Stand Beside Her is an example of a new powerful new advocacy campaign launched by Girl Scouts Heart of the South. This national campaign encourages women and girls to support each other. It’s a bold move to reduce comparisons and competition amongst women. The goal: changing our culture so every girl and woman can reach her fullest potential.
There’s something wrong when women are more than 50% of the population and we still ask ourselves “why are women underrepresented in so many aspects of our society?” At a minimum change requires new public policies, new ways of interacting with each other, new roles for men, and a change in consciousness. Stand Beside Her focuses on how we treat each other as women and encourages us to change negative behaviors we have internalized, normalized and may not even be aware of.
This is no small goal. Like most advocacy campaigns it’s about a big vision. It’s right up there with curing HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Securing marriage equality. Eliminating racism.
Here are a few things we learned: 67% of women rate mentorship as highly important in helping to advance and grow their careers, yet 63% of women never has had a formal mentor. 39% of girls have been put down or discouraged when trying to lead. And, 92% of teen girls would like to change something about the way they look, with their body weight ranking the highest.
Girls are watching us and listening to us. How do we treat each other? And how do we treat ourselves? Each of us can be part of the solution. Invite a junior colleague for coffee. Introduce something new to your daughter. Create a mentoring program at work. Ensure you are an informed voter. Avoid negative words and phrases. Encourage others through your words. Volunteer and donate to help girls and women.
Advocacy is critical nonprofit work. It advances the work of a nonprofit in ways that direct services can’t. Advocacy opens up our thinking to new perspectives. It encourages those of us who may feel powerless to join together and make our voices heard. It is a way to engage donors in the ongoing work of a nonprofit. It is more than writing a check: it is an opportunity to open our homes to talk about an important issue. It helps build relationships within our community – and nationally. Advocacy makes the case for change. We have the opportunity to tell a compelling story and encourage others to take actions large and small, and to give. Advocacy can open up your nonprofit to energy, something most of us need.
Advocate for girls and women October 25th – 31st. Let’s choose to Stand Beside Her.
Learn more at www.standbesideher.org
Copyright 2015– Mel and Pearl Shaw
Mel and Pearl Shaw position nonprofits, colleges and universities for fundraising success. For help with your fundraising visit www.saadandshaw.com or call (901) 522-8727.