Aspire for Equality has announced a global gathering for girls and their parents, teachers, and caregivers, that aims to empower and unify young women and those who care for them to continue facing the most difficult global crisis in over a century.
Inspired by the poem “Footprints in the Sand”, the event aims to encourage girls and young women to follow in the footsteps of great female leaders who have come before them, and how to begin leaving their own “footprints” to inspire others who will follow.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has created increasing mental health, self-confidence, and well-being issues, as well as the ability to effectively navigate key life decisions, especially for girls and young women,” Dr. Collins said.
Adolescence, particularly mid- to late-adolescence (16-21 years), is a critical period for all young people. But for girls and young women, it is a time when they are at emotional and personal risk, and in some countries, when decisions are made for them about their education, marriage and career paths without their consent.
“But in nearly every country,” Dr. Collins continued, “pre-existing gender and identity inequalities, as well as emotional and physical violence, are exacerbated by Covid-19, but especially for those on the economic margins.”
According to the U.N. as many as 11 million girls are at risk of never returning to school as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. However, in those countries where women play a leading role in high-level decision-making, Covid-related outcomes (including the number of cases and deaths) are significantly improved.
“Girls today must reach their potential, despite the odds, they are the answer to solving the world’s biggest issues,” Dr. Collins affirms. “A recent global focus group I held with participants from Rwanda, Uganda, Iran, the UK, US, and Canada revealed these young women desire to learn as much as possible from those women who have overcome incredible obstacles in typically male-dominated fields like science, technology, government, law, finance, and the industries that lead our world. It’s what they want, and need to know most.”
The program schedule and tools will focus on personal empowerment and self-confidence, well-being during the pandemic, facing fears, networking and community, embracing new ideas for innovative solution-finding, global citizenship and change agency, principled leadership, and more.
The conference running on April 6 and 7, 2021 and embraces all girls, young women, and transgender teens ages 16-21. For each ticket that is purchased, another ticket will be donated to a girl who cannot afford to attend.
For over two decades, Dr. Sam Collins has been a leading global voice on women’s equality as a social entrepreneur, international speaker and author. Aspire for Equality is a global community that champions for equality for everyone, everywhere, through events, training and coaching for women and girls.