“Sometimes I wish that the woman I am today could step back in linear time and meet the woman I was becoming as a teenager.”(Abigail Horne – published on International Women’s Day).

 

Some days, I wish that too. I would love to tell her all of the things I’ve learned, how to cope with those huge emotions, feeling insufficient, feeling ugly, how to respond to people who do their best to put you down – epsecially when it’s other women. A book has been published today, on this year’s Internaltional Women’s Day, that will help young girls through all of these things and more – and it’s a bestseller already, racing to the top of its chart overnight on Amazon.

 

If you have a daughter – or even if you don’t – you need to see this book. The Woman I’m Becoming: Reflections to Empower the Females of our Future is the book I wish I’d had when I was a teenager.

 

It’s a collaborative book, conceived by Abigail Horne, founder of Authors&Co. She wanted to show young women how to be kinder to themselves, to love and value themselves, and to create the futures they deserve. It’s a book by women, for the women of the future, with all of the proceeds going to charity – what could be better?

 

It’s made up of 21 chapters, each written by a different woman, offering advice, guidance and wisdom on all sorts of important subjects – many of which you can’t learn at school. There are emotional and psychological matters, such as “The Emotional Spender – from spender to saver” (Catherine Morgan); “You Are Worthy” (Kerry Ann Lewis); “Feeling Different and Not Letting It Define You” (Stephanie Adams) – all fascinating ways of thinking about yourself and the world in a different way.

 

Then there are practical topics: “Get Your Act Together with Money – a man shouldn’t be your financial plan” (Emma Maslin); “Coping with a Family Bereavement” (Jennifer Bowers); and the wonderful “Hormones – the game changers through life” (Carol Wright), which I was very proud and pleased to proofread for Carol before publication.

 

There are several incredible things about this book.

 

There’s expertise from women all over the world, which gives it such a rich and diverse selection of perspectives. It’s what International Women’s Day is all about – building each other up, and  having the courage to call people out for tearing others down. Plus all of the proceeds are going to the charity Your Future Self – an academy set up to help young people transition into adulthood.

 

And it looks like today’s teenagers need help more than ever before. Here are some sad facts I’ve learned today, which were included in the book’s press release:

 

  • 1 in 4 girls will self-harm before they leave school. There has been a 70% increase in 10-14 year olds attending A&E for self-harm. (www.nice.org.uk and www.hacic.gov.uk)
  • Girls as young as 5 are worrying about their weight. By the age of 10, 80% of girls will be on a diet to change their body shape. (APPG Report 2012 and Common Sense Media 21/1/15)
  • 47% of girls feel that the pressure to look attractive is a disadvantage of being a girl – this figure rises to 76% for 15/16 year olds. (APPG Report 2012)
  • Teenage girls are now more likely to suffer partner abuse than any other age group. 12.7% of girls aged 16-19 have experienced domestic abuse in the last year alone. (British Crime Survey 2010)
  • 33% of girls aged 13-17 have experienced some form of sexual abuse. (NSPCC 2009)
  • 68% of female university students experience sexual harassment on campus. (NUS Hidden Marks Survey 2010)
  • Girls are now 3 times more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than boys and on any given day up to 5% of girls aged 12-17 will be prescribed anti-depressants. (Nuffield Foundations, Social Trends in Adolescent Mental Health 2013)

 

We have to do something to fight this; and this book is an amazing weapon. It gives young girls the tools to develop the confidence, self-esteem, knowledge and courage they need to face down the demons that exist around them and within them.

 

For International Women’s Day only (8 March 2019) it’s available for Kindle at 99p! Find it and buy it here – for your daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter – and for yourself: The Woman I’m Becoming, on Amazon

 

You can also read my article from last year’s International Women’s Day here, when Barbie gave me quite a surprise: Not much surprises me, but Barbie has

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