CONTACT: Brendan Wynne, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 7593 300 794
International human rights organization supports empowerment programs for adolescent girls
In honor of the fourth annual International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October-- which this year focuses on the unique power and rights of adolescent girls-- Equality Now is proud to announce an exciting new component in our Justice for Girls program: The GENEROSITY of GIRLS Fund. An innovative approach, The GENEROSITY of GIRLS Fund directly impacts the lives of girls. For many girls, including those in developing countries, their critical adolescent years are shaped by harmful experiences-- such as sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex trafficking-- that often have lifelong physical and psychological consequences. The GENEROSITY of GIRLS Fund was established to invest in and empower young girls in order reduce their vulnerability to these abuses and live lives free of violence and discrimination.
Understanding that a lack of support systems can leave girls without the means to speak out against abuses and seek help, Equality Now’s Justice for Girls program focuses on addressing the particular issues that adolescent girls face through strategic litigation and advocacy. Complementing this work, The GENEROSITY of GIRLS Fund enables a holistic approach to address the barriers girls face and offer meaningful solutions. It presents a unique opportunity to enhance our ongoing efforts to protect and promote girls’ rights by investing in girls themselves. In addition to working to change discriminatory laws and policies, we partner with grassroots organizations that bring change to their local communities. Accordingly, The Fund supports organizations that work directly with adolescent girls in areas where Equality Now is present: Safe Hands for Girls in the U.S., The Girl Child Network in Uganda, and the Rural Education & Economic Enhancement Programme (REEP) in Kenya.
- Founded by FGM survivor Jaha Dukureh, Safe Hands for Girls supports and empowers girls at risk of FGM by providing culturally appropriate support groups, economically empowering girls, and supporting their goals for higher education. Safe Hands for Girls is also changing the discourse surrounding FGM by helping participants examine the values and assumptions that condone the practice, and become advocates against the practice in their own communities. Based in Atlanta, Georgia-- the state with the 10th highest prevalence rate of FGM in the U.S.-- Safe Hands for Girls is one of few survivor-led anti-FGM groups in the United States. The program currently serves girls ages 12 to 16 who come from various countries, including those on the African continent that have among the highest prevalence rates of FGM in the world.
“Your program has helped me with expressing myself and believing that I can be anything I want to be.” --Girl member in Safe Hands for Girls’ program
- The Girl Child Network in Kampala, Uganda, empowers girls to develop their own curricula for more than 20 after-school clubs. At its core, the girl club model has been shown to be effective as an early intervention, providing girls a safe space to build social networks and explore the issues they face as well as share their aspirations for the future. The Girl Child Network approach enables the girls to develop their own focus on equipping other girls with core resources that they need to make a safe transition to adulthood. Girls designed classes in financial literacy and job training, public speaking and debate, as well as physical activities. With support from The Fund, The Girl Child Network has the opportunity to empower 500 girls.
- The Rural Education & Economic Enhancement Programme (REEP) empowers girls in Busia County, Kenya, where Equality Now recently supported a sexual violence case and brought 70 similar cases to the attention of local law enforcement. REEP runs an after-school program focused on sexual and reproductive health, abuse prevention, financial literacy, and career planning. Knowledge of these rights on the most practical level can enable girls to reach their full potential. Girls can attend empowerment clubs to learn leadership skills, and receive individual support from counselors and program mentors. With support from The Fund, REEP will reach 1,000 girls.
Equality Now is proud to work with these partners, and facilitates collaboration among them, enabling them to maximize their efficacy and elevate their issues. Through these partnerships, we seek to learn from girls what empowerment means to them and what kind of activities are most empowering for them. In the coming months, Equality Now will extend funding to additional key partners worldwide.
We gratefully acknowledge that The GENEROSITY of GIRLS Fund was established through the generous contribution of a longtime supporter. To help Equality Now continue to fight for the rights of girls around the world, please make a gift today.