Girls are great, and for the past 2 years, the world has been invited to celebrate this fact on the UN established October 11th holiday called “Day of the Girl.” So far it’s just one day, but with breast cancer awareness month happening at the same time, we can probably go ahead and just declare this girl season. It’s the perfect time for women and girls to take a conscious look at all the important roles we play, issues we face, and potential we can meet.
Many women, girls, and organizations have a headstart on recognizing the new holiday. Here are some ways you can celebrate:
- Screen an empowering movie: Raising Ms. President is having a nation wide screening of their film with groups around the nation. You can sign up at http://www.raisingmspresident.com/#dayofthegirl-section. Miss Representation is another film that explores women’s and girls’ portrayance in the media and the effects that has on society. You can also screen this film or purchase it to watch on your own here: http://therepresentationproject.org/films/miss-representation/
- Support an organization: There is a quickly growing band of organizations set up to support girls and women as they learn how to best make their voice heard. An extensive list can be found at http://amazingwomenrock.com/1-aaa-hot-list-of-40-cool-organisations-to-empower-girls. Volunteering and giving back to the organizations that support girls and women is just as powerful for you as it is for those you work with.
- Listen to a powerful playlist: Gwen Stefani, Beyonce, Pink, Haley Williams, Jo Dee Messina, Martina McBride, Aretha Franklin, the Haim sisters… These are just a few of the powerful vocalists that express multifaceted views, experiences, struggles, and triumphs from a female perspective. Use them to give you strength, to feel understood, and to get revved up!
- Be inspired by watching strong female protagonists: Fall tv shows are out and strong female roles are represented in everything from drama to comedy. I can personally attest to the quality of Madam Secretary and How to Get Away With Murder. Also debuting this fall is Cristela, Bad Judge, Jane the Virgin, The Mysteries of Laura, and State of Affairs.
- …And reading about them: Some good reads out there from female authors or with impresive female protagonists are Yes Please by Amy Poehler, Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, I’ll Drink to That by Betty Halbreich, City of Lies by Ramita Navai, Off the sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World by Kristin Gillibrand, A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren, Gone Girl and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, the Flavia de Luce novels by Alan Bradley, and classically, almost anything by the Austen sisters.
- Join a club: women’s groups exist in every town and city to connect professionally and socially. Whether it’s a reading club, a running club, a political group, or professional organization, joining a club helps women support eachother in a world where we need support. The more people who participate, the stronger the group becomes. This is another one of those situations where you are giving strength just as much as receiving it.
- Make a commitment: Many times, women and girls are classified as having untapped potential because of the limited vision we have for ourselves. Bust through some barriers this month and try something you didn’t think you could do or didn’t see yourself fitting into. Challenge established beliefs. Step up to a leadership position, commit to that business you wanted to open, plan a community event, or apply for a job you aren’t sure you’re qualified for.
All of us face doubts and stress about what we do and can do. This Saturday, let’s be united in supporting eachother as we believe in our power and stand up for those beliefs. Let’s commit to being more, to helping other women and girls, and to acheiving equality every chance we get. Happy Day of the Girl!!