YOUNG WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP

Project Aims

*      To increase awareness of the Constitutional Rights of young people

*      To enable young people to obtain those rights through legitimate, democratic means so that they become leaders and initiators of social change

*      To increase awareness of the disadvantages suffered by young women

*      To increase awareness among young men of the factors that cause their relations with young women to be so coercive and unequal.

*      To develop intra-family communication

Background

The South African Constitution determines equality of the sexes. In practice young people are often unaware of the Bill of Rights and have no idea of how to access these rights.  Young women, in particular often find themselves pushed by both socio-economic conditions and “tradition” into “home” functions. Young men struggle with a concept of masculinity in which men assert power over women and generally suppress their own feelings of vulnerability to appear “real men”.  Young people of both sexes in the townships experience abuse and violence including rape.

<>QPC recognises that young people are the parents of to-morrow and that as such they can have both huge influence over the life experience of their own children and (as activists) within their communities. 

The project started in October 2006 with two high schools in Delft attended by both African and Coloured learners – ages 15-18.  Twenty two girls who (in the view of their teachers) had shown leadership qualities were identified – and volunteered. They came together in 12 meetings to discuss such issues as teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and their rights.  In June 2008 they organised a march in Delft (a first) to protest against teenage pregnancy and alcohol abuse.  Community members joined the young women’s march and afterwards the young women delivered speeches.

In light of this experience it was decided to change the name of the project to Young Women in Leadership and to integrate it with the Non-Violent Schools Campaign expecting that this would increase the impact of the training as the young women were already members of the Peace Clubs and taking part in other Quaker Peace Centre projects.  The two Peace Club Schools selected were Heideveld Senior Secondary School and Masibambisane High School in Delft.  Heideveld provided 26 learners and Masibambisane 24. 63 applied in one of these schools.

As a result of this programme the young women from Heideveld began to take the initiative and to organise their own meetings in the community. One meeting where young women facilitated a workshop on awareness of women’s rights was held in a local community hall in Guguletu on 10 July 2009. 

<>Key problems they report on are HIV/AIDS, alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancy. Traditional practices such as lobola (bride price) and female initiation ceremonies have generated heated discussion. 

Young men observing the effects of the young women’s project have repeatedly asked for an equivalent. The future programme now includes this. It also includes workshops in which young women and their parents or caregivers are involved.

Target Groups

Young women and young men ages 14-16 drawn from the NVSC peace clubs. Parents and caregivers of the young women

What YWL does

As young women area even more disadvantaged than the young men the project focuses primarily on them.

In group discussion the young women consider the problems of their lives – as they see them – and then turn to dealing with them. Workshops are usually about 20 strong plus facilitators. The workshops are run after school for about 2 hours a week in each peace club. The experience (for young women) is reinforced by a 3-day camp and a 2-day indaba at which 90 young women (and parents or carers) are involved.

Discussion is facilitated and a typical series of young women’s workshops will work through the following

*      Needs assessment – establishing a base line

*      Building self esteem

*      Awareness of women’s issues

*      Awareness of women’s rights

*      Healing

*      Leadership skills

*      Mentorship, advocacy and lobbying

 

A young men’s workshop will deal with:

*      Needs assessment

*      Self awareness/ self esteem

*      Self expression/communication

*      Relationships/gender issues

*      Fears, anger and forgiveness

*      Assumptions, power relations and stereotypes

*      Leadership skills

 

The joint (young men/women) workshops will deal with

*      Self expression and appreciation

*      Gender stereotypes

*      Role models

*      Forgiveness

The workshops involving young women and parents/caregivers will deal with

-         Communication skills

-         Peace Building

-         Parenting skills

 

YWL Programme 2011 – 2013         

            February to April 2011           Young women’s workshops in 4 areas

*      April – June 2011                    11 young women from each school in 4 areas

*      June 2011                                Young women and young men together

*      July to December 2011           Young women plus parents/caregivers (2 workshops from each area)

*      September to December 2011 Young women (Bill of Rights, pressure

                                                 groups, advocacy and lobbying, visits to

 visits to government/democratic institutions.

*      September                               Camp for 90 young women – 3 days

*      October                                   Indaba (2-day) young women plus families

 

*      Repeat with new peace clubs< style="font-family: arial;">         

< style="font-family: arial;">*    Repeat with new peace clubs

< style="font-family: arial;"> 

YWL Development

QPC is developing a handbook from experiences in this programme. The handbook is intended to be used as a learning and informative tool that can speak to other young women and to allow others to apply the same methods.

Monitoring and Evaluation.

The young women and men involved are also involved in the Non-Violent Schools Campaign and separating out the impact of Young People in Leadership will be difficult.

The unique element of this project is the involvement parents or caregivers. We will carry out annual interviews with these to assess whether or not the project has had long lasting effect.

Contact

The Manager at the details on the index page.
 
 


BACK TO THE MAIN PAGE