This is the first post in my blog series about PSA campaigns. I plan on writing about social issues and campaigns that strike a chord each week.
As a woman, I’m obviously all about girl empowerment. But, now that I have a little girl of my own, the subject takes on a different meaning. Like most moms, I want my girl to have even more opportunities than I had. I’m sure both my grandmother and my mother were glad that my world was better than theirs – I didn’t have to fight for the right to vote and I had (and still have) almost as many educational and job opportunities as my male counterparts, just to name a few.
I’ve never seen any of the following videos on TV as a PSA, but I’m sure they would receive significant airtime if they decided to pursue that route. For now, I think they’ve mainly been viral videos and used as online engagement tools.
I recently saw this new video released on SeeJane.org, a website run by The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.
The GDI works to educate the entertainment industry on the need for gender balance, reducing stereotyping and creating a variety of female characters for young women to watch. Who better to lead the charge for women in media than Geena Davis, who played the first female president on TV in “Commander and Chief” and a member of the first female professional baseball league in the movie “A League of Their Own”? One example of their success (in my opinion) is the recent Disney movie release “Brave” where a girl, Merida, is the hero and overcomes an arranged marriage that she doesn’t believe in.
One of my all-time favorite animated videos shows that by helping girls succeed, we can eliminate poverty. The Girl Effect. This video was created by The Nike Foundation and is the first of its kind more than four years ago (yes, I’m going out on a limb here because I don’t know this for a fact.) I really believe it started the revolution of storytelling animation. Now every nonprofit has, or needs, something like this.
I was a girl scout for many years growing up, but have been out of touch with their mission, except for the yearly cookies I buy. They have undergone a very strategic and thoughtful rebrand where they are focusing less on “cookies, camping and crafts” and more on helping girls “discover who they are and what they value; connect with others; and take action to make the world a better place.” They’ve also refocused cookies from the actual sales to what a cookie can do for a girl and her community. This video is a much more engaging way to describe the mission of cookies than a list on their website. (Click the photo to view on Youtube.)
Day of the Girl
While there are so many more nonprofits that focus on empowering girls, The Day of the Girl is a new initiative started in 2012 that focuses on eliminating gender bias and promoting girls’ rights around the world. This video is a simple way to show their mission in less than :30.
What caught me about this nonprofit is that by promoting one day to focus on these issues, they have endless possibilities. Their current toolkit is a great start at providing participants resources and ideas to make the day their own. I’m certain that next year they will see participation skyrocket by promoting viral videos, their toolkit and community conversation through their social media outlets.