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The Organization

Four waves of women's rights movements over the past century have resulted in some important milestones for women's equality, to be sure. But, ultimately, the needs of our girls still aren't being met; their success continues to be undermined by stereotypes that lead to inequalities such as participation limitations and pay gaps.

To give our girls a chance to achieve their right to equality, girlsCAN! needed to be different. Our solution?

Turn research-proven techniques for stopping gender bias into an easily learned, practical, and effective system that girls can use to stop gender bias in their daily lives. And top that off with ongoing mentorship to nurture the crucial 'can do' attitude.

The girlsCAN! system involves six priniciples that, when combined and used properly and consistently, result in a change in how males view and treat girls and women. In simplified terms, the principles can be described as:

  • Address gender bias as it happens
  • Do it evey time it occurs (be consistent)
  • Address bias only with those you have influence with
  • Bring out an empathy response in the biased person
  • Discuss your experiences with the Mentors, friends, and family
  • Know that girls both deserve and have a right to equality

Our Mentors

GenderEqual's Mentors take our girlsCAN! program into classrooms all across America, because that's where girls start to internalize gender bias. For example, research has determined that girls as young as 7-years-old believe they aren't good at math simply because they're girls. We know that's simply not true, but it's a problem that our girls believe it is.

Meeting the girlsCAN! Mentors in person is the most powerful way to create a strong bond between our Mentors and our girls, and it's that powerful connection that has girls look to the Mentors not just as role models but as ongoing sources of guidance and inspiration.

Classroom presentations also give girls and boys the chance to ask questions and get answers immediately, which is particularly beneficial for questions that are complex or subtle.

The most important message that students take from girlsCAN! presentations is that gender bias is unnecessary and can be stopped. Girls learn how to identify and stop it, and boys are taught to understand why it's so damaging and how to avoid stereotyping.

While instilling gender-based limitations isn't part of the official school curriculum, it's part of our young girls' reality. That's why there's such urgency to teach as many girls as possible the skills they'll need to protect themselves from gender bias.