Numbers do not lie. Politicians do, conmen do, you and I probably have a couple of times, heck, a LOT of times, but numbers do not lie. Therefore you best believe these statistics that show that 9 out of 10 girls in Kenya feel pressured to hide their beliefs, to be less feminine and take fewer risks. This is to say that for one reason or the other, out of ten girls, nine cannot be vocal about values they stand for, principles they hold dear and they cannot stand for what they believe in. Nine out of ten girls feel pressured to be a ‘little less girly’ and to avert risks, regardless of the potential returns. So count yourself the lucky 1 if you never experienced these as a girl.
It is for these nine out of ten girls, that Always, the world’s leading feminine care brand officially launched the Stand Up campaign, an initiative that aims to encourage the Kenyan girl child to believe and to stand up for her dreams and aspirations.
“The initiative hopes to empower girls to have the confidence to pursue their aspirations regardless of the different obstacles they may face in order to reach them,” said Evanson Mwaniki, Always Brand Manager Kenya.
To prove that indeed girls can stand up to make their dreams come true, Always has chosen to work with two of the best examples of women who followed, worked for and are currently living their dreams-Elizabeth Marami, Kenya’s first marine pilot and Silalei Owuor, Kenya women’s basketball team captain. The two have quite inspiring stories that they purpose to share with young girls to encourage them and to inspire them to believe in their dreams.
Ms. Marami is Kenya’s first and youngest fully-trained female marine pilot. She always wanted to be the first female something ever since she was a little girl, and to have achieved that at only 26, is no mean fete, more especially since the field is male-dominated. And just like her mother stood up for her during her trying times, she is excited to help other girls with confidence issues and to encourage them to work towards their dreams.
Silalei Owuor left the United States to pursue her dreams here in Kenya. Now I don’t know how many of us would actually do that-leave the world’s number one super power country to come to Kenya to follow your dreams. I know for a fact that it would take divine intervention for me (and many of you readers) to do that.
She began playing basketball at the age of seven with her mother and brothers and with the fundamental skills that her father taught her, she has risen to be one of the best basketball players Kenya has. Faced with racism and trying to prove that she was worth playing big ball, she forged on determined to make it in basketball. And she has, I mean, she is team captain for the national women’s team! She is a role model to many girls, and she commands great influence. This together with the passion she has for the development of the girl child is why she is happy to partner with Always.
“No girl should feel like she can’t stand up and do something because of her gender. Whatever it is they are good at, whether basketball, people skills or whatever, girls should have the confidence and self-belief to do anything and everything they want.”
Always has also co-developed a new confidence-teaching curriculum called the Always Global Confidence Teaching Curriculum, incorporating the latest research in confidence-building. The curriculum built on Always’30 year heritage in puberty education will reach up to 20 million girls in 65 countries per year. Additionally, TED, the non-profit organization devoted to spreading ideas has committed to supporting Always in teaching confidence to young girls.
You too can share your confidence story and be a part of the #AlwaysStandUpKe campaign and ensure that our young girls stay inspired to believe in their dreams and follow them.