Normalize Equality: The Girl Up Club 

Bayla Leibowitz

Feminism is a social and political movement that is about changing the way people see female rights and advocating for equal ones. Throughout history, feminism has been seen in different waves and campaigns have changed with each wave. Women have recognized the inequality between genders in society and responded in advocacy for their own rights. 


At first, women had to fight for the simplest of human rights, including access to education and voting rights within the American democracy. It took years to finally gain these rights and in many parts of the women still haven’t gained them. 


In America today, women are battling issues that have long deserved our attention. We need protections on our reproductive rights, appropriate responses to domestic violence, and equal pay and maternity leave. 


Women’s rights have come a long way. In recent years, reform movements, such as Me Too and Hollaback are helping to take us even further.  Feminism has grown drastically in response to sexism and countless events of harassment and assault. Women have finally become somewhat comfortable to share their own stories and get the justice they deserve. 


Fortunately, women in the United States are respectively given many of the basic rights they deserve.  Though this is considered the norm for our country, in many other countries around  the world women are still deprived of their rights.  This means women and girls receive no access to the same opportunities handed to men. Different women empowerment movements have been formed as result. An example of this is the Girl Up organization. 


The Girl Up organization was founded by the United Nations Foundation and was initially established to help support UN agencies focused on adolescent girls. They helped give girls in countries throughout the world equal rights, education, and opportunities. 


Girl Up values advocacy, fundraising, storytelling, and organizing as ways of getting involved with the movement. Many teens have founded  Girl Up chapters in their own communities to help spread awareness. Junior Ruby Sklar is bringing Girl Up to WESS, leading the start to its own chapter. 


Sklar has committed to introducing this organization to students at WESS. The club will be a space for both girls and boys to help other girls throughout the world. Members of the club will be able to use their individual power to advance the skills, opportunities, and rights of girls around the globe.   


“In the club, we are going to focus on the organization’s values, specifically advocacy and organization,” Sklar says. “It is important that members of the club are able to be creative and come up with new ideas for advocacy. They will advocate by participating in calling elected officials, educating our community, and raising awareness.” 


The club will discuss matters such as gender violence, education rights, STEM for social good, and women in sports. As all of these issues are often debated in our society today, Sklar states, “it is important that we create an environment where we can openly discuss these issues with one another.”


Members will convene over Zoom every Thursday after school. Sklar will start the club by February 4th to ensure that it is up and running for the rest of the school year. The club is open to students in high school.


“It is important that all members attend meetings to learn more about the privilege we have compared to other girls around the world. Members will also learn about how to reach out and help these girls,” Sklar explains. 


For more questions or information please contact Ruby at [email protected]. If you are interested in the club, definitely get involved! You will be helping our community become more educated on women’s rights issues prominent in our world today. You will not only be helping our community but others in the rest of the world.