Imagine a world where female athletes, scientists, business executives, and politicians are household names as widely known as their male counterparts. A world where Katherine Johnson is as widely known as John Glenn or where Babe Didrikson Zaharias is as revered as Babe Ruth.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us engage the power of many voices to #BeBoldForChange to strengthen our schools, communities, and world so we no longer imagine girls sharing the spotlight, but see it shine on them equally.
When girls learn about accomplished women, they become more aware of the possibilities in their own lives. Learning about trailblazing women, seeing female heroes, and having female role models inspires girls to set their own brilliant paths. It’s also important for boys to see accomplished women represented so they are aware women are integral in shaping our world.
Teaching our youth about women’s history, showing them examples of high achieving women, and encouraging them to pursue their dreams regardless of gender is vital. Education about the accomplishments and contributions made by women enables both girls and boys to see that gender is not a factor in deciding what you can and can’t pursue in life.
The most powerful message a girl can receive is there are no limits. No limits to what subjects she can study or what career she can pursue. No limits to what sport she can play or role she can occupy. Imagine a world where there are no glass ceilings and no assumptions about what girls like or prefer. No one is saying “that subject is too hard” or “that sport is for boys” or “that position in the student body government is always won by a boy.” Imagine a world where girls challenge limits to explore new possibilities.
Fostering and developing girls’ talents, passions, and dreams will play a critical role toward advancing gender equality. To create future female leaders, we need to energize girls to approach learning with courage, embolden them to pursue their passion even in areas traditionally dominated by men, empower them to run for office, and encourage them to not only imagine, but achieve what the world has never seen. We must #BeBoldForChange.
Megan Murphy, Executive Director, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools