June 7, 2006 -- The country is celebrating women's confidence, by official decree.
The singer and actress Queen Latifah, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., and the YWCA-USA teamed up today to launch the first annual National Women's Confidence Day on Capitol Hill. Now printed in the Congressional Record, womens' confidence, self-esteem and self-respect will be officially celebrated the first Wednesday of every June by millions of women across the country.
The goal of the day is to acknowledge and increase the confidence of individual women in their personal and professional lives, say organizers. The YWCA hopes that the day will remind women to radiate confidence daily, which should help them reach their goals.
"I am someone with or without this man. I am someone with or without this job, with or without these tight jeans. I am a strong woman. I can survive," Latifah said while explaining the importance of confidence in the lives of women.
She also discussed the role of parental figures, society's exclusion of young girls and women, and the importance of women maintaining inspiration after college and into their careers.
The event was sponsored by women's apparel company Curvation, and served as the kick-off for the Curvation Project Confidence YWCA Educational Outreach Program. This program was created to provide the necessary tools for women to build their confidence and improve their lives.
National Women's Confidence Day is the first phase of the multifaceted women's empowerment initiative that includes training, research and educational programs aimed at confidence building.
CEO of the YWCA-USA Peggy Sanchez Mills said she sees firsthand how problems such as domestic violence stem from low self-esteem. "This is the first national program in the 150-year history of the YWCA-USA that is aimed at building confidence in women by providing those plagued with self-doubt the impetus to improve their own lives," she said.
Latifah, Maloney and Sanchez Mills believe that confidence is a key component of success and used Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt as examples to emphasize how society greatly benefits from the actions, accomplishments and overall presence of confident women.
Latifah, a musician, author and Oscar-nominated actress, is also the spokesperson for Curvation, an intimate-apparel line for women with curves. In addition to motivating women to take pride in their bodies, Latifah pushes the women's empowerment movement through her music lyrics, motivational speeches and book, called "Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman."
Latifah, who attributes her own success and healthy self-esteem to her the strong women in her family, hopes that the day will serve as a reminder for all women to make the next step toward completing any goal they have, no matter how big, small, or out of reach it may seem.
"Today we're not encouraging women to go out and conquer the world. We're encouraging them to begin to conquer their own small world," she said. "This day is yours."