are being trafficked for sex.  (Some estimates are as high as 1.2 million children being trafficked worldwide each year.)
  9. Of girls in grades 3-5, 54% worry about their appearance, and over 1/3 worry about their weight.
  10. Nearly 60% of music videos feature females exclusively portrayed as sex objects.
  11. Females are only 1/3 of speaking characters in children’s movies.

What can be done?  There is a tremendous resource from the campaign for girls to take action:  CLICK HERE

Among the many ideas in the toolkit, one we know well is to start a group!  “If your school doesn’t already have one, a girls-specific club or group is the best way to get awareness out there…Girls clubs and groups are about discussion and awareness, getting others to know that gender issues pertaining to females are very real and prevalent in society.”  This is Chrysalis After-School.

Take a look at a short video of a street artist bringing stories of the lives and courage of girls:  CLICK HERE

…and give a girl a hug today!

Juggling College and Child Care…

A recent article from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) delivered an eye-opening reality about another issue facing student parents – the cost of child care. The article profiled a young mother, Andrea Fitch, whose parenting … Continue reading...

Violence in Schools and Work…

Last week, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds announced an effort to mentor Iowa’s girls going into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers, Million Women Mentors Iowa.  The program’s goal is to recruit 5,000 female and male … Continue reading...