I am thrilled to announce that for the second year in a row, Enlighten Education has been announced as a Finalist for the incredibly prestigious Australian Human Rights Awards in the Business category (winners announced at the ceremony which will be held in Sydney, December 10).
I thought I would take the opportunity to share a few sections from our application with you as I am incredibly proud of the work my team are doing to improve outcomes for girls and to promote and advance human rights and human rights principles in the Australian community.
Enlighten Education is based on the belief that by entering into, and engaging with, the world of teenage girls, adults can encourage meaningful and constructive conversations about gender, identity, education, careers and girls’ futures.
A core component of the company’s work is to increase awareness among girls, their parents, teachers and the wider community of issues of injustice and inequality in Australia, especially relating to girls and women. We also encourage greater harmony between people of different race, sex, sexuality, age and ethnic origin within Australia, because acceptance of diversity is central to our message.
Enlighten Education empowers girls and educates the community about girls’ rights to:
- freedom from sexual objectification and harassment
- freedom from the threat of violence, intimidation and bullying
- fairness and equity in educational opportunities
- fairness and equity in career opportunities
- healthy body image and self-esteem
- the end of social and cultural pressures that place young women at greater risk of anorexia and bulimia nervosa, depression and anxiety, substance abuse and self-harm than other sectors of the community
Enlighten Education works to protect and promote girls’ rights and empower girls to: stand up for freedom of identity and sexuality; have good self-esteem and body image; and make the most of educational and career opportunities—free of discrimination based on their gender or appearance, and free of restrictive, sexualising and objectifying messages from the media, advertising and other cultural influences.
Enlighten Education encourages girls to:
- be critical thinkers, form their own conclusions, know their own minds and find their own voice
- decode media, marketing, advertising and popular culture messages that impose limiting gender stereotypes or have inappropriate sexualising messages
- develop healthy body image, self-esteem and confidence
- combat bullying and intimidation, and resolve conflict
- set personal boundaries, deal with sexual harassment, and use the internet and mobile phones safely
- understand the history and current status of women’s rights
- become aware of the environmental, ethical and social impacts of their consumer choices
- get involved in charities and volunteer work to benefit the community
The remainder of our Application discusses our media outreach work (which includes my work on Channel 9′s Mornings program as well as the various Opinion pieces I write for both blogs and national newspapers), our online presence ( platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, and the free Iphone App we launched), the social activism work we have been involved in, and the charity work we do (for both CanTeen and The Mirabel Foundation) to help ensure equity in service delivery.
I know from attending the Award Ceremony last year that we shall be amongst giants on the day; the stories shared in 2011 were so incredibly inspiring and moving.
We feel like winners already.