Girls Rise Up: Capito’s initiative important for growth

Most West Virginians would agree that old, illogical barriers to women in many careers ought to be eliminated. Yet in many ways, we still have a long way to go in gender equality.

One study, by the Wallet Hub people who specialize in state-by-state ratings, ranked West Virginia 42nd in the nation for women’s economic and social wellbeing.

Have you caught yourself yet this summer telling a child “you’re a little boy, you should be …,” or, “a little girl like you should be …?” Nonsense. That is harmful language from a (thank goodness) bygone era.

That is why U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s “Girls Rise Up” campaign is so important.

Capito, R-W.Va., launched her initiative in 2015. She has described it as “empowering the next generation of female leaders right here in West Virginia.”

Often, Capito links teenage girls with women who have been successful in everything from sports to politics, the arts to business, so that young females can see what is possible for them. Last week, Capito brought former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to Charleston. Haley also served as governor of South Carolina.

Capito herself serves as an excellent role model. She is a respected leader on the national stage.

Here in West Virginia, two of the five people we send to Congress are women (the other is U.S. Rep. Carol Miller, who serves the southern third of the state).

Still, Capito is right: Girls do need to be reminded they are not bound by the mindset of the past. Their character and skill, not their gender, will decide how far they can go in life.