The world just got a little bit better.
Girls are winning in the next generation of my family. My parents welcomed granddaughter number four (of four). I was… dare I say… jubilant in my anticipation of the arrival of my second niece. Another girl! The possibilities of greatness abound! Some might think that I am piling the weight of the world and some much needed rebalancing of power between genders on their tiny, little female shoulders. I do solemnly swear to heap on an equal or greater amount of love, encouragement, praise, and cuddles.
To my cohort of future female change-making leaders, I have this to say: the road will not be easy. Between elementary and high school, girls’ self-esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys’. You may feel like you should consider taking on more work than necessary. You may hesitate to ask for what you want and feel compelled to lean back from leadership. You may be faulted for your quiet manner, yet find that some seem annoyed when you speak up.
To the naysayers and doubters and ignorant who carelessly (or sometimes purposefully) infuse our environment with messages that stifle the brilliance of females and attempt to relegate them to silence, I have this to say: these girls are not on their own. I am proactively paving the road before them. There are others surrounding them and laying a foundation for their flourishing lives. And before all of us were several generations of formidable women. With each generation we have gotten wiser and more willing to own and embrace our ambitions and talents and all that we have to offer. We might not always see you coming (since you aren’t the center of our world), but when you do, we will be ready for you.
Ladies – Speak up. Think. Create. Challenge. Consider. Listen. Believe in yourself. Know that you are equal and deserve to be treated as such. Most importantly, remember that you are not alone. I and others are here and eager to launch you into very bright futures.
March is National Women’s History Month and this year we are Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment. Let’s celebrate and encourage character, courage, and commitment in our young female leaders. Whether you are excited for it or not…
Watch out! They’re coming!
ARE YOU CELEBRATING OUR FUTURE FEMALE CHANGEMAKERS?
Comment and share – I’d love to hear!
Ifeoma U. Aduba