I first came across this concept when I was growing up in the Western society, made popular by a British all-girls band S.G. in the ’90’s. I took it to mean assertiveness and independence in women – you have more “girl power” if you can compete with men at the same level. It appeared to me the concept was promoting “mannish women” in a men’s world.
When I returned to my country of origin some years later, the term was also becoming popular, but seemed to have a completely different meaning. It sounds to me like it is about increasing attractiveness as women – you have more “girl power” if you display more girlish or feminine skills that men praise. It appears the concept is promoting “womanish women,” again in a men’s world.
Getting my point here? Either way, it appears “girl power” is about giving girls the power necessary to gain grounds in a male-dominated environment. It may even give the impression that girls need extra abilities or rights to be successful. Maybe that is why my homeland government has set a target of “30% women workforce by 2020” and a law coming to effect this April obliging companies to disclose their status of women employment as a way of measuring the achievement of this target.
But is this what women really want?
Maybe women want to prove what they can do with the abilities and rights they already have.
Maybe women want to be employed and promoted for their competence, not gender.
Maybe women want equal treatment, not equal position.
Maybe what is needed the most is not giving more power to girls, but a change in evaluation criteria in our society that would give more value to girls in and of themselves… values that do not depend on male dominancy, might I add.