Author: Girls' Globe Guest Blogger

When Feminism Became a Marketing Technique

Post written by Halah Flynn, Content and Outreach Manager at 2U for Nursing@USC Marketing to women has been a tried-and-true tactic used by American marketers for centuries. While the benefits of designing and selling products to women, for women, appear to be plentiful, capitalizing on an entire gender of consumers leads young women and girls down a path that is feminist in name only. Brands are often ready to adopt a feminist persona to appeal to women, who make up an powerful sector of the American consumer base. Traditional gender roles have rendered women the primary purchasers of groceries, clothes, and other household products for family needs. Yet, some marketers still treat women as a niche audience, creating gendered versions of everyday products, from writing utensils to disposable razors. A quick look at some major advertising campaigns from the past years show how marketing can push a product masked under a feminist agenda.   Big Tobacco: Perhaps one of the longest-running marketing-to-women campaigns, tobacco companies have been advertising cigarettes to women for over 100 years. …

Menstruation is a Trade Union Issue

This post was originally published in Swedish by The Union of Academics (Akademikerförbundet SSR).  The shame and ignorance surrounding menstruation are obstacles that prevent women around the world from getting an education and working. Swedish trade unions agree: Periods are a union matter. Periods are very much an issue for trade unions – and not a minor one either. On that, the Swedish trade unions are in complete agreement. In an opinion piece published by Swedish newspaper Dagens Arena on Tuesday, six unions, including The Union of Academics (Akademikerförbundet SSR), clarify that menstruation is a vital question of both women’s health and women’s rights on the labour market. Some 800 million people around the world are menstruating on any given day. Despite that, periods are often tainted with guilt, shame and taboos. In Dagens Arena the unions state that: “In many places, women who are menstruating are seen as unclean and are denied the right to work during the days they are bleeding. Periods are also fundamentally a question of health. Around 88 percent of …

Shattering the Norm and Creating a New Future for Adolescent Girls

Written by Marcela Lopez-Macedonio, President & CEO of The Resource Foundation “As a girl, all I knew was housekeeping. I was the only girl at home and I had to wash all my brothers’ clothes. In school, I wasn’t allowed to participate in all the activities because I was a girl,” explains Belkis, a 39-year-old mother in Corbano Sur, Dominican Republic. Belkis shared her story during a parents’ meeting held as part of the Girls’ Education and Empowerment Regional Program, an initiative co-created by The Resource Foundation (TRF) and Johnson & Johnson in 2016.  Her story is not unlike those of many other women across Latin America. The choice to go to school, to start a family, to work – these were not decisions Belkis made for herself, but rather the products of generations of customs, traditions, and circumstances surrounding the roles and rights of women and girls. While significant strides have been made in Latin America, the challenges that Belkis faced as a girl and adolescent persist. Forced marriage, early pregnancy, and violence are …

Women in Leadership – Tällberg Foundation’s 2016 Global Leaders

Blog post by The Tällberg Foundation “By honoring these amazing leaders, the Tällberg Foundation seeks to draw attention to their work and to provoke a global conversation about leadership…they demonstrate that effective, courageous, and innovative leadership can overcome even the most seemingly intractable issues.” – Alan Stoga, Tällberg Foundation’s Chairman At a time of growing doubts about the quality of leadership in many countries, five extraordinary women leaders spur us to question what kind of leadership is required to counter the challenges of the 21st century. This year, the Tällberg Foundation has the incredible opportunity to honor their work through the Global Leaders and Prize process. Celina de Sola, a Salvadorian humanitarian and co-founder of Glasswing International; Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Eleni Antoniadou, a Greek scientist, Sunitha Krishnan, an Indian social activist; and Thuli Madonsela, former South African Public Protector all demonstrate that individual leadership through innovation, ethics, determination and willingness to take great risks still exists. Despite their diverse backgrounds, they all have …

(re)THINKING Youth Development

By Bhongolwethu Sonti “My life has been a great challenge and opportunity as it’s made me flexible to what is constant in the world – change. Change is something that we young people know a lot about – when we reach a certain age our bodies experience many turns and turbulences, some which we can’t explain and at most times no one wants to explain to us.” This was the opening line to my TEDxYouth@CapeTown talk on youth development and meaningful engagement. When we think about development we think of the re-imaging or rejuvenating of a place or situation for the better through a certain process. When it comes to youth development, per Eastern Kentucky University, it is “the process by which young people acquire competencies and positive connections to self, others and the larger community and all the people, places, supports, opportunities and services they need to be healthy, happy and successful.” These definitions, although accurate in describing the process, also outline the crippling problem that hinders this work. Youth development is seen and conducted …

Community Heroes Drive Progress to End Violence Against Women

Blog Post written by Global Fund for Women and Rifka Annisa Global Fund for Women grantee partner, Rifka Annisa, a domestic violence shelter in Indonesia supported by Johnson & Johnson, works to empower women and communities to eliminate gender-based violence. Rifka Annisa works at all levels, providing counseling to male perpetrators, educating the community and training groups of women to address gender-based violence locally, and advocating for new laws and pushing for legal enforcement. Rini Iswandari leads the of Forum for Handling Victims of Violence in Bleberan Village, Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta. Johnson & Johnson partners with the Global Fund for Women to support 5 grassroots organizations like Rifka Annisa in Indonesia and the Philippines to provide services to victims of gender-based violence. This is the last of 3 blog posts spotlighting how collective, community-oriented action is needed to end violence against women around the world.  How are you working to end violence against women or care for survivors of violence in your community? What do your programs to end violence against women in your community look like? Every human …

Women and Girls Working to End Gender-Based Violence at All Stages

Blog Post written by Rise Up and Colectivo Joven Tracie Mendez Saravia and her teenage daughter Jimena are leaders and advocates fighting to reduce the prevalence of violence perpetrated against girls and young women in Guatemala. Tracie is a graduate of Rise Up’s Let Girls Lead initiative, and leads Colectivo Joven (The Youth Collective), a Johnson & Johnson partner. Colectivo Joven’s strategy is to build partnerships between community-based organizations, and to enable young women like Tracie’s daughter Jimena, to strengthen their leadership and participate actively in public forums and dialogues with key decision makers and health providers. Johnson & Johnson partners with Rise Up to support 3 grassroots organizations in Guatemala and Honduras that empower youth to address gender-based violence in their communities. This is the second of 3 blog posts spotlighting how collective, community-oriented action is needed to end violence against women around the world. How are you working to end violence against women or care for survivors of violence in your community? Tracie (T): Our work in the Youth Collective in Jalapa is centered on …

Ending Gender-Based Violence: Health Workers Count

Blog Post written by: International Rescue Committee Gender-based violence is a major challenge that prevents women and girls all over the world from living the full, healthy lives they deserve. On International Day to End Violence Against Women (VAW) on November 25, the global community will rally together to raise awareness and urge action to end the global prevalence of violence against women. In recognition of this day, Johnson & Johnson and partners are coming together to tell stories of how people around the world work in their communities to help stop violence against women. In this blog series, we are spotlighting community members in 3 countries that are on the frontlines of addressing gender-based violence in their communities. Throughout the week of November 21 and in the lead up to the actual day, follow @JNJGlobalHealth as we share the importance of collective action within communities to drive forward action to eliminate violence against women. The International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) comprehensive approach to women’s protection and empowerment supports the pursuit of a world where women …

Keeping Girls In Sport When Everything Changes

Written by Kristina Pinto. The ubiquitous #LikeaGirl phenomenon took on new meaning with the release of a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, which reported that English girls start to leave sports around puberty and the onset of breast development. It seems that the vast popularity of Run Like a Girl branding may be onto something in the collective consciousness of girlhood as the prospect of running like a woman–in a woman’s body–seems to deter many girls from sport. The New York Times coverage of the study makes the case that this decrease in sport participation isn’t inevitable, and other research points to ways that parents, schools, and even girls themselves can continue to find empowerment through girls’ involvement in sport. These suggestions emerge from the literature: Normalize puberty. My research on girls’ experiences of early puberty, published in the Journal of Early Adolescence and Qualitative Health Research, found that girls with families and friends who talk so openly about puberty that it becomes pedantic do not become self-conscious or intimidated by the changes in their bodies. When girls are prepared for puberty through education and …

International Day of the Girl Child: Ensuring a Healthy, Safe Future for Girls Everywhere

Post written by Julie A. Cornell, Manager, Global Community Impact, Johnson & Johnson “At the age of 14, I was married off to a man I’d never met. I gave birth to my first child at 16, and then another two years later. My relatives forced me to drop my education. I had no say in any decisions about the household.” Tamerie* “I was forced to marry at 16. And then my husband’s family forced me to have a child, thinking that if I didn’t give birth, I’d leave him one day.” Zewudie*  In Ethiopia, two in every five girls are married before their 18th birthday, and one in five is forced to marry before age 15. In the Amhara region of Ethiopia where Tamerie and Zewudie live, the rates are higher, with nearly 45% of girls marrying before age 18. As a woman and especially as a mother to a young daughter, Tamerie and Zewudie’s stories of stolen childhoods take on a whole new meaning. Early marriage is believed to be a sound economic …