One BIG Kick & an Unstoppable Wave – The Girl Effect

I got lucky. I was born third. I have a big sister and a big brother, so when I was young a wide range of toys spilled out before me and I got to play with any kind of toy I fancied.

I had my sister’s Barbies to play with and I eventually even got the Winnebago so Barbie and her buddies could go on vacation when they needed to put up their deformed feet and take a break from their fashion obsession.

I had my brother’s GI Joe and his cool camouflage military van, Tonka trucks and Matchbox cars. My dad got us tiny houses and itty-bitty fake trees and we created a town for our cars to drive around in. We also had cap guns, pistols, holsters and tiny wee green soldiers that still occasionally pop up, these many decades later, in the dirt of the yard of our childhood home.

The very best part of my growing up is that I was not fenced in by gender roles – I had access to it all, from one extreme to the other.

I loved to play football. I was often quarterback and when I wasn’t, I was a wide receiver running for long bombs down near our opponent’s end zone. At first, I didn’t realize I was playing a game not intended for my gender. One Halloween I wore my brother’s football uniform to school as a costume and I can remember loving how it was so comfortable and easy to play on the playground in it – ever try to enjoy the monkey’s bar in a dress?

As I got older, I was forced to abandon my love of football – no room for girls on the field, of course. It didn’t seem fair that I couldn’t play.

And this is what The Girl Effect hinges upon – what exactly girls ARE and ARE NOT allowed to pursue as their lives unfold. What activities and opportunities are supported? And which ones are forbidden?

Sadly, the supported options tend to fall in the category of domestic work including doing dishes, washing clothes, carrying water, marrying young. Sadly again, what tends to be forbidden is the most empowering of activities: reading, writing, pursuing education, working outside the home, exercising one’s freedom to choose for oneself.

Sometimes it seems nothing is changing – girls and women across the globe still fight every single day to be heard, educated, valued, paid equally, respected, free to pursue what interests us. And that’s STILL true even in the fattest country on earth.

Sometimes, particularly in far off (AND not so far off) lands, girls are prevented from discovering their own most meaningful, fulfilling lives, stymied by cultural mores, at the hands of those who are so invested in the status quo that they can’t see the amazing potential of each and every girl.

This hurts girls – deeply.

And this hurts their communities – the very communities that demand that these limitations on girls stay firmly in place HURT THEIR OWN PROSPERITY by attempting to diminish the power of each girl.

But now the truth is motion – it’s The Girl Effect!

Now a new understanding is sparking to life in people’s minds and hearts across the world – the whole world! It won’t be spontaneous, I wish it were, but it IS inevitable – an unstoppable wave of support and change is moving toward each precious girl who yearns to live life according to her inner compass, reaching for knowledge, in pursuit of her dreams.

It wasn’t possible way back when I was girl, but look what’s happened:

The Queen of Kick is here!

Meet straight-A student, homecoming queen, football-playing Brianna Amat who won the homecoming football game in her hometown in Michigan with one BIG kick, who graciously wears her homecoming crown at the same time she sports shoulder pads.  [You can learn more about her story here.]

This is my favorite picture – she’s beautiful
in her shiny crown AND her football uniform!

Things ARE changing. Not fast enough, no doubt, but incrementally – and we must stay inspired and on task so we can help girls in even the farthest reaches of our planet.

We can strengthen the wave of hope so it crashes on MORE shores where more and MORE girls wait with their most heartfelt dreams on hold – they are waiting for us to reach them. We have to hurry!

Invest in girls – and you will lift entire communities to new levels of wellness.

Invest in girls – and you will support the development of our next generation of brilliant problem-solvers.

We inch closer to each girl with every inspired action, generous donation and open mind we bring to the process.

We need YOU to be part of this wave – bring YOUR inspired action, generous donation and open mind!

Learn more about the girl effect here:  The Girl Effect!

And please join the girl effect blogging campaign here:

What can YOU kick start to help girls in the world?

I thank you wholeheartedly for YOUR INSPIRED ACTION.

goooooooooooooooooooooooooo girls!

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