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New Book Offers Strategies for Helping
Girls Grow Into Strong, Independent Women

RELEASED: Feb. 5, 2007

Dr. Maureen Mack
Dr. Maureen Mack, author of the recently released "Finding Center: Strategies to Build Strong Girls and Women," will do a book signing at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at Borders in Eau Claire. (Photo by Matt Meyer Photography)

EAU CLAIRE — Helping girls grow into strong, independent women is the topic of a new book written by a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire professor of women's studies and education.

In "Finding Center: Strategies to Build Strong Girls and Women," Dr. Maureen Mack encourages females to build inner strength and strong self-esteem, traits they will need as they become young women and face gender barriers in work places and other life settings.

"Despite hard-fought battles to change the status quo, the fact is that girls and boys are still treated differently at the most basic levels: at home, at school and in society," Mack said.

Her book offers strategies for parents, teachers, mentors and girls to use to help girls and women develop positive attitudes about themselves and their futures, while eliminating the "I need a man" type attitude that is still common in many females of all ages, Mack said.

The book explores the connection between mother and daughter and how this tie forever impacts a girl's life, Mack said. It also addresses dating, violence and sexual issues, she said.

"The book shares important information about how to change vulnerable young girls into strong women," Mack said.

Society and families must encourage young girls to forge their own paths intellectually, emotionally and financially so they have opportunities and choices that are on level with their male counterparts, Mack said.

Parents must help their daughters develop strength and confidence from an early age, Mack said, adding that a girl who stands up for herself in elementary school is a girl who has learned at home that she is of value and deserves respect.

"In girl-savvy families, parents will support her, brainstorm solutions with her, allow her to take risks, and encourage her to stand alone rather than trade her dignity for silence, popularity or submission," Mack said.

Parents remain the single most important influence on the emotional well being of their children, Mack said.

"There simply is no substitute for the impact and power that a loving, emotionally available mother and father have on the developing child and adult over a lifetime," said Mack.

Mack, who joined UW-Eau Claire's faculty in 1979, has published articles and videotape productions, is a keynote speaker and consultant on issues of at-risk youth and women's issues.

Mack's book is published by New Horizon Press.

For more information, contact Mack at 715-836-5828 or mackmd@uwec.edu.

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JB

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