WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP
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
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
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. Delft
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 Schooland Masibambisane High Schoolin . Heideveld provided 26 learners and Masibambisane 24. 63 applied in one of these schools. Delft
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.
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
Mentorship, advocacy and lobbying
A young men’s workshop will deal with:
Self awareness/ self esteem
Fears, anger and forgiveness
Assumptions, power relations and stereotypes
The joint (young men/women) workshops will deal with
Self expression and appreciation
The workshops involving young women and parents/caregivers will deal with
- Communication skills
- 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;">
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.
The Manager at the details on the index page.