The Girls Scouts of America (GSA) have launched a positive new campaign in support of young girls and women. The campaign is called “To Get Her There,” promotes confidence in girls, and helps them reach a successful future they might not otherwise pursue.
Despite the fact that women have long been gaining social status and power, men still dominate leadership roles in our society. From science and math degrees to CEO positions to political offices, women are sorely underrepresented.
Many girls today embody ideal leadership qualities such as honesty, a strong work ethic, and the ability to be a team player; they still shy away, however, when it comes to pursuing high-power careers and leadership roles.
Why? There’s a multitude of reasons. Some lack the confidence to believe they have the right qualities. Others might have pursued success but instead bowed to peer pressure to conform to more traditional roles. It’s difficult to pursue ambitious goals when you don’t have many role models or mentors to look up to, and with the lack of women in high-profile careers, that can be hard to come by.
Girls also face a unique disadvantage with female body issues. Plastered all over the media—magazines, television, movies—is the “ideal” woman and what is expected of her. Girls who don’t fit that exact profile can feel like outcasts and will often seek to find acceptance rather than celebrating their differences.
What’s worse is that the media has also made it clear that it’s not OK to break the mold, as in the recent scandal involving Kristen Stewart. Not only has she faced open hate from previous fans for her admitted affair with Snow White and the Huntsman director, but she has been constantly criticized for not living up to the world’s expectation of what she ought to be.
This unforgiving culture, complete with shame and inequality is what we are teaching our girls today. That’s why this new GSA campaign is so vital. Yes, women are more independent and successful today than in the past, but we are still far from reaching our potential.