Empowering All Girls- Young Women Lead Conference September 24-25, 2020


Dr. David J. Childs
Northern Kentucky University

There is still much work to be done in the area of women’s studies and women’s rights. Society has continued to treat women as second class citizens. And often the struggles of women are compounded when they are from a minoritized group and of a low socioeconomic background. In this way, the glass ceiling is real for women and minorities. The US education system has long been complicit in perpetuating the inequality of women. Social studies educators as well as textbooks publishers have largely omitted the discussion of women in history, as well as the study of their many accomplishments. In many classrooms even today, serious discussions of women are an afterthought. Thus, it is very important to provide opportunities that empower women and to let girls know that opportunities are available for them as well. Girls today need as much inspiration and encouragement as possible. That is just what conference coordinator Dr. Kimberly Clayton-Code has set out to do with the non-profit Young Women Lead. There is an upcoming virtual conference September 24-25, 2020 and folks can register here.

The conference website states that “High school girls and their chaperones are invited to join us for this minds-on, interactive virtual conference designed to inspire these young women to believe in their qualities and strengths, and to challenge them to believe in a higher level of personal growth and development. This year’s conference will feature award-winning presenters Julie Marie Carrier, Maryam Rehman, Nivaal Rehman, and Monique Coleman.”

Links for further Information:
Young Women Lead Upcoming Conference Details
Mission and History of Young Women Lead

Democracy and Me Articles as a Part of Women’s History Series
Part One- A History of Women’s Right to Vote and Other Teaching Resources

Part Two (Women’s Rights)- Intersectionality, Race and Gender: Understanding how Race and Socioeconomics affect Women’s Life Experiences

Part Three (Women’s Rights)- The Womanist Tradition and Domestic Workers in the Early Twentieth Century US

Part Four (Women’s Rights) – Bringing Awareness to Violence Against Native American Women

Part Five (Women’s Rights) – Can we Talk About this in Class: Unpacking Some Complexities of the Me Too Movement


  1. I love this article! I think women’s rights have come a long way but there is also still flaws and things that need changed. When I was in school, I never learned about women’s rights except for maybe the bare minimum, I had to learn things myself. I love the idea of starting this with young girls. Empowering women at a young age will help them grow up knowing what is right and wrong and to give them resources.
    I had Dr. Kimberly Clayton-Code as a professor and it’s awesome to see the conference that she will be hosting and the impact it will have on the community.

  2. I think this is a really interesting topic. I think it’s important for women to be taught about equally in schools yet their inclusion in the curriculum is often an afterthought. I want the young girls in my future classroom to learn about their history just as much as the boys do. Many curriculums leave women out entirely or heavily trivialize their contributions.
    I think the young women conference will be a very helpful and empowering experience for many young women. I look forward to more opportunities like this appearing for young women.

  3. I agree with this article and that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in the area of women’s studies and women’s rights. I didn’t learn much about women’s rights or women related issues, until I was in high school and took the class women’s issues as an elective. I enjoyed that class and did learn a lot related to women’s issues in the past and present, but that shouldn’t have to be an elective for me to learn about these issues, it should be better integrated into daily curriculum. I hope someday soon society changes its views on women and other minority groups and they get proper representation everywhere. We have made a lot of progress with women’s rights, but we still have a lot of work to do to make things truly equal.
    I think this conference is a wonderful thing for young girls to have the opportunity to attend. Girls self esteem drops around the age of when they hit puberty, and growing up in a sexist society will affect how young girls view themselves/other girls. It is important to empower young girls to see the good qualities they have and to build their leadership skills so they can make positive change in the future. It is important for young girls to know that their voice is powerful and that there is more to them than just what they look like.

  4. We have come a very long way with Woman’s Rights. However, there is still room for improvement like there is for everything else. And this goes for the whole world, not just America. There are some countries that are way behind us. This article reminds me of when a woman ran for president. Political parties aside, that was a huge milestone even if she didn’t win. A woman actually ran for president, which would have probably not been possible two decades ago. I am glad that this topic is being talked about while I am still young. Growing up, society always taught me that men are the strong ones. Men are the smart ones. And men are the ones who support the family with their salaries. While the job of the woman is to clean the house, do the laundry, cook dinner, pick up the kids from school, etc. While this is what society was telling me was the “norm,” my reality in my own home was backwards. My mom worked the long hours while my dad took care of me, and I saw absolutely nothing wrong with that. We should stop holding males and females to a standard, and just let them do whatever is ideal for their situation(s) and/or lives. I believe that empowering females at a young age will help with their development of confidence and self image as adults.

  5. Dr. Childs,

    I agree with your statement that there is still much work to be done in the area of women’s studies and women’s rights. Growing up, I do not remember women’s studies being an important topic in my social studies class. Usually men have been the ones we have spent much time studying about. A new term that I gained from this post is glass ceiling, which is the the unofficialy acknowledged barrier to advancement in a profession, especially affecting women and members of minorities. A few weeks ago, I found a website that allowed you to learn the history of many different ladies. The website was through the National Women’s History Museum. I hope that one day women will not be considered as second class citizens. Women have done so much for this country, and they deserve to be recognized and celebrated.

  6. The conference mentioned in this article seems like an amazing and empowering, as well as a great opportunity. I like how you mentioned that not only are women stuck by the glass ceiling but how it affects women who are minorities even further, how awful and disheartening. The mention of history textbooks omitting women from the content is also very disheartening and as a nation, we need to do better concerning everything discussed in this article.

  7. This article talks about the reality of the glass ceiling for women and minorities and the importance of empowering young women of all ages. It is shocking to me how many stories about women throughout history have just been left out of our classrooms. We need to hold our education system accountable for discussing women’s rights and accomplishments throughout history. I think it is extremely important for strong women to be represented in all areas of the media. Women of different backgrounds, color and size – only we can rewrite history by creating a better future for ourselves and the future generation.

  8. I find this topic interesting because as I understand that there is still quite a bit of work to do on behalf of women’s rights, I personally do not feel an issue to the topic. I understand that women don’t get paid as much as men do out in the field, women are not talked about nearly as often as men in history books and their stories are not told. I get that completely and I do agree that it needs to change. But I personally do not feel attacked as a woman for not having enough rights. I am able to vote, I can go out to the grocery or out with friends and dress however I please, and I do not have a curfew to be back home because I am a woman. I feel that I have plenty of rights. The fact that I get paid less than men and women are not discussed as often in history, that just doesn’t bother me.

  9. I agree with the article that women’s rights still need a lot of work and more recognition in our worlds history. I have definitely seen how education has lacked in the discussions of women’s accomplishments and roles in the past. I went to Notre Dame Academy, an all-girl high school, so the staff and education were always working towards empowering women. My education through Notre Dame helped me realize my own qualities and abilities to grow as a young women. I sadly don’t remember in elementary school any discussions of women in our history. Thank you including the Young Women Lead link to register towards that virtual conference to inspire female high schoolers to believe in themselves and see their own strengths. That is an awesome conference!

  10. As someone that spent a good amount of time studying this issue when working on their bachelor’s degree, I can definitely agree with the idea that women are underrepresented and discussed in schools. In some cases this may be intentional, but I feel like for a lot of teachers they’re simply teaching from the book rather than researching for themselves. Textbooks in our school system have a serious neglect for women. If we want to have more women being taught about in history then I feel like the textbooks would be a good place to start.

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