In March, the United Nations convened the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York City, and this year, the Parents Television Council’s 4 Every Girl campaign was asked to be a part of it.
From March 10-21st, representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world attended the session, side events organized by Permanent Missions and UN entities, and parallel events hosted by NGOs.
The PTC’s 4 Every Girl campaign was invited by AXIOS-Mision Mujer, a Mexican NGO that works to empower girls, and the American Psychological Association (APA) to address the sexualization of girls in a panel discussion that was attended by nearly 200 individuals from around the world.
Dr. Shari Miles-Cohen, one of the authors of the APA’s ground-breaking 2007 report on the sexualization of girls, presented the APA’s findings about the harmful effects of sexualization, which include increased likelihood of developing eating disorders; fewer girls in science, technology, engineering, and math; increased rates of sexual harassment and violence; and even increased demand for child pornography.
I was privileged to speak on behalf of the PTC’s 4 Every Girl campaign, and to share the PTC’s research on the prevalence of sexualized media messages in movies, advertising, and on television and what the PTC is doing to combat those messages.
Last year, for example, the PTC and 4 Every Girl took-on Seventeen magazine for promoting the porn-inspired R-rated movie “Spring Breakers” to its young readers; and challenged Victoria’s Secret for targeting younger and younger audiences with their annual fashion show and for marketing its sexualizing “Bright Young Things” line to pre-teen and teen consumers.
We are grateful for this unique and valuable opportunity to spread the word about 4 Every Girl and to share information, resources and tools with so many other organizations that are working to combat sexualization globally.