My Voice: Activism and Action for Gender Equality

Year: 2017
Country: Georgia
Project Investment: $2,496.11
Project Status: Funded
Sector: Education

Project Launch: 1-5-18

Helping Hand is a Georgian non-profit committed to empowering women and inspiring volunteerism. They have proposed a project to empower young women, especially low-income and internally displaced young women, to become leaders in Georgia through engagement, activism and political participation on a local and national level.

The program will teach young women about activism and leadership from theory to practice by giving them the tools to participate in the political process, then letting them use their new skills to educate and ignite political activism in their communities. They will develop a deeper understanding gender norms and stereotypes as they exist in Georgia, how they are perpetuated in the public sphere, and how to disrupt those processes to create a more equal and equitable country.

Project Update: 4-17-18

The camp planning team created a 5-day camp module and made program changes based on feedback. It created an online application form and announced the program to partners, Peace Corps communities, and local municipalities in all 10 regions of Georgia. The program excited great interest, receiving 205 applications from around Georgia. 30 participants were chosen from these applicants.

During the camp, young women received training and orientation in political participation, leadership, activism, and advocacy. Female politicians came to talk about women's participation in politics and gender in Georgia. The camp was organized around the following topics: gender equality, challenges facing female leaders in Georgia, and a panel discussion on how active politician participation can improve the lives of girls and young women. Site visits to the National Parliament of Georgia and City Council of Tbilisi allowed the camp to introduce the program to female parliamentarians, and the camp also invited one of the parliamentarians as a guest speaker. The participants participated in the discussion surrounding Georgia's "women's quota" proposal which has historically been challenged by Parliament. The program participants also visited the United States Embassy in Georgia where they met representatives from the Political Department and attended a session on women's leadership.

The participants created a short-term advocacy action plans for their home communities which they are implementing with the support of their mentors. They will report back to their mentors and will likely present their results at the Women in Politics Forum.

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