On the fourth floor of the Capitol on the House side hangs a photo of 98 men and two women taken in 1923. The women are Frances Hunt and Erle Chambers, the first women to ever serve in the Arkansas House of Representatives.
Every woman who has served in the House since that time has had these two women serving as examples.
That role model for leadership is the concept behind a new initiative launched this week by the 18 women who currently serve in the House.
ARGirls Lead is a movement is to promote positive self image and leadership for young girls across the state.
This is an opportunity for female lawmakers to use their own experiences and stories to help the next generation.
The stories are being shared in person in their districts and through videos released on social media. Each of the women are asked to share what they wish they would have been told at a young age. By sharing their stories, someone may see their own struggle and know those can be overcome.
There are some statistics in Arkansas we aren’t proud of. We have the seventh highest poverty rate for women in the United States. And we continue to be one of the top five states for teen pregnancy.
While we look for legislative solutions to these problems, we can also serve as a personal example to someone.
Changing perceptions give hope. They can have an impact on reality. And that’s what we want to accomplish with ARGirls Lead.
You can find all of the information regarding ARGirls Lead on our website www.arkansashouse.org.
We have also created an Instagram, Facebook and Twitter page. The links to all of them are on our website. You can also search for the hashtag #ARGirlslead.
When you meet people doing amazing things in a similar field to yourself, it reminds you that you can get there too. We are asking our schools, churches, organizations, and all Arkansans for ideas on outreach and how to grow this initiative.