“Play Like A Girl”

The phrase so often referred to boys and girls who couldn’t run, kick or throw is no longer an insult. When the U.S. Women’s team won the World Cup this past month, they pushed the boundaries for women even further. How all of this attention will play out for future opportunities is as yet undetermined.

It’s evident that the shift toward empowering more young women and girls is deep. Young fans see strength, skill and speed in these history-making women. The players themselves hope that young girls will grow more confident and achieve higher goals. The promotion leading up to this event resulted in unprecedented exposure. A record 22 million television viewers watched the US defeat Japan in what became the most-watched soccer match in the nation’s history.

The success of the team demonstrates an invaluable lesson for young girls who can now know that women in America, girls in America, can achieve the same as men. Besides the actual World Cup win, the aftermath also showed progress toward gender equality. When the city of New York honored the team in their parade through Manhattan, it gave girls more hope and more possibility for the future.

The World Cup victory means that the conversation for what women can accomplish moves forward. And while that doesn’t ensure gender equality, it’s another step ahead.

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