Last week was the one-year anniversary of the #MeToo campaign raising awareness of the vast number of women facing sexual assault. While I am 100% behind this movement, I felt that it was lacking in that so many girls, those who are too young or too at-risk to have a voice, were not being acknowledged. Girls Inc. has stood up once again.
Girls Inc. has launched their own campaign, #GirlsToo, which focuses “on sexual harassment and assault in the lives of youth, particularly girls, and addresses the norms and stereotypes that fuel these behaviors. It also provides resources for girls, boys, parents and educators with guidance for discussing these issues.”
As part of this campaign, Girls Inc. has released a pledge that all can read and sign to participate in this movement. Story and I have taken the pledge, and while this led to some rather uncomfortable conversations, it was nonetheless a valuable experience. The pledge is as follows:
- I believe that every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and that discrimination against girls and women harms everyone.
- I recognize that our society perpetuates violence against women and girls, and I‘m committed to helping change the culture.
- I will respect others and honor their right to say no.
- I will no longer accept sexual harassment and sexual violence as part of growing up.
- I will reflect on my own attitudes, beliefs and behaviors related to gender and sex, and challenge others to do the same.
- I will take action to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and violence and support those affected.
- Together, we will create a more equitable society that values and promotes the dignity of girls and all young people.
I encourage you to visit their website and inform yourself and the girls in your life. Take the pledge and advocate for change. Our girls need us.