“By teaching girls about our country’s voting process, and their rights within that process, we send them a clear message that their engagement with our democracy is inextricably linked to their futures. We teach them that they are powerful, and that each of their voices matter.”
Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara and Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Joint Op-Ed Santa Barbara Independent, November 25, 2016
On Friday, Novemer 25, the Santa Barbara Independent published online a joint Op-Ed piece written by the Girls Inc. Santa Barbara and Carpinteria affiliates outlining the work to be done for girls’ rights on the heels of the 2016 presidential election. Here are a few excerpts from the piece, which can be read in its entirety here.
“While this election did not yield our first female president, the path forward for women and girls has become more illuminated. No other election in the U.S. has focused more attention on the treatment and abilities of women. No other election has symbolized more our progress made — and the progress still to be made — toward gender equality. And no other election put under a microscope the gender double-standards around physical appearance, character, likeability, and qualifications that still exist for women seeking leadership roles — whether it be in the workplace or for elected office.”
“And while the mock and the real elections are over, our work continues to address the significant barriers women and girls face on the street, in schools, and in the workplace. The objectification of women, gender bias, stereotypes, and limiting messages threaten girls’ healthy development, safety, and long-term well-being. And for this reason, our efforts continue to be necessary and relevant — and we will continue to advocate more than ever on behalf of all girls’ futures.”
“To be clear, the work we have to do is not, and must not be, a partisan effort. Supporting girls has a ripple effect on their families and their communities. When girls are empowered to pursue their dreams, they pursue higher education and graduate from college, they increase their income, they gain economic independence, they serve as role models, and they invest in future generations. Supporting this cycle of progress for girls breaks the cycle of poverty — and that is a goal that transcends party affiliations.”