March 24, 2018
Ways You Can Help
Girls in Charge is a grassroots female empowerment activist movement that seeks to build the self-esteem and confidence of girls and women in Liberia to be agents of change.
To empower girls and women to be in charge of:
Women taking charge to move Liberia forward. Women identifying areas of concern, needs, and problems. Working together to find a solution, and taking the steps to bring about their intended goal. The girls/women are in charge every step of the way. This does not mean they will do it alone, but they will no longer sit back and wait for resolution, they will take charge to facilitate improvement. When women realize the ability and power they have to be agents of change, and take charge of driving that change; they are not only taking charge of empowering themselves, but a whole future generation of girls in charge. Girls who know their worth, strength, and power and use it to take charge being the driving force forward.
Why this is needed.
“How can we create a world in which countries do not dominate and subjugate each other if the basic unit of the state (the family) instills such a mode.” – Gloria Steinem
Women’s Rights Activist Gloria Steinem explains that the first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to un-learn. We are filled with preconceptions of our worth- age means wisdom, women means submission- these are so deeply embedded in our way of thinking we honestly may not know they are there. For women, a history, society, and whole system that reinforces our place as second class results in self-doubt, low self-esteem, and internalized acceptance of society’s assessment of our value.
This is why the first step of Girls in Charge begins with consciousness changing. It is not our goal to tell women what they should think about themselves, or to change their views. We simply want to provide an opportunity for girls and women to examine their identities and make their own decision about how they want to see themselves apart how they have been told to view themselves their whole lives. No more basing our identities on our bodies and looks, but realizing the full potential with in each of us!
As women we are often told we do not know what is best for us, and are not capable of decision making. Girl’s in charge want to make decisions on issues that affect them, rather than being told. In order from some girls/women to be able to take charge of their situation they must believe that they are able and have the power and ability to institute change. We are not just another female empowerment group seeking to be equal in society, to join society the way it is. We want to improve that society for everyone, male and female.
Girls in Charge is not only for women. It is about women taking charge to bring about a better Liberia, not just sitting back and accepting their situation. We do not want to exclude men, or take charge of men. We simply want to take charge of our lives and drive ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country forward. We invite men to join and participate.
Girls in Charge Action groups will continue to take charge of areas of concern, and discuss issues they are facing. They will meet together as a community, and with groups from other communities to share ideas and strategize. After identifying areas they want to address the groups make their plan for change.
Each Girls in Charge Action group will decide on how often, when and where they want to meet, they are in charge. Youth Crime Watch will assist each Action Group, provide training when requested, support various actions, and connect to other YCWL programs.
(See below for example strategies)
Continued personal growth will also be a part of Girls in Charge. Years of gender disparity cannot be reversed with one initial session, but must be an ongoing effort. All the community groups will come back together to continue to build on the initial foundation of empowerment that was laid at the beginning. They will share stories, ideas, and accomplishments.
Girls in Charge and BTCA
Be the Change Academy is a perfect resource of the girl in charge to be the change they wish to see.
If the community groups decide that they would like to take charge in an area that results in a business idea, those women can attend a business development course through our Be The Change Academy. They will learn how to conduct Market Research, they will learn book-keeping, and how to write a business plan. Through the course they will turn their idea into a tested, viable business plan that they can present to a panel for a loan. BTCA supports and encourages innovative ideas where women collaborate together to be the change they wish to see in the world.
Girls in Charge in ICT
A goal of girls in charge is to unlearn the harmful messages women receive about themselves and relearn positive, empowering truths about themselves. One aspect that can keep women believing the harmful messages is lack of perspective and information. If a women sees and hears one message, but does not have access to alternative ways of viewing themselves they will continue to believe what they hear. Girls in Charge can utilize the computer lab for women to research, and connect with other grassroots female activist groups around the world. One voice alone can change a nation, many voices together can change the world.
Girls in Charge can also use the computer lab to further their ideas and actions. As Liberia moves into the digital age, these women will be at the forefront. Social media can be a powerful tool for change. Technology in general will provide the girls with tools they need to fulfill their desired solutions. This can open up a whole new world of ideas and possibilities that would not otherwise be available.