During adolescence, a girl’s confidence drops dramatically. She has grown up with the stigma and stereotype that to do something “like a girl” is an insult and something that makes her weaker than the boys. But that just isn’t so. Always is looking to boost confidence among girls with the #LIKEAGIRL campaign, both for girls in the United States as well as those who are in poorer countries abroad.
Always says that 72 percent of girls feel that society limits what they are able to do. This limitation, especially during puberty, distorts a girl’s perception of herself and creates barriers to what she wants to achieve. The campaign wants girls to know that “girls everywhere can be unstoppable #LIKEAGIRL when they smash limitations.”
This campaign is another extension of the work Always has done for the last 30 years with their puberty education. In Ethiopia, Nepal and other developing countries, Always has provided classes that educate girls about what they are going through during puberty. Many girls miss school during their periods because of false information, shame and/or lack of resources. Confidence for these girls drop, but with Always’s puberty education, absenteeism due to periods is being reduced.
Always started telling people that to do things #LIKEAGIRL is amazing with their 2015 Super Bowl ad. Since then, they have created another ad showing girls and young women physically breaking down societal barriers in the form of boxes, such as the notion that “Girls are weak,” to represent that doing things #LIKEAGIRL is actually a show of strength. The girls that see these ads at home are given a confidence boost and the men that are presented with this idea are shown how they might be limiting the women in their lives.
This message is so important for every girl regardless of socioeconomic status, but it can have a powerful psychological message for those girls in poverty who have restricted education, financial freedom, job choice and even choice of a spouse because of cultural gender expectations that they face.
Studies have shown that expanding women’s education is one factor in reducing poverty. UNICEF says, “When all children have access to a quality education rooted in human rights and gender equality, it creates a ripple effect of opportunity that will influence generations to come.”
Always has already partnered with UNESCO in order to help women become literate. Their work directly supports literacy development in Africa; they cite that over 60,000 girls in Nigeria and Senegal have received benefits from the programs there. Literacy education is another way in which girls are given the confidence to be their “amazing, unstoppable selves.”
#LIKEAGIRL has already created a volume of commentary in the United States and has positively impacted girls that have previously suffered from lack of confidence. #LIKEAGIRL will be shown in action on their website coming soon.
Boosting a community out of poverty means boosting girls’ confidence and education. Showing girls that it takes strength to do things #LIKEAGIRL is a positive message that will bring great results.
– Megan Ivy