Tag Archives: Day of the Girl

#LikeAGirl Stereotyping or Breaking Barriers?

LikeagirlIf you’ve ever watched a movie or seen an advertisement online, you know that the media relies on stereotypes to deliver their message. Often the same stereotypes are repeated over and over again, so that we become desensitized to their effects and the images start to appear ‘normal’. Yet because media messages are constructed, we have to ask ourselves can these images ever be neutral or objective?

Media literacy gives us the tools to deconstruct the harmful messages and images that media presents as “normal”. When we understand what the media is selling us, then we have the power to talk back to the media and decide which messages are harmful. Media isn’t “just a song” or “just a movie character” and ads don’t just sell us products – they also sell us values and ideas, shaping how we think about and see the world around us. 

tumblr_n85ykm1jxw1qazx76o1_500How can we decode media messages? Here are some simple steps to ‘reading’ media:

  1. Think about who created the message and who is intended to receive it.
  2. Examine how the message was created. What words, images, sounds, or designs are used?
  3. Consider the point of view of the media makers – what are their values and their biases?
  4. Try to uncover the hidden meanings (intended and unintended) in the message.


Another way to decode media messages is to think about:

  • How the image makes you feel? Does the image affect you?
  • Are the messages presented positive or negative?
  • What groups of people does the message empower? or disempower?
  • And what part of the story is not being told?
Special thanks to Day of the Girl Summit in Pittsburgh for this great pic!

Special thanks to Day of the Girl Summit in Pittsburgh for this great pic!

For this week’s action, we challenge you to practice decoding media messages.  Here is how:

  1. Select a media message to decode. It can be a product, advertisement, film, TV show, or music video.
  2. Tell us what bothers you about this image and how you would change it. Or, if it is positive media tell us what you like about the message or image.

For example: Instead of pointing out that the girl in a commercial isn’t doing anything, while the boys play sports. You could point out the problem by stating “Why is the girl just watching the boys play sports? Girls like to play sports, too! #MediaLiteracy #IDG2014”

Don’t forget to use #MediaLiteracy #IDG2014 and #11MonthsofAction with your responses.

Daisy Bates: Forgotten Heroine of Civil Rights

Daisy Bates was a complex, unconventional, and largely forgotten heroine of the civil rights movement. She led the charge to desegregate the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.



The powerful film, Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock, tells the story of her life and public support of nine black students registered to attend Central High School in 1957.


Watch the trailer.

Learn about Daisy’s story.

Spread the word. Together, girls and women can change the world.


Bhutto: Girl Power Film No. 2

The next feature film in the #SheDocs online film festival and the IDG Summit’s March Month of Action is Bhutto.

bhutto-trailerBhutto tells the story of Benazir Bhutto, the first Muslim woman elected in history to lead an Islamic nation: Pakistan. She broke through the Islamic glass ceiling, stood up for women in her country, and challenged male-dominated politics. As a powerful voice for women’s rights and equality, Bhutto’s story inspires us all to create change in our communities.

Watch the Trailer. Enjoy the Film. Share her story TODAY!

*Note: #SheDocs films are available for free throughout the month of March on womenandgirlslead.org.

Beauty in Truth: Alice Walker – Girl Power Film No. 1

alice4Join us today for the #SheDocs film festival kick-off event, Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth. This powerful film gives audiences an inside look at the life and art of an artist, self-confessed rebel, and human rights activist.

As a powerful American artist, Alice Walker made history as the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize. The film looks at key moments in her life – the people who inspired her and her commitments to social and political activism.

Watch the film TODAY and then join the online conversation on March 3rd at 6:00PM EST with special guests and fans of the film.

Film Trailer: Beauty in Truth

*All #SheDocs films will be available for FREE online through March 31st. Celebrate Women’s History Month with powerful stories from women and girls around the world!

March is the month of Girl Power

March is Women’s History Month and the IDG Summit is proud to partner with ITVS for the #SheDocs online film festival, sponsored by Eileen Fisher, Inc.


Throughout the month of March, #SheDocs will feature 12 documentary films that highlight extraordinary women and girls, and their accomplishments. This month-long festival presents a collection of films by independent film makers that focus on women and girls transforming their lives, their communities and the world!

And the best part, is that you can watch these films for FREE! There is no other online film festival that brings documentary films about women and girls to U.S. online audiences in this way.

Watch the trailer!

Take action this month:

1. Watch the films online at womenandgirlslead.org! Each week, we will spotlight 3 of the feature films.

2. Host a screening with your friends and spread the word.

3. Get inspired and join the movement! Share these inspiring stories of girl power through social media using #SheDocs #11MonthsofAction #IDG2014.

Let’s celebrate the power of girls and women this March! Together, we can change the world.


Lizzy Reflects on the Girls Speak Out at the United Nations

Lizzy at SpkOutFor the Girls Speak Out on October 11th, six girl activists from around the world, ages thirteen to seventeen, shared their inspirational stories and projects. I had the unique opportunity to hear these stories first hand as a representative of Girls Learn International and Girl Advocate for the Working Group on Girls. In fact, I helped to moderate the discussion for the Girls Speak Out. Here are my thoughts about that powerful day, IDG2013:

Eighth-grader Sophie talked about teaching swimming lessons for three years with the Mariposa Foundation on the Northern Coast of the Dominican Republic. Giving girls in this coastal community the opportunity to swim allowed them to get jobs, save lives, and change their social status. Seventeen-year old Diana talked about immigrating to the United States at a young age with her family, crossing a desert for three days with little food or water. Her personal triumph and activism in the New York State Youth Leadership Council shone a light on the deeply unfair immigrants policies. As she said herself, with a power that was startling and amazing, “I am undocumented, unafraid, and unapologetic”.

Fourteen-year-old Malika from Burkina Faso shared how she raised thousands of dollars to buy bikes that help girls safely travel to and from school in her community. Yeimy from Guatemala talked about her grassroots activism within her community – working to bring increased government attention and aid to girls’ education and teenage pregnancy. Claudia from Mozambique spoke about the awareness she raised in her community about human rights and girls’ education. Nesserine and Sihem from Algeria talked about the organization they founded to help more girls go to school within their community.

Speak Out PassAs more and more girls spoke, more and more respondents (Ambassadors, Executive Directors, and High-Level UN officials) became speechless in the wake of such powerful and personal testimonies. I had heard all their stories before in rehearsal, but there was something different in the way the girls were speaking on that day. There was more urgency in their voices, more insistence.

I hear UN officials say at every event that they know investing in girls is important. That they know it changes the world. That they, and their respective governments or organizations, are working to help girls. As great as these public speeches are, girls worldwide get a pitiful amount of international aid: 1%. 1% of all international aid.

The discrepancy between words and actions deny girls worldwide their human rights.

GLI Chapter at SPK OutBut the girl activists at the Girls Speak Out wanted action. They had already worked within their communities to help empower and educate girls. As they spoke about their own issues, programs, organizations, and activism, it became clear that it is girls who are the experts on girls’ rights. The Girls Speak Out showed that girls are the solution. Girls have the unique perspective of actually being girls. They need to be part of the conversation.

On this International Day of the Girl, they were.


Daraja Academy Celebrates IDG2013 with The Girl Declaration

images-13To celebrate International Day of the Girl, Daraja Academy students assembled in the patio outside of the dining hall on campus. Students talk about the power of girls and women frequently, so the International Day of the Girl celebration was unique to the holiday. As a partner of Nike’s Girl Effect, Daraja girls were excited to read and discuss the Girl Effect’s newest project – The Girl Declaration.

The Girl Declaration is a statement written by 508 girls living in poverty around the world with the expertise of more than 25 leading development organizations, declaring the power and strength of girls, in order to be included in the world’s next development agenda. The Millennium Development Goals, which were established following the Millennium Summit at the United Nations in 2000 and expire in 2015, fell short in prioritizing girls, and this declaration was written to ensure that would not happen again.

So on Friday, 11 October 2013 Daraja students broke into small groups and read the declaration aloud. They talked about what they thought about the declaration, and what it means to them. Girls shared with the entire group what they learned from the declaration, and inspiration that they took from it.

In discussion, Jecinta, a first year Daraja student explained, “The Girl Declaration has made a huge impact on me. I know my potential, I am so proud to be a girl.”

Her classmates agreed.

“I have a voice, and I will use it,” asserted Bilha, a second year student.

“I would add,” advised third year Irene, “This is the moment whereby rising up does not scare me.” The other Daraja girls at her table nodded in response.

Following the discussion, Daraja students were ready to show their support to the declaration by signing it. Few by few, they came up to the front of the room and signed a poster with the declaration on it with excited squeals, happily stating their solidarity with the goals of the declaration.

Watch the Daraja Academy sign The Girl Declaration.

Michelle Bachelet Says Girls, Stand Up for Your Rights

Remember this inspirational message from last year? Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, said, “Girls, stand up for your rights! UN Women stands beside you.”

How are you standing up for YOUR rights?

Join us for 11 Days of Action, beginning October 1. Together we are changing the world.