The Girls Inc. Girls’ Bill of Rights
These advocacy statements are the framework within which we pursue our mission. Each spring, we host an event for greater Indianapolis girls to celebrate and express these crucial rights.
Girls have the right to…
Girls have the right to be themselves and to resist gender stereotypes.
It is our conviction that gender equity will be achieved only when both girls and women have the opportunity, resources, and freedom to become the people they want to be. We affirm our support for equal rights, equitable public and private funding, and commit our own resources to the active promotion of gender equity. We celebrate the similarities and differences among girls and embrace girls of every background and ability.
Girls have the right to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm.
We recognize our responsibility to address publicly the social issues that seriously affect girls’ lives. Girls Inc. is also committed to vigorous advocacy by girls. By advocating on their own behalf, girls come to think of themselves as leaders at a young age. Girls grow to understand, exercise, and protect their rights and the rights of others. Girls learn to assess the long-range implications of their choices, to act on their beliefs, and to take responsibility for the consequences.
Girls have the right to take risks, to strive freely, and to take pride in success.
A sense of adventure today can lead girls to be tomorrow’s explorers of land, sea, and space – bold innovators who dare to be first and best in any field of endeavor. Therefore we provide and endorse opportunities for girls to explore new places and cultures; to experience the exhilaration of healthy risk-taking; and to engage in adventures that challenge them as individuals and as members of a team. We encourage girls to take credit for their work and be proud of what they accomplish.
Girls have the right to accept and appreciate their bodies.
We believe that girls are entitled to thrive in communities that invest in their total physical, mental, and emotional wellness. We work to empower girls to challenge limiting and dangerous body image stereotypes. We encourage all girls to develop positive, healthy attitudes towards sexuality and understand that for young people, abstinence should be the first choice. To make responsible decisions about sexuality, pregnancy, and parenthood, girls need and have a right to comprehensive sexuality education; access to safe and effective methods of contraception and protection from disease; medical privacy; and referral to information and services that support their responsible decisions.
Girls have the right to have confidence in themselves and to be safe in the world.
Overwhelmingly girls are the targets rather than the perpetrators of violence. Many forms of violence pervade girls’ lives, including domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, bullying, sexual abuse, dating violence, and hate crimes. We work to see that girls live safer lives by developing skills to recognize and avoid threatening situations, mediate conflicts, and defend themselves in the face of violence. We oppose media that glorifies violence and trivializes girls and women. We support prevention and early intervention programs that break the cycle of violence.
Girls have the right to prepare for interesting work and economic independence.
Girls Inco. recognizes the importance of a gender-equitable education in developing girls’ confidence and intellect. We maintain that every job is a job for girls to consider. The adults in girls’ lives have the responsibility to open doors and remove obstacles so girls’ early interests become pathways to education, employment, and lifelong fulfillment. We support equal pay for comparable work and recognize the value of unpaid work, most often performed by women and girls, which is vital to a functioning society.