Empowering girls and women is powerful. Today, we know it is the key to economic growth, political stability, and social transformation. World leaders, experts and scholars alike are giving their voice to this critical endeavor.
In order to close the ambition gap, however, those who already hold positions of power, and are frustrated with the lack of young women excelling at work, will have the next move, guiding us as we take our first steps into the workforce.
This year my daughter will celebrate her first birthday. I became a mother last year for the first time, and it is the most beautiful gift and the most amazing adventure! Yet, having a daughter does make me a bit concerned; the world has not come as far as I would have liked.
When I was 7 years old, I had a panic attack at a restaurant while on vacation with my family in Greece. We were in the middle of dinner when suddenly inexplicable feelings of dread and fear began to consume me.
As South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu explains it: "You can't be human all by yourself." According to Ubuntu, our humanity -- our ability to make a difference -- is realized through our generosity toward others.
Every day our juvenile justice system locks up girls who are victims of sexual violence, and physical and emotional abuse. In fact, we often incarcerate victimized girls in a misguided effort to provide them with services and to "protect" them.
How do they regain their balance, build up their confidence, and imagine a brighter future? There are no simple answers, of course. But we do know programs that give young men and women a sense of empowerment and hope are making a real difference in lives and communities everywhere.
Messages about self-care and the importance of recovery aren't always sent as strongly as messages about achievement and success, and that has implications for how women eventually work, live, and parent.