Women’s History Month According to Our YAB: Part 1

March is Women’s History Month. To honor that, we asked our Youth Advisory Board: what is the biggest challenge facing girls and women today and who is a girl or woman who has paved the way or is paving the way for fighting against this challenge. We know, we know! This was a tough couple of questions for our YAB to answer! But, answer they did! Here’s what they had to say…

The Biggest Challenges Facing Women and Girls Are…

Silencing, Stereotyping, and a “Lack of Recognition”

“I think the biggest challenges facing women and girls today is not being heard or seen. In school, the workplace, government, etc. women are not regarded the same way men are and don’t get the respect we deserve as human beings. Our rights are being debated by men and we need to work so much harder to even be recognized in certain fields like science and math. There are so many issues that women face being women, but all of the stereotypes, discrimination, and hate stem from the same thing: a lack of respect or recognition.” – Priscilla P.

“One challenge is the stereotypes that women aren’t capable, smart, or iconic.” – Amaiya A.

“I believe one particularly large challenge facing women and girls today is when people assume that sexism and misogyny no longer exist, or even if they do exist, their effects on everyday life are minor. This misconception is used to silence women and allows serious problems across the globe to be ignored.” – Clara T.

Who We Can Look Up To: 

  • Emma Watson
  • Amaiya A. “Me! And every other girl or woman in this world who chooses to be wholeheartedly herself because in this world/day and age, that’s activism in itself.”
  • @the.sisofficial

Hypersexualization, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Assault

“I think the biggest challenge facing women and girls today is sexual harassment. It may look different for women/girls of different ages, but overall, I think women are manipulated or pressured into doing things they are not comfortable with way too frequently.” – Rhea A.

“One challenge is that women–especially women who are lesbians–are sexualized.” – Zoe B.

“I think the biggest challenge facing women today is the patriarchy, and all things descended from that. For example, Sarah Everard was murdered in downtown London this month by a police officer. Women and girls face street harassment and sexual assault every day.” – Ria L.

“The biggest challenge that women faces women and girls is sexual assault/rape culture.” – Angela R. 

Who We Can Look Up To: 

Toxic Beauty Standards

“Social media and body image is the biggest issue!” – Addison O.

“Low self-esteem issues caused by a lack of diverse body positivity on the internet.” – Faria E.T.

“I think a huge challenge for both women and girls is trying to meet the beauty standards that society creates. There is tremendous pressure to try to look perfect and perfect is based on what the media says.” – Nina K. 

Who We Can Look Up To: 

A Lack of Fundamental Equality

“I think that the wage gap is the biggest challenge women face. According to American Association of University Women statistics, ‘In a comparison of occupations with at least 50,000 men and 50,000 women in 2017, 107 out of 114 occupations had statistically significant gaps in pay that favored men; six occupations had no significant gap; and just one had a gap favoring women.’” – Aanya V.

“Women still are challenged with fundamental inequality in the workplace, athletics, and overall in the world.” – Caroline T.

“The biggest challenge facing women and girls today is inequitable education access.” – Hayden B.

“The biggest challenge facing females today is still the lack of equal rights for women. Specifically, women experience unequal pay, pregnancy discrimination, sexual assault, domestic violence, discrimination in insurance, and unequal military policies.” – Eden S.

Who We Can Look Up To: 

There’s No One, Single Issue!

“There’s so many different ways to answer this question! This is why I think that it’s so important to support every woman in the way that they need, as only tending to a specific challenge some women may be facing, is the opposite of what womanism really is.” – Charlotte H.

Who We Can Look Up To: 

  • Marsha P. Johnson
  • Mila V. “A woman who is paving the way in the fight for women, me! I am proud to call myself a feminist who is trying to make change in the world around me. I use my social media platforms to not only spread awareness on gender equality, but I also try and educate others that are willing to listen. Lastly, I make sure to stand my ground in my everyday life and speak up and talk about the taboo, uncomfortable, and awkward topics to individuals who are not allies, and fighting for equality for women and young girls.” 
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