I am Miriam Gonzalez and I believe that every girl, every woman, should feel free to dream high and choose whatever she wants to do in life. I believe that women and men are equal and that the only limit to girls’ dreams should be the extent of their own efforts.
I also think that there is an inner role model inside every single woman and that young girls should look up to them to realise how many possibilities they have in life. That is why we have set up Inspiring Girls International. Because we want to make easy for girls all around the world to have access to female role models no matter where they all live.
In October 2013 I launched a national campaign in the UK called Inspiring Women to connect British girls with female role models living in the UK. We tried to prove that there are hundred of thousands of female role models that might not be on TV or in the glossy magazines but they are an amazing example for young girls. We have got more than 25,000 women all over the country (old, young, senior, junior, working full-time, part-time, stay at home mums, women from most profesional sectors…) going back to schools to meet with girls. And then we told the girls that they could be like those women, because they are all ‘normal women’ who have got where they are in live by working hard at whatever they do. But we also told them that they should disregard any of the silly labels that society often throws at women, and they should still focus on pursuing their dreams, free of any social constraints.
After three years devoting a lot of my spare time to this campaign and criss-crossing the country meeting women and girls, what I have learned is that there are tonnes of amazing, truly wonderful women. And also thousands of outstanding girls – girls that make me feel full of hope towards the future.
But I have also learned that most women, regardless of their background or their age, suffer at some point in their lives from a lack of self-confidence. And that lack of self-confidence is a seed that often gets to us while we are still girls. Lack of self-confidence affects girls infinitely more than boys. Not only in the UK but all over the world. If we do not get rid of that seed when girls are still young, the seed grows, and it will limit the aspirations and the phenomenal potential of most girls.
That is why I have founded Inspiring Girls International. Because issues such as the lack of self-confidence, the pressure of labels and the lack of access to female role models are issues that affect most girls all around the world. Women and men of my generation have a duty to show to young girls that they are free to decide what to do with their lives – as free as boys. I want girls to aim high and work hard. I want them to feel free to follow their dreams. Because that is their right.
If you are a woman or man with a tiny bit of time to give to the girls (just one hour a year!) if you are a teacher, if you have ideas to make the campaign bigger and better, please join us. It is not only a great cause – it is also a lot of fun!