ADVOCATING ON BEHALF OF ALL GIRLS
We translate our work with girls into powerful advocacy to improve opportunities for them to succeed and lead healthy, educated, and independent lives
Driving policies and practices that open doors to girls and ensure equality.
We engage in advocacy that focuses on the needs of girls from low-income communities and girls who face multiple, intersectional challenges such as those based on sex, race, religion, ethnicity, immigration status, disability, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Combat Bullying, Harassment, & Sexual Violence
Sexual harassment and violence can lead to ongoing physical, mental, and economic consequences and can adversely affect the ability of girls to stay in school and hold down jobs, further limiting their opportunities. Girls Inc. takes a holistic approach to combating sexual violence, harassment and bullying by raising awareness about girls’ rights and schools’ obligations and advocating for policies that promote safe learning environments and address the root causes of sexual violence.
Bullying and Sexual Harassment Fact Sheet
Sexual and Dating Violence Fact Sheet
Promote Educational Opportunities & Economic Independence
Too many girls are not receiving the educational opportunities and support they need to achieve their dreams. Women earn only 31% of all post-secondary STEM degrees awarded in the United States despite the fact that girls who are exposed to STEM programming at a young age express interest in these subjects. In addition, punitive and exclusionary school discipline practices often push girls out of the classroom instead of providing them with the support they need to be successful in school. Girls Inc. fights to improve access to quality educational experiences for underserved girls, for whom such opportunities are critical in overcoming income inequality and other challenges to reaching their potential.
Increasing Opportunities for Girls in STEM Fact Sheet
Reforming Unfair School Discipline Practices Fact Sheet
Support Girls’ Mental Health
No one should be made to feel ashamed about taking steps to improve their mental health. While 1 in 5 teens report suffering from a mental illness, many do not feel comfortable asking for help because of societal stigma and those who do may not have access to quality, affordable care. Almost 8 in 10 high school girls report being unhappy with their bodies, LGBTQ students experience high rates of bullying and harassment, and girls who survive trauma often get punished for coping behaviors instead of getting the help they need to heal.
Support Girls’ Mental Health Fact Sheet
Advance Reproductive Justice
Too many young people do not have the necessary information they need to make informed decisions about their bodies and sexual health. Often the girls who are least informed are the most vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections, unplanned pregnancy, and unhealthy relationships. In order for girls and young women to make informed decisions about their bodies and health, Girls Inc. advocates for comprehensive, medically accurate, non-shaming, and LGBT-inclusive sexuality education, as well as access to quality, affordable reproductive health care for all girls and women.
Reproductive Health: Helping Girls Lead Healthy Lives
Sexual and Dating Violence Fact Sheet
Address the Prevalence of Gender
Stereotypes in Media
From magazines to marketing campaigns, media and retail industries bombard girls with negative stereotypes and limiting images. These messages teach girls that their worth is tied to their appearance and shape their ideas about gender roles, sexual behavior, substance use, and violence. Girls Inc. supports initiatives to improve girls’ media literacy skills and promotes media use of healthy and diverse body images, positive and active female role models, and equal and healthy relationships.
Advocate for Strong and Growing Girls Inc. Local Organizations
Research shows that there are numerous benefits to afterschool, summer learning, and mentoring programs including improved school attendance, increased graduation rates, lifetimes earning gained, lowered risk of youth involvement in unsafe behaviors, and dollars saved through reduced juvenile delinquency and crime. Yet for every child in an afterschool program, two more are still waiting to get in. Girls Inc. advocates for expanding access to meaningful out-of-school educational opportunities, particularly those that help underserved girls overcome income inequality and a host of other challenges.
Our Current Advocacy Efforts
In 2018, Girls Inc. launched the #GirlsToo campaign to bring awareness to the impact of sexual harassment and violence among youth and build a movement to shift the deeply entrenched norms that fuel these behaviors. Our vision is to create a culture where all girls and young people grow up safe, respected, and valued. Together, we can create the world we know is possible.
While we are alarmed by the Department of Education’s decision to roll back Title IX protections, Girls Inc. will continue to work to ensure that student survivors of sexual assault get the support they need to continue their education. Help us keep up the drumbeat on social media using the hashtag #StopBetsy and urge your school systems and colleges to make a public commitment to continue implementing the 2011 Title IX guidance.
Opportunities to Advocate