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Gender stereotyping is like smog, poisoning the ability of America's girls to reach their full potential and to live safely.

But just as it's hard to see smog at street level, it's often hard to see gender stereotyping in everyday situations, and it's even harder to see how it poisons our girls' enthusiasm and creativity. But that's what it does. Every day.

Gender stereotyping includes any behavior that subjugates girls, from the seemingly benign—calling women 'girls'—to the obviously harmful—sexual assault—and all sorts of behaviors between those extremes, But let's be very clear: it's always destructive, both in the short-term and the long-term. And it's not just girls who suffer; a society that persecutes girls is a society that will never achieve its potential, and therefore it's a society in which all its members suffer.

Girls deserve to have a blank canvas on which to paint the story of their lives. Unfortunately, they're often forced to fight gender stereotypes caused by social conditioning in order to participate in many activities, makings it unnecessarily difficult—and often impossible—for them to realize their full potential. Our girls' futures must be formed by their desires, not by the preconceived notions dictated by our society's gender roles.

In the last hundred years we've seen multiple feminist movements strive to make gender equality the norm, but a century later the needs of our girls for equality and safety still haven't been met. So we knew that girlsCAN! needed to be extremely effective if we expected to create an America that is truly gender equal in our daughters' lifetimes. The result is a system that incorporates a combination of powerful techniques and effective teaching methodologies that our girls are using to stamp out gender bias in their lives.

In the end it's up to everyone—girls, boys, parents, educators—to create environments in which our girls are treated as truly equal by looking for and eliminating gender stereotyping in their lives. And you can support our mission to create an America that champions our girls' safety and success by contributing to our funding. The effectiveness of our bias-busting techniques means that funding even $10 a month moves us closer to our goal: true gender equality for our girls!