Girls for Girls (G4G): Empowering Girls to Lead

About Girls For Girls (G4G)

Project Girls for Girls was born at Harvard in 2016 when a group of women from across the globe recognized that in every corner of the world, something is holding women back from running for public office and leadership. Inspired by each other, they decided to close the gap through mentoring young girls and women (ages 15-30) in leadership.

Although women can vote and run for public office in nearly every country, they are still severely underrepresented as parliamentarians and heads of state worldwide. In addition, women representation remains very limited in C-Suite offices and boardrooms and in leadership positions across the public, private and civil society sectors. To cultivate the capacity to lead, young women need access to a nurturing and supportive environment. We aim to arm young women with the courage, vision, and skills to take on public leadership. The Girls for Girls platform will bring together insights from key leaders and a global mentoring network to empower young women to play a greater role in the public sphere.

We value the voices of young girls and women, their hopes and aspirations, and believe in their power to change the world.

Program

Girls for Girls creates physical and virtual spaces to offer young women access to mentorship through local mentorship circles; a repository of skill-based tools, including videos from key Harvard faculty members on a range of topics such as the art of negotiation, courageous leadership, running for office and campaign management, art of communication and ethics and values in decision making; and access to a global network. The initiative will mobilize a generation of mentors to help build the pipeline of women in public leadership. 

There are three pillars of the Girls 4 Girls program:

  1. Inspiration: International speakers, educational content featuring leadership experts, and social media campaign highlighting female leaders and their stories.
  2. Mentorship: women leaders and role models establish mentorship circles as learning and support environments for small groups of young women.
  3. Network: G4G Circles across the globe connected via social media, online platform, virtual meetings and dialogue.

Goals and Timeline:

Girls 4 Girls kicked off in Spring 2017 at Harvard University and from July, pilots were carried out in Uganda, Iceland, Mexico, Malaysia and Uzbekistan. The emerging results were exciting. The confidence and self-esteem of the mentees was greatly enhanced and their engagement in school and community activities increased. The Initiative was rolled out and is now running in many sites in Uganda, Iceland, and programmes will soon be launched in USA, Mexico and India. In Africa, the programme is in Uganda, Niger, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe where G4G is partnering with like- minded institutions like the African Development University (ADU) in Niger, Secondary schools and communities and corporate institutions like UMEME.

The target is to reach 10,000 Mentors and 1,000,000 Mentees by 2025. We aim to launch a global platform early 2019 which will enable the Mentors and Mentees from the various programmes to share experiences.

Global Team:

Amy Gao (China); Allen Asiimwe (Uganda); Carolina Salinas (Mexico); Halla Logadottir (Iceland); Ifoda Abdurazakova (Uzbekistan); Izzana Salleh (Malaysia); Luma Al Saleh (Oman); Shira Miller (United States); Sukhman Randhawa (India)

Girls For Girls Sessions and Timeline:

A total of six mentoring sessions are held over a period of maximum 6 months. Meetings can be held weekly, bi-weekly or monthly depending on the availability of mentors and mentees.

  1. Introduction: Building Trust
  2. Courageous Leadership
  3. Art of Communication
  4. Negotiations: Advocating for Self and Others
  5. Running for Office/ Public Service
  6. Ethics and Values in Decision Making

Note: Institutions/ communities can add extra sessions based on the interest in there groups e.g. on entrepreneurship, financial management, career planning etc.

Published by Merriam Sokho

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