Here are some ideas about what you can do to make a difference.
1. Plan some critical TV viewing with your family, focusing on a particular program. Count the number of male characters and female characters. How are they portrayed? Do the same with the commercials. Have a family discussion about reasons for the gender imbalance and how female characters could be given an equal voice.
2. Help fight sexism in the mass media. If you notice sexism, report it to the Women’s Media Center, which provides a form for this purpose.
3. The Girl Scouts of the USA offers a number of ways to get involved in helping girls reach their full potential. One program is To Get Her There, a bold advocacy initiative dedicated to girls’ leadership issues and the long-term goal to create gender-balanced leadership. Opportunities for volunteers include actions to promote healthy body image, support STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers, end “mean girl” bullying, and more.
4. Help to put more women in leadership roles. Encourage qualified women you know to run for office and support women candidates who are committed to policies that will have a positive impact on women. Visit She Should Run to find out how you can be actively involved in getting more women to run for public office.
5. Organize a celebration of heroines in your community. Work with local community centers, civic organizations or churches to identify local heroes (this could include an essay contest or other nomination process through schools or libraries) and plan an event where the heroes are publicly honored.
6. Take note of the bylines in the publications you read, especially articles about business, politics, and government. If the journalists are mostly male, write to that publication’s editor and ask to see more writing by women on those topics. Similarly, if news and talk shows you see on TV are dominated by men, write to the program directors asking for more women’s voices on those programs.