Yaa Asantewaa

Girl Empowerment Program

Introducing PAL's Newest Initiative: the Yaa Asantewaa Girl Empowerment Program

In partnership with various stakeholders, the Play and Learn foundation will work to empower 15 girls from Okponglo through its six month program focusing on the most potent issues facing young women today. Every month will center around a new topic, including ideas regarding gender and sex, health, gender violence, peer to peer empowerment, and career development. Additionally, PAL will institute a sister mentorship program throughout the entire program. Together, their stars will shine!

  • October, 2019: Gender vs. Sex
  • November, 2019: General Health and Hygiene
  • December, 2019: Career Development
  • January, 2020: Peer-to-Peer Empowerment
  • February, 2020: Self Expression through Music and Dance
  • March, 2020: Gender Based Violence
  • April, 2020: Yaa Asantewaa Showcase

October: Gender vs. Sex

This month's focus will center on the difference between biological sex and the social construction of gender, as well as the gender roles that accompany it. Educating young women about the harmful effects of gender roles on both men and women is an essential step in breaking such gender roles and achieving equality and empowerment in this day and age. Of course, this discussion would not be complete without covering women’s portrayal in the media and how gender roles and social construction play a role in the way women are viewed worldwide. To this end, PAL has invited Ama K Abebrese, an award winning Ghanaian-British actress and producer, to speak.

By the end of the first session the girls should be able to:

  • identify what it means for something to be a social construct
  • explain the difference between sex and gender, female vs. woman
  • Define empowerment, as well as what it means to each of them individually and have at least a brief understanding of masculinity vs femininity

The PAL Paint and Learn Objective (October 19, 2019)

In addition to this month's focus, PAL will also be putting on a paint session for the girls. Even if one doesn't excel at painting, it remains an excellent method of self-expression. Painting is an exciting educational opportunity that aids in developing motor skills and attention to detail.

Items Needed for Donation

  • Drawing slates/boards
  • A4 sheets
  • paints,colors,erasers,pencils and pens
  • Water

 

Stay tuned to watch the girls grow and shine together!

November 2nd, 2019: Health and Hygiene

Myths and stigma surrounding women's health and bodies are dangerous and self-perpetuating. Education is the only way to break the cycle. This month, PAL has invited Dr Akosua Kyere and Dr Mercy Amuasi to discuss the workings of the female body, to promote healthy habits regarding menstruation, to tackle the taboo around sex, and to educate on the realities of mental health.

By the end of the first session the girls should be able to:

  • Identify various parts of the female body and basic functions they serve.
  • Explain the process of puberty and its physical, psychological, and social implications.
  • Discuss how to stay clean and healthy throughout the menstrual cycle.
  • Identify the risks of being sexually active and how girls may protect themselves.
  • Understand what health concerns women specifically must be conscious of and what increased risks they may face living in Ghana.
  • Have a basic understanding of prevalent mental health disorders that disproportionately affect women and young people.
  • Identify signs of a mental illness and understand how to react to suspicions or knowledge of a mentally ill individual.
  • Understand the risks of mental illness and the resources that are available to them and others
  • Learn healthy ways to cope with stress and practice mindfulness in everyday life. 

December 7th, 2019: Career Development

It is the right of all children to have dreams of the future, but the step to make those dreams a reality can be convoluted and precarious. This month will focus on career opportunities and the processes involved in reaching such opportunities. Topics like professionalism as well as resume building, skill development, and interview tips will be covered in an interactive session. Of course, writing a resume and landing an interview aren't the only trials facing these young women as they prepare to their future; this information session will also cover the wage gap, the second shift, and the glass ceiling to better arm our girls for the future. The girls will also be given information on financing college and alternative options to college so that they can be informed about the variety of paths to success. PAL has invited DJ switch Ghana ; Lydia Alhassan, MP for Ayawaso Wuogon; and Lucy Quist to discuss, teach, and interact with the girls.

By the end of the first session the girls should be able to:

  • Define professionalism and what it means to be a woman in a professional society.
  • Have an understanding of how to build a resume and preparation for job interviews and entrance into the professional workforce.
  • Have knowledge of career paths with or without a four year degree and what those different paths look like.

February 1st, 2020: Peer-to-Peer Empowerment

This month will focus on enhancing the bonds between the young women in the program. A network of supportive peers is a true asset for any young woman. Peers can have a special capacity to understand and empathize with each others life experience, as well as to share personal knowledge and push each other to grow. To do this, we will create a safe space that nurtures conversation and open-mindedness. We will also guide these young women to take on the challenge of becoming a peer mentor for other girls so that they can help pave the way for all the young women and girls in their.

By the end of the first session the girls should be able to:

  • Fully define and explain empowerment and what it means to be empowered.
  • Discuss what it means to empower their peers.
  • Know ways to empower each other and what it means to be a peer empowerer.
  • Understand the ways in which peers can have positive or negative influence and be able to distinguish between the two.

 

By the end of the second session, the girls should be able to:

  • Discuss and implement team building skills.
  • Have a strong sense of what it means to work as a team and be part of a group.
  • Be able to explain to their elders what peer to peer empowerment means to them and why it is beneficial for them as young girls helping each other to rise as well as to the whole community.

 

February 22nd, 2020: Music and Dance Initiative

Dance is more than just learning a series of steps to music; it is a way of moving that uses the body as an instrument of expression and communication. Dance enables students to better understand themselves and the world in which they live. With this initiative, the young women in our program will be given the opportunity to express themselves through art. This will boost their confidence, refresh their minds, and enable them to discover a new talent or activity they enjoy.

Venue: UG dance department
Date: 22nd February, 2020
Guest: Obiritete

March 7th, 2020: Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based inequalities do not just exist in paychecks and opportunity gaps: they exist with regards to the fundamental right of safety. Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is a pervasive and especially toxic element of gender inequality. Its elimination is paramount if young women are to be able to walk, talk, and be themselves, confidently and securely. This information session seeks to arm the young women in the program with knowledge about SGBV, the various forms it can take, and the socio-cultural and economic structures that facilitate it. We will also acknowledge and address that, while SGBV mainly affects women and girls, anyone can become a target. Additionally, conversations will center on how and why legal and political institutions frequently fail to address the issue and the sorts of barriers survivors of violence face when seeking support and services. Most importantly, we will help the young women understand how to recognize abuse in its many forms and how to seek help. After all, the first step to ending violence is ending silence.

By the end of the session, the girls should be able to:

  • Define and describe sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV)
  • Understand hegemonic, toxic, and fragile masculinity
  • Explain how SGBV is related to socio-cultural norms and power structures
  • Understand that abuse can be physical and/or emotional, the difference between emotional and physical abuse, and how emotional abuse may facilitate physical abuse
  • Recognize signs of sexual violence 
  • Understand that rape can happen even in close relationships (ie with friends and partners)
  • Explain gaslighting (manipulation that leads a survivor to believe they are at fault for or deserving of the abuse)
  • Recognize abuse and be able to ask for help and support

 

More information about the coming months for the project will be added soon. For now, check out the full outline for the Yaa Asantewaa project by clicking below!

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