Each woman possesses incredible beauty not just in appearance but also in abilities and individual character traits. Our girls need to know this from a young age so they grow to be confident in what they can do and achieve.
One way to inspire girl power in our daughters is by introducing them to role models — real-life women who are conquering their chosen path in life. And that role model may soon find its way to your daughter's life via a Barbie doll.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, held March 8 every year, Barbie has unveiled several dolls featuring incredible women today and in history.
First, Mattel, its manufacturer, added 14 new dolls to the “Shero” collection. The Shero line, which was created in 2015, featured women who have broken boundaries in their chosen field such as:
Ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan (China) - prima ballerina of San Francisco Ballet
Wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin (Australia) - international award winner and daughter of the late Steve Irwin
Filmmaker Patty Jenkins (USA) - acclaimed director of Wonder Woman
Chef Hélène Darroze (France) - has two Michelin stars and three restaurants
Journalist Martyna Wojciechowska (Poland) - chief at National Geographic Poland
Actress and philanthropist Guan Xiaotong (China) - UN ambassador for the World Wildlife Day campaign
Little fashionistas will love the dolls of Leyla Piedayesh (Germany) and Vicky Martin Berrocal (Spain) who are both fashion designers and entrepreneurs.
Dolls have also been created from the field of sports such as championship boxer Nicola Adams (UK), snowboarder Chloe Kim (USA) windsurfer ÇaÄŸla Kubat (Turkey), volleyball champion Hui Ruoqi (China), professional golfer Lorena Ochoa (Mexico), and soccer player Sara Gama (Italy).
The new dolls/women join the likes of curvy model Ashley Graham (USA), film director Ava Duvernay (USA), and Sydney “Mayhem” Keiser (USA) who is only 7 years old but whose work in fashion design has already appeared in Vogue and has produced her collection for brand J. Crew.
Barbie has also unveiled the "Inspiring Women" series which features beloved and celebrated women from history. First in the collection are aviator Amelia Earhart, artist Frida Kahlo, and mathematician Katherine Johnson.
Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Frida Kahlo is known for her vibrant paintings and is an icon of feminism. Katherine Johnson worked for NASA where her calculations helped ensure Apollo astronauts land on the moon and return safely home.
"The Inspiring Women Series pays tribute to incredible heroines of their time; courageous women who took risks, changed rules and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before," said the company.
Barbie said it plans to add more women to the Inspiring Women Series in the future. The three dolls from the collection are currently available for pre-order on their online store for $29.99 each (around Php1,560.55 as of writing).
In the 2017 Global Gender Gap, the Philippines ranked 10th place out of 114 countries, retaining its status as the most gender equal country in Asia, reported Rappler. As per the report, in the Philippines, there is equality in educational attainment between men and women. Here, Filipino women also hold seats in government and managerial and executive positions in the workforce.
The country's 10th spot, however, is a decline from 2016's 7th place ranking. "Fewer female legislators, senior officials, and managers, partly accounts for this fall," said the report according to CNN.
The report also doesn't reveal the challenges Filipino women have gone through to achieve what they have, including workplace discrimination. "The glowing statistics of women’s achievements do not capture the negative experiences of women as they establish their footing in the world of work," wroteMaria Victoria Caparas, an associate professor in the University of Asia and the Pacific, for The Philippine Star. "The workplace is still a man’s world.”
So, the job is far from over, parents. We must continue to raise strong women who know they are capable of conquering whatever they set their mind to no matter the challenges. Happy International Women's Day!