Current Focus Area: Self-Esteem & Empowerment

The Junior League of Halifax’s current focus area is self-esteem and empowerment of girls and women. From current events, startling statistics, and feedback from the community it is clear there is a need for assistance in this area.

According to research from the Canadian Women’s Foundation:

  • Over 50% of girls wish they were someone else.
  • 36% of girls in Grade 6 say they are self-confident. By Grade 10 this number drops to just 14% of girls.
  • As girls enter adolescence, from ages 9 to 13, their confidence declines sharply and they experience higher rates of depression.
  • Girls are twice as likely as boys to be cyberbullied.
  • 9 out of 10 girls say they feel pressure from the media to be thin.
  • Research shows that seeing sexualized images of women in the media causes many girls to be highly critical of their bodies, undermining their confidence and increasing feelings of shame, anxiety, and
    self-disgust. (http://www.canadianwomen.org)

Studies show that low self-esteem in girls and women reduces empowerment. To be empowered is to promote self-actualization and to have the desire to reach ones potential. Increased self-esteem and feeling positive about oneself promotes mental well-being, healthy behaviors, and good life choices. Girls with positive self-esteem generally feel in control of their lives, are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, are able to surround themselves with positive people, and tend to be more confident in school and in life. When girls have low self-esteem, their desire to reach their potential is minimized.

To address this issue in our community the JLH researched, created, and facilitates a free six-week workshop for girls ages 9-12 called Girl Link. We seek to build resilience in girls and promote self-esteem and empowerment by providing opportunities for confidence building, connection to other girls in the community, and critical thinking skills through activities, crafts, and discussion in a fun, comfortable, and safe environment.

Photos from JLH Community Focus Training

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