Category: Empowering girls
2017 was quite a year. Personally, I felt the progress – I was happy to see the first I was thrilled to witness the first meeting of 140+ women in The Gender Equality Network Canada/Réseau d’égalité des genres Canada, which is and building inclusive, intersectional leadership. I was glad that a worldwide conversation had finally started […]
This story was originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of SHE Magazine.
“Are you having a boy or a girl?”
I wonder how much longer we’ll ask expectant parents this question. Maybe instead we should start asking ourselves why assigning a gender at birth is so important to us.
More and more young people in Canada are starting to express their gender in unique ways that go beyond the masculine/feminine binary. As parents, it is critical that we respond with love, curiosity, and an open mind.
The word ‘empowerment’ has been popular for many years. In Effective Empowerment: Strategies for Accessible Education, I note that empowerment is “…based on the idea that giving people skills, resources, opportunities, and strategies will enable them to be accountable for their own actions, and will contribute to their independence, competence, and satisfaction.”
When it comes to disabled girls ages 8-12, the challenges they face in reaching empowerment are often the same issues that their non-disabled peers face. However, they also face their own specific hurdles.
Every child is a potential leader. Even if they weren’t “born” leaders, they may be taught to become them by parents, teachers and other role models.
Leaders are people who have the ability to empower others to get things done. They inspire other people and set the directions to create something new. It isn’t about being at the top of a hierarchy, but about forging a path forward in collaboration with others.
So what personal qualities and skills could make your kid a great leader? There isn’t an exact answer. It all depends on personality and surroundings. For instance, some children are more confident than others, but that doesn’t make them a leader. As a parent, you play a huge part in helping your child develop the ability to lead.