I'm exhausted! I'm on the last leg of an Asia trip and I'm going home tomorrow. Weary from odd schedules, long flights, busy countries, skewed sleeping and eating and exercising schedules due to wide swings in time zones (and date lines!), I sit here desperate for bed. But I find it so important to spread the message of The Girl Effect and the plight of educating and supporting girls around the world. So tonight I stretch myself for the global cause.
So in order to join the cause of blogging about The Girl Effect (check it out here), I'd like to tell you about how girls and young ladies have affected my world this past week.
Travel: I'm impressed with the number of young travelers I saw. Girls (and boys) traveled with their families and young women traveled in groups together. Whatever and however you do it, I think travel is imperative in girls' education and leads to cultural understanding, situational awareness, and confidence.
Fashion: It was interesting to see girls and young women so meticulous in their individual personal style in Asia. Gone are the necessity for labels, niches and blind following of trends and advertising. The girls I saw this week were unique and confident. It seems as if they're coming into their own fashion confidence much earlier than I did. And having just followed the end of fashion week in New York, where the dictated trends for next season appear to be metallics / sporty / color block / preppy, these Asian girls and young women rocked a clearly individual style with brightly colored sneakers (or laces) / skirts over knee-length tights / cross-body bags / layers. Travelers and young people tend to wear clothes that work for their adventures, so I trust and enjoy the fashions of the girls and women of all ages I saw on this trip. And despite womens' drive to follow fashion, the girls I saw were leading their own generation of individualism. Hey, if it works for YOU, then work it!
Law: The news-breaking story of Amanda Knox's winning appeal today is flashing across my TV right now. She is a young woman who has lost 4 years of her life locked in prison for a crime she is now acquitted of. The tragedy of Merideth Kircher's murder will live on, but now Amanda Knox has a new chance at life despite the history she must now overcome. It makes me wonder about the young women across the globe who will never have a chance at a fair trial, who are caught up in the challenges of various legal systems, and those who don't have any legal rights at all. I pray for the fair processes to unfold.
So the lessons here are that in order to be an engaging global citizen, one must foster the growth of girls. They are the genetic communicators and connectors of this world because of their nurturing, curious, intelligent and community-mindedness. They will grow up setting trends in fashion (and business and culture as well). They change the landscape of science, medicine and law. And as a female aviator and businesswoman, I know that the young ladies I meet leave an impression on me, as I wonder how the Girl Effect will evolve as girls become young ladies and women leaders of the world. All they need is a chance. Help and contribute by supporting The Girl Effect and blogging about the cause!