By Kiera Murphy
It’s hard to say where we would be in the world if it wasn’t for women having self worth. Women like my mother and grandmothers. Self value as women is something that I believe we build upon generation after generation.
If it wasn’t for those steps that the women before us made to make a stand for women’s rights who would we have to look up to as role models?
From the very moment I was born I was blessed to have a family that stood behind women’s rights. I was the only female grandchild in the family for quite some time. I was raised along side my two male cousins and they were my friends just as much as my cousins. I played with them in the mud and grew up playing co-ed soccer along their side as the only girl on the team. I wasn’t treated any differently. I was just as quick and strong and could probably put up a fight to beat anyone to the ball more than any player out on the field.
I remember my favorite t-shirt said “Yeah I play like a girl, and I can kick the ball 90 mph past your face, just like a girl!” I’m pretty sure I thought the U.S.A. Soccer Women’s National Team where the coolest people on the planet when they won the gold medal in both 1996 and 2004. And when Brandi Chastain lifted her jersey bearing only her sports bra I personally dubbed her as a Goddess! (A major statement in female sports history for the strength
of a Woman).
I was proud to be a girl and not afraid to show my strength. Then as we all do, I turned 13. A lot gets brought onto your plate when you turn 13, including the idea that all of a sudden boys are no longer oozing with cooties. I would find myself in situations when a boy would make me feel terrible about myself. I started wearing make-up in ridiculous ways, I would wear odd clothes that showed way too much and bat my eyelashes just to get that special crushes attention.
I’ve had great opportunities to share my pride to be myself with lots of younger girls through being a camp counselor over the past three summers. Everyday, summer after summer, I was able to be a role model for my campers. When I worked up in the mountains with Girl Scouts, I showed the girls that It was okay to go on an intense hike and get muddy and smelly. When I worked at the beach, I would show girls that it wasn’t embarrassing to go out there in the lineup of surfers in a wetsuit and just catch a wave without worrying who was watching. Summer after summer I watched my campers look up to me for the amount of respect that I showed myself. It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Then came Voice 4 Girls here in India. India really opened up my eyes to the lack of self worth some of these girls experience for their whole lives. Girls all around the world grow up with out a supportive family or environment that helps them realize their value to society. I will never forget my first day as an intern and Voice and I looked one of the little girls right in the eyes and held her hands saying that she can do anything. She can make her dreams come true. I just told her to believe in herself as much as I believe in her. I will never forget that moment and I hope she feels the same way.
Everyone deserves all the opportunities in the world. But when you’re dealing with young girls it takes that role model to look up to. You don’t have to be Mother Teresa or Oprah or Lady Gaga to do it either! I just takes that special person to tell you your worth it! It’s a promise that we must make to the future daughters of the world. Each generation has to fight for our right as women in society to make the future brighter for the future generations. Just this past month I heard a beautiful quote by President Barrack Obama that captures what I’m trying to say and what inspired this blog.
“We must carry forward, the work of women who came before us, and
ensure our daughters have no limits on their dreams, no obstacles to
their achievements, and no remaining ceilings to shatter.” -President
I think it’s important to instill self-worth and value in the mind and heart of every women everywhere, because we are the future of the world. And we go about this by fighting for our rights, standing up for our sisters of the world, and by being that role model for young girls everywhere. We can do it!