Since July, I’ve been thinking a lot about girls’ and women’s voices. They are everywhere. The boss girl energy of this summer’s pop anthems, Greta Thurnberg, “The Squad” reaffirming their voices in the 2020 primaries, Kamala Harris, Women’s Marches, Black@ accounts at schools across the country, Michelle Obama’s podcast, and how many times have we seen the image of a young woman of color, like Ieshia Evans, on the front lines of protests against police brutality? This past year, the roar of our voices has sent sound waves that cannot be ignored. These girls and women are exceptional in their leadership and are incredible role models for young girls. But sometimes, it seems that the path from young girl to exceptional woman is only for the few. Why is it that today, with all of these incredible 2020 women, so many girls still feel unseen and unheard? We must shift how we identify leadership in girls and women; rather than looking at them as exceptional individuals, it is time for us to celebrate the collective voice of girls. This is what I love about International Day of the Girl. It calls for us to consider the unique challenges that girls face around the globe: access to equitable education, bodily autonomy, safety from gendered violence. It centers the voices of girls making demands of their communities and reminds us that given the opportunity, any girl and all girls must be heard and can make a difference.
We are in unprecedented times where it can feel impossible to come together; the pandemic has brought a new meaning to isolation and role overload… how many of us are never alone in our homes (as we manage our children and families), but have never felt so alone? There are also so many issues of such magnitude calling for our energy – the 2020 election, racial justice, health and safety. What energy can we give to yet another cause. We must remember that impact can come from the smallest of shifts. For me, I will spend this year’s Day of the Girl supporting a fellow woman entrepreneur at the Women Leading Baltimore The Power of a Woman Photo Shoot. I am calling for all of us to celebrate this year’s Day of the Girl by taking two easy steps.
#1: Listen to a Girl This year’s International Day of the Girl theme is My Voice, Our Better Future. Girls are telling us what they need every day, all we have to do is listen. Consider asking a girl in your life what SHE demands of the world for her future, or what SHE thinks society needs. Ask HER the nagging question that has been keeping you up at night, whatever it is, and let her see that you value her thoughts.
#2: Elevate Her Voice Connect with us at im.pact.ed or @imPACTedConsulting and let us know, what are the girls in your life asking you? We will take her question and share it with other girls, because we know that together girls have the answers!