#GIRLSTOO engages girls and young women ages 9-18 as important agents of change by developing their collective strategies and skills to help their communities live up to expectations for better treatment. The program addresses the intersecting vulnerability to gender-based violence (GBV) that Northern girls face, the lack of girls-led advocacy around systemic violence, and the need for a system to transform negative norms, attitudes and stereotypes towards allyship.
Why is #GIRLSTOO important?
Girls Inc. believes that all girls have the right to have confidence in themselves and be safe in the world. Girls are entitled to feel safe as they go through life, and they are entitled to be safe in their homes, schools, and communities.
In Canada, girls and young women are disproportionately victims of domestic violence and rape or sexual abuse. Girls especially experience gender-based violence which, in addition to physical and sexual abuse, includes sexual harassment including partner or dating violence.
From January 1 to July 1, 2020 Wood Buffalo RCMP reported a 29% increase in domestic violence-related calls compared to the same period in 2019. Between March 28 to September 15, 2020 Alberta RCMP reported an 11.7% increase compared to the same period in 2019. source
The #GIRLSTOO program empowers girls through an intersectional, trauma-informed approach, to be advocates for a cultural shift towards supporting survivors, breaking the silence around sexual violence and providing education about consent, gender equality and healthy relationships. This program introduces participants to community experts and resources.
Building on #MeToo movement and our flagship programs Project BOLD and Media Literacy, girls will cover topics like personal boundaries, media representation and healthy relationships through 6 to 12 sessions or workshops. The program format can be tailored depending on local needs.
The #GIRLSTOO program also discusses gender identity and expression and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Further, girls will learn self-defense strategies that will help build self confidence and gain the ability to protect oneself.
Girls will end the program by creating art of various forms as a healing tool to express their thoughts, feelings and knowledge surrounding GBV. Girls will act as agents of change to foster girls-led advocacy and creating allyship.
- Increased self-esteem and awareness on the topics of Gender Based Violence (GBV)
- Increased access to community resources.
- Enhanced girls-led advocacy and community resilience to GBV
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Girls-led advocacy takes place in May as a part of Sexual Violence Awareness Month as well as 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence between November 25 and December 10.