The Girl Effect: A World Changing Media Message

Shaping Youth’s All Things Girl Series concludes with a two-parter on The Girl Effect, beginning with this powerful media using kinetic type in motion and piano to amplify and implore action with the same cut through the clutter poignancy that Dove’s Onslaught video used jarring visuals as a media montage.

Can we still use simple WORDS and music to emote in a visual culture creating profound media with the same one-two punch that imagery can?

“Yes, we can!” This compelling media (video after the jump) of girls in adolescence at a crossroads for what tomorrow can bring reflects a worldwide tipping point for change makers and cyclebreakers on a global scale…

Poverty or promise. That’s what it boils down to…Given the opportunity of education, physical and environmental well-being, girls have the potential of shifting toward healthier horizons for us all.

It means raising boys to men that embrace fairness and worth over subjugation, and the ability to achieve economic and societal sustainability that rewards all on the planet. It’s the ‘teach a man to fish’ philosophy applied to ‘give a girl a goat’ gender equity in dramatic bootstrapping splendor, with a fact sheet of stats that makes the case convincingly on why this ripple effect is achieved with girls far more expeditiously.

So for our grand finale to ‘All Things Girl’ week, we’re giving thanks to our favorite folks taking steps toward this vision of self-actualization, hope, and promise…from bloggers that empower girls to grassroots ‘tween clubs’ like my friend Patti’s in Ottawa, we’ll show how The Girl Effect helps boys, men, families, villages, economies, and the planet’s vast potential for recovery and reversal of prior neglect. Awe-inspiring. Check it out:

Powerful, eh?! More than “marketing girl power” via tween trading cards and productization of UGoGirl messages, The Girl Effect champions change with the underpinnings of a societal shift en masse…

They drive the point home with individual vignettes of the ‘hows’ after they’ve offered the ‘whys’ in the first strike viral video…

So who’s behind this feat of media magic and viral momentum?

The Nike Foundation, and the NoVo Foundation (NoVo means ‘change, alter, invent’ in Latin) along with a host of big players, like the UN Foundation, Population Council, Center for Global Development, Plan, BRAC, and a few others I already chose as change agents for girls…

But, um…Nike, how are your work environs for girls as of late?

I know there have been sweatshop accusations up the wazoo over time, so I’ll need to research this more on Nike’s case studies and current videos/status to see if it passes the full sniff test for cause-washing, but you’ve gotta admit, the message alone is amazing and compelling for the ripple effect of a massive mindshift!

(btw, Heads up on a cool new site where you can check out the validity of how much cashola actually routes to the various causes using the ‘hot or not’ theory called “Generous or Not”)

Anyway, I love, love, LOVE the Girl Effect concept…

My only gripe with their media execution is that the fact sheets and site stats are all flash-based or pdf making it hard to “snag and plop” for maximum blogosphere exposure to pay it forward. (They do have a Facebook group I ‘fanned’ here)

Example?  When women and girls earn income they reinvest 90% into their families as compared to only 30-40% for a man, per Phil Borges’ book, Women Empowered: Inspiring Change in the Emerging World

To me that’s a great big ‘aha’ moment that gives credibility and quantifiable validation to the whys of the ‘girl effect’ in a heartbeat and their fact sheet should be universally ‘scrape-able’ as the digital term goes…

It sure would lead people to think about the question below in new ways rather than fueling fears of combativeness in ‘my gender’s better than your gender’ nanny-booboo divisiveness vs. a call for unity and working as one…

I realize I’m already ‘long’ so will now break this into a ‘part two’ pronto to shine the spotlight on the offerings of worthy individuals, organizations and girl enthusiasts that ‘get it’ and are doing their own part to give girls a boost and rock the world in positive new directions…

Here’s a great little resource roundup from the Girls, Media & Women Project to get you enthused and inspired that it’s not just ‘talk’…it’s happening. And here’s my favorite comprehensive collection of useful sites from UMBC that uses an asterisk to show sites created FOR girls and young women rather than adult-created sites ABOUT girls and women. (I’ve always wanted that organized in a snapshot, thanks, UMBC!)

Ok…crum…one more example…

This “Ten Actions” poster (at left) should be able to reveal the exact data and ‘what’s holding girls back’ steps so that we can all take action right now on this powerful headline.

Instead, we’re forced to click one by one with no way of copying text or recreating the message to pay it forward…(until of course a blogger with more time than I have right now puts it into a tidy text format to reveal the pertinent action ‘to do’ list!) Rule number one when you’re trying to make change…and build awareness…Make it EASY, keep it simple!

Yah, yah…you can download stickers and wallpaper and banners and logos until the cows come home…but the MESSAGE and core content should be readily accessible to ‘build the case’ from the get go!

Otherwise, misinformation starts flying and gender flag-waving begins sans education, context, factual analysis and reasoning! Critical thinking skills people; there’s a fabulous case study here with facts and figures and profound impact…Use ’em!!  (Or at least let your fans use ’em!) Congrats to Nike et al for using the power of media for positive change…

Now…let’s ‘just do it.’ 😉



  1. Amy-

    Fabulous! Love it!

    Thanks for sharing. Go girls!

    Dr. Robyn

  2. I don’t follow, what does this have to do with a girl? Why can’t it be a boy?
    hmm.. good thing I read that fact sheet before posting – I see the point, things like “When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.”, but in regards to that example, what’s to say that if a women where treated equally and in the same position as a man, that their spending trends wouldn’t change to match? In this case, isn’t the inequality between men and women a health thing; if everyone where treated the same, they’d act the same and if everyone acted the same we wouldn’t have the balance.

  3. Interesting premise. Though we can’t ‘project’ if equality would shift normative behaviors, all indications point in the other direction…that is to say, that the global development and entrepreneurial aspects toward problem solving and collaborative/participatory community among girls/women help systemically.

    I’m not buying that women would default to self-centric vs. communal/familial patterns as it doesn’t bear out statistically among female execs in developed worlds either…If you’d like an economic view, I liked this one with Buffett Junior at the helm—insightful!

    e.g….”Peter Buffett has acquired his father Warren’s knack for finding the highest-yield investments. The younger Buffett, along with his wife Jennifer, just announced a collaboration with the Nike Foundation to put $100 million into programs that will benefit adolescent girls in the developing world. Like the cleverest stock pick, this venture is almost guaranteed to bring impressive short-term returns and will steadily increase in value over generations. And, like many high-growth investments, there are risks.”

    Whether it’s curbing HIV/AIDS and the sexploitation of girls or ceasing the violence and degradation as a human rights issue, to me it seems readily apparent that the payoff is high…literally!

    Not just in ‘savings’ and societal ‘costs’ but in fiscal fitness and economic growth! The worldview shift toward equality and balance is a win-win for all…

    I’m glad you read the fact sheet/pdf, as that’s why I put that specific quote into the blog —It’s imperative to prevent miscommunication and/or ignite a ‘gender war’ (We already have plenty of religious turf wars in ‘my god is better than your god’ vehemence, the last thing we need is to wage a battle of the sexes rather than collaborative insight toward positive change)…The fact sheet pdf does speak for itself (I just wish they didn’t have us download it as I’d like to have included several more of them which I couldn’t do in a ‘read only’ pdf version, drat!)

    Thanks for taking the time…

  4. Amy,

    As you may know, I do social media consulting for non-profits.

    Today, a good friend of mine forwarded your girl effect flash application and I was completely impressed.

    Would you be interested in doing a Q&A around your social media campaigns?

    John –

  5. Hi John, I can’t take credit for creating that flash app, but thanks for the compliment! 😉 I could sure use the social media consulting too, but until we get our funding ducks in a row I’m not much of a client just yet…due time, due time.

    p.s. Loved your piece on how to properly use Twitter, etc. will probably post about it soon for post-holiday resolutions for people using media to add value to the Age of Conversation! Oblige, Amy

  6. Preowlelown says

    I’m new here.. just wanted to say hi!

  7. Hi! And welcome! Let me know which topics you’re most interested in and I can point you in the right direction, as many are deep in our archives, and I need to update this site to make it easier for folks to find by topic area…best, Amy

  8. Amazing video!!! Truly inspiring!

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