Yesterday I spoke at the Girls, Inc. Annual Luncheon in Wilmington, NC., about how the characters in my books personify the qualities and conditions demanded in the Girls Bill of Rights.
After my introduction, I faced the guests feeling somewhat inadequate. Several women before me had spoken briefly and eloquently–right off the top of their heads–about the importance of sending young girls into the world prepared to meet its challenges, and there I was with four pages of carefully prepared, well-rehearsed comments.
When I say “off the top of their heads,” I mean vibrant, moving, earnest encouragement to get off your butt and act–help teach young girls to be smart, strong and bold.
As thanks for my presentation, I received a large, beautifully illustrated and framed copy of the Girls’ Bill of Rights. Here are the words every young girl–and adult woman–should know.
Girls’ Bill of Rights
Girls have the right to be themselves and to resist gender stereotypes.
Girls have the right to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm.
Girls have the right to take risks, to strive freely, and to take pride in success.
Girls have the right to accept and appreciate their bodies.
Girls have the right to have confidence in themselves and to be safe in the world.
Girls have the right to prepare for interesting work and economic independence.
These rights don’t disappear once girls grow into women. Rights, like women, become more powerful with age.