Nadine Spencer

Represent Women by Recognizing Women

Children and young adults around the world are always taught if they want to be taken seriously they have to “lead by example” and “practice what you preach.” There seems to be a disconnect with that saying as we open the discussion of gender inequality and how women are misrepresented in digital, print and entertainment media.

Gender Inequality Ad

Gender Inequality Ads. Image UN Women USA

For example, industry women are constantly mocked and critiqued for their red carpet styles from head to toe, but men never receive the same scrutiny. Did you ever hear of natural haired women being ostracized in the business world because their hair is not perceived as professional enough? For positive examples of women in the media to be recognized and praised, there is a great need for inspiring and dynamic role models to learn from.

Luckily, there have been examples of positive women leaders that constantly speak to the nature of representing women and girls not just in the media, but every facet of life. From Hillary Clinton, Oprah

Hillary Clinton- Women and Girls as Agents of change
“There is still so much we have to talk about, women and men together, about what we need to do to widen the circle of opportunity for women and girls…to give those of us who are lucky enough and blessed enough to have so many opportunities in our lives to connect with, network with, contribute to that cause. We are already seeing the power of women and girls as agents of change” said Hillary Clinton in her 2010 Ted Women’s Talk. Her talk expressed the value of women and girls flourishing, and how it can be a catalyst for foreign policy change.

Debbie Sterling- Only 11% of engineers in the US are women

Debbie Sterling opened her 2013 TedX PSU talk asking the audience to picture an engineer, and the audience lacked the ability to picture a female engineer.Her perspective is since half the US population is women, there needs to be a female point-of-view of the innovative products and services that are changing the world. Women are underrepresented in the engineering world, as other industries, due to lack of perception women can possess equal talent and intellect to create, outside of the home. Women engineers like Debbie are needed to close the gap of women and girls in the industry and represent them to receive education and training.

Karen Bass- Child welfare and human trafficking needs the lid blown open

Rep. Karen Bass (D- California) took to C-SPAN in 2014 to discuss issues around 12 year old girls being sold into sex trafficking and the need for legislation and resources to train staff state by state to combat the problem. Young vulnerable girls are taken off streets and seduced into sex trafficking business and its happening all over the nation. According to Bass, a large percentage of girls come from the child welfare system. It’s female voices like Rep. Bass that continue to blow the lid open about sex trafficking and how media and entertainment has misrepresented women around this issue.

The film screening of Miss Representation directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom will be held Monday, March 23 at The University of the West Indies- Mona in Kingston, Jamaica. RSVP at The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with seven leading professionals in film, art, education, marketing, and business.

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