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Best Resources for Female Empowerment

March 8, 2017By Neetha

Striving for Gender Equality

“More world leaders are beginning to understand that no society can reach its full potential until the women who live there are empowered to reach their own potential, too.” ~ Melinda Gates

Gender equality and positive role models continue to be priority for parents – especially in the media messages kids’ consume. Find some of the Inspiring Female Role Models media titles for kids here.

For more than a century, U.S. Women’s rights activists have worked to build gender equality across social, political and economic levels in order to gain equal footing in the domestic sphere, the workforce and in the political domain. Inspiring and powerful women such as Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Marie Curie, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Irena Sendler, Marie Tharp, Frida Kahlo, Malala Yousafzai, have fought to transcend societal barriers and pave the way for other women to fulfill their ambitions.  

We came across an inspiring recap of women leadership over time and across the globe as part of Tiffany Shlain’s and the Moxie Institute’s Documentary - 50/50

Another forum that showcases female role models of the past and the present is the website, SheHeroes, whose motto is “to inspire girls to become tomorrow’s leaders.” With a vast compilation of videos and articles showcasing current and historic women scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, sports professionals, film makers and journalists, SheHeroes aims to help young girls pursue their ambitions and career goals. By highlighting positive women role models and their success stories on their website, SheHeroes is providing young girls with inspiration to build better lives for themselves and the future generations, for they believe that “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it!”

“We target boys and girls in 3rd-8th grade, trying to catch the young women before they trip their tree of possibilities (as to what they can be when they grow up) and showing young boys that women can be CEOs and their colleagues in the workplace. We provide free online videos with discussion questions that can be used in schools, afterschool programs or by parents/relatives or any caring adult in a young person’s life. …The videos are for boys and girls and our research has shown that it is needed and changes the minds of boys and girls as to what they feel women can be,” explains SheHeroes Co-Founder and Board Chair, Sophia Yen. She goes on to proclaim, ”Having a woman president of the USA, the highest position in the world, will be a glass-ceiling shattering moment. It will be one step closer for equality for young women. However, we still need to make sure that women feel welcome in the workforce and that girls can see themselves in those jobs. And pass the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) and other family-friendly policies in the workplace.”

In recent years, Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s film Miss Representation has been rallying women against the ways in which mainstream media and culture contribute to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence. The Representation Project was founded in response to an overwhelming public appreciation in support of the film’s message. The mission of The Representation Project is “to inspire individuals and communities to challenge and overcome limiting stereotypes so that everyone, regardless of gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, or circumstance, can fulfill their human potential.”

According to The Representation Project, parents and caregivers have the ability to positively influence their children despite the ubiquitous influence of media. Both girls and boys are under undue stress and pressure to look and behave a certain way thanks to the media induced notions and stereotypes. Find more information on building confidence and self-esteem for your children here. A major impact of The Representation Project has been seen via their #NotBuyingIt campaign, through which they have implored and successfully influenced huge companies such as GoDaddy, Amazon and BudLight to change how they portray women and men in advertising, stereotyping them to limiting perceptions such as women for their beauty and sexuality and men for their confidence and machoism.

A few other noteworthy resources worth checking out are:

Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media – Founded by Academy-Award winning actor Geena Davis, this organization aims to improve gender balance, reduce stereotyping, and create diverse female characters in the entertainment media.

A Mighty Girl – The world’s largest collection of books, movies and toys about inspiring and strong women role models.

Here at SmartFeed too, our focus is on positive mindset media and social-emotional learning that can support kids in building critical life skills. We have a wonderful compilation of media resources showcasing Inspiring Female Role Models, Inspiring Male Role Models, Current Events and media highlighting Courage and Confidence– inspiring kids to overcome their fears and develop self-confidence to stand up for righteousness. 

Here are some media titles with inspiring female protagonists whose motto is that, “if you believe in yourself and have the courage to stand up for what is right, you can achieve anything.”

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 tales of extraordinary women – An Inspiring collection of stories of the lives of 100 pioneering women from around the world. A must-read for young girls and boys.

I am Malala – The true story of a young Pakistani girl who is fighting for the cause of female education and female empowerment; she nearly lost her life when she was shot point-blank by a Taliban extremist. Malala Yousafzai  is the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Zootopia – Judy Hopps is the first ever rabbit (female) police officer in the metropolis of Zootopia.  An unwavering faith in her abilities and a never give up attitude leads her to uncovering a high-profile conspiracy case.

Queen of Katwe – Despite the hardships of living in a slum in Katwe, Phiona Mutesi, a young Ugandan girl , learns to play chess and eventually becomes Woman Candidate Master. A true story of how this chess champion persevered to open the doors to a better future for herself and several others.

Cool Careers Dress Up for Girls – Show your little girl that she can aspire to become an astronaut, a doctor, a racecar driver or a corporate CEO with this app, which opens up several possibilities beyond the more traditional career paths for women.

Dotopedia – Tag along with tech savvy, 8-year old Dot on a quest to learn about a multitude of topics. The idea behind the central character, Dot, is to encourage and inspire girls to get into the field of technology.

As we look to the future, we can surely hope that our dream of equal rights and respect for every girl and every woman will soon be realized.

“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” ~ G.D. Anderson