The second right for girls on Girls, Inc Bill of Rights is that girls have the right to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm. The importance of this right is demonstrated in the following stastics:
-Fifty-one percent of girls surveyed said that they experience stereotypes that limit their right to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm. Over a third (37 percent) of girls indicated that they feel constrained by these stereotypes, saying they don’t like them.
-More than one in three girls say it is true and they don’t like it that “girls are expected to speak softly and not cause trouble, and that 40% don’t like it that “people don’t think girls are good leaders”.
-Approximately one in three girls (32 percent) does not feel that she has “opportunity for open discussion in [her] classes.”
-A study commissioned by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation found that girls in middle school must overcome “subtle, but powerful messages reinforcing boys’ dominance in the classroom” from teachers and school administrators.
Through Girls, Inc’s programs of Project Bold, Media Literacy, Sporting Chance, Leadership and Community Action, Friendly PEERsuasion and Economic Literacy we encourage girls to take risks and master physical, intellectual, and emotional challenges and they build leadership skills, self-confidence, and knowledge within these girls.
(Photo credit Technology in the Arts, St. Vincent, Academic Diagnosis, Lena Dunham and statistics from Harris Interactive Survey Results.)