MCLEAN, VA – The Alliance for Women in Media has announced a partnership with Girl Scouts of the USA to gain passage of the Healthy Media for Youth Act (H.R. 4925). The bill, which was introduced by U.S. Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and developed in close collaboration with Girl Scouts of the USA, calls for improving media literacy for youth and encouraging the promotion of healthier media messages about girls and women.
As part of the partnership, the two organizations will work together to build support for the legislation on Capitol Hill and across the country. The Healthy Media for Youth Act aligns with the Alliance’s efforts to improve the quality of programming and how women are depicted in the media. It is also a part of the Girl Scouts’ wider effort at the federal, state, and local level known as Live Healthy, Lead Healthy, which seeks to engage policymakers and community leaders around key health and well-being issues affecting girls. Nearly 90 percent of American teen girls feel intense pressure from the media to have an ideal body type, according to the Girl Scout Research Institute survey Girls and Body Image 2010. The same study found that girls want to see healthier, more realistic images of women in media.
“The Alliance has been, and continues to be, concerned about the stereotypes and unhealthy images of women portrayed by the media. The impact of such images – particularly on girls – is devastating. We are honored to partner with the Girls Scouts on the Healthy Media for Youth Act, as it will promote public awareness of media literacy initiatives and the need for positive, healthy images of women and girls.” said Chair Sylvia Strobel, Esq.
“Throughout their lives, girls struggle with how to reconcile the images of girls and women they see in the media with their own body image, self worth and potential,” said Laurie Westley, GSUSA Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Advocacy and the Research Institute. “By promoting the Healthy Media for Youth Act, Girl Scouts and the Alliance for Women in Media are a collective voice for girls on an issue that directly and disproportionately affects them. We are grateful to have the Alliance’s support and are excited about the impact this bill can have for girls.”
The bill, referred to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce in late March, already has more than 40 cosponsors. This bipartisan legislation also has been officially endorsed by the American Psychological Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., American Association of University Women (AAUW), Black Women’s Health Imperative, Children Now, Common Sense Media, Eating Disorders Coalition, Lifetime Networks, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media, Girls Inc., Kappa Delta Sorority/The Confidence Coalition, National Collaboration for Youth, National Eating Disorders Association, National Council of Negro Women, National Council of Women’s Organizations, National Women’s Law Center, Eating Disorders Coalition, New Moon Girl Media, Parents Television Council. In addition, Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes, Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out, Jess Weiner, author, self-esteem expert, founder of the Actionist Network, Women’s Media Center, and Wider Opportunities for Women, have endorsed the bill.
About the Alliance for Women in Media: The year 2010 marks the 59th Anniversary of the Alliance for Women in Media (formerly known as American Women in Radio & Television), the longest established professional association dedicated to advancing women in media and entertainment. The Alliance for Women in Media carries forth its mission by educating, advocating and acting as a resource to its members and the industry at large. Founded in 1951, the organization works to improve the quality of electronic media; promote the entry, development and advancement of women in the field; foster communication and idea exchange; and give back to the community we serve.
Alliance for Women in Media Foundation: Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (formerly known as American Women in Radio & Television) is the philanthropic arm of the organization, supporting educational programs, charitable activities, public service campaigns and scholarships to benefit the public, the electronic media and allied fields. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation has created partnerships and joint-initiatives with the National Middle School Association, the Emma Bowen Foundation, the American Red Cross and other organizations that are philosophically aligned with the mission of the Foundation. The Foundation supports several public service campaigns including most recently Empowering America which pays tribute to many of America’s most pioneering and inspiring women. Through this initiative, the Foundation has adopted needy urban middle schools around the country and provided educational donations derived from collateral based on the Empowering America program. The Foundation also produces nationally acclaimed recognition programs including the Gracie Awards®, a live gala that awards exemplary programming created for, by, and about women.