Like an excited kid on a long-distance drive, I look out my window, but instead of spying blue cars or triangular signs, I spy – with my little eye –a curious phenomenon happening around our world. Strong, sassy, courageous women are rising up and provoking transformation in their communities. These women-girl spitfires, actionistas and innovators are ushering in a new idea about how to be and live in this world. They twist themselves inside and out, peeling off layers of conformity, of duty and of the need to please others, and they discover the sparkly, wondrous, unfettered parts of themselves. The parts with the power to change worlds.

Throughout recorded history, women and girls have often been dismissed, forced to stuff their great big selves into tiny boxes that constrain, isolate and hurt. But those who cast off women and girls as unworthy do so at their peril. They discount a force that with more than 3 billion foot soldiers in its ranks just might be the most obvious key to shifting our world’s biggest problems.

Women and girls are strong. They've always been strong, even when they’ve received little or no credit for their contributions or have been relegated to the background. And today, they are proving their strength by regularly starting brilliant initiatives for change in every region of the world. 

These include:

  • Neighborhood initiatives like Sakhi for Girls Education, founded by a slum-based young woman in India named Aarti Naik (pictured above), who holds classes for other slum-based girls because she believes they have a right to an education.
  • City-wide efforts like Ifassen, started by a young Moroccan woman Faiza Hajji, who turns discarded plastic bags into fashion accessories while employing impoverished local women in her hometown of Berkane.
  • National ventures like ImagiNation Afrika, created by Karima Grant as the first-ever children’s museum in Senegal designed to help grow and train a new generation of African leaders with creative and innovative mindsets.
There are even women working on the global scale tackling such big issues as climate change, sex trafficking, prison reform, human rights violations, access to technology... the list seems endless. Women work hard as innovators, as leaders, as entrepreneurs.

Unfortunately, many women forget their own power. Some are lulled asleep at tender young ages and trapped in a landscape of bright noises, slick images and false promises. Others internalize the hype and as they age, their steps become timid and cautious with worries of mortgages, kids, health concerns or job security. And some have seen their dreams crash with force against rocks they didn’t even know were there, and now their self-esteem is in tatters.

Tara Girltank
Tara Roberts

Here's the good news: Women and girls can return to a state of innocence and rediscover the bold spirit and passion within. And I believe that female change agents are just the ones to help point the way back home. They can help remind women that they are the ones they have been waiting on.

My imagination is growing bigger and bolder.

Now, I spy – with my little eye – hundreds of thousands of women innovators linked together across religions, races, languages and war-torn borders. I imagine each one sending a ray of positive energy into their communities, pulling up those around them, serving as prime examples of how to access and channel the power of the great feminine within… I see connections flowing, rippling, dancing across borders, co-mingling in a tapestry of good will, powerful energy and transformative ideas.

Women and girls are a mighty force, a majority force, capable of authoring a new world order based on compassion, empathy, cooperation and collaboration.

If you look closely, you can spy them, too.

Tara Roberts is the co-founder of girltank, a community hub and storytelling platform for female innovators and changemakers. Follow girltank on Twitter at @girltankorg or on Facebook at @girltankorg. And follow Tara at @tarainfaith.