One of our primary goals is to empower young girls and educate them on their sexuality and the reality of sexual violence. On the 22nd of October, 2019, the US Embassy in partnership with Visuals for Gender organized a talk for female students from the Junior and Senior High Schools. In attendance were fifty (50) girls from Accra Girls’ Senior High, Ancilla Preparatory and Junior High School, Kwabenya Senior High and Newells Academy.
The talk was led by some representatives of the US Embassy, namely, Myra Brown and Rita Awuku. It was a session focused on empowering the girls and broadening their knowledge about their sexuality and sexual violence.
Before the talk, the girls watched some motivational videos on the incidences of gender-based violence in our society. Myra Brown, began the session afterward. She first had an interaction with the girls about their views on the videos they watched and how they could relate it to real happenings in the Ghanaian context. The girls were engaging in the discussion. Some asked questions for which answers were given by the facilitators.
Following this session was a talk on “Tyranny of niceness”. Myra Brow delved into how some people turn to sell their sexual rights just because they want to be nice. She touched on how some boys and men, have cunning ways to exploit the ignorance of some girls to their advantage. She gave examples of incidences where some lecturers or teachers would want to have sex with a student before giving them good grades, how some victims of sexual violence are persuaded to keep quiet about their experience and how some parents influence their children from speaking up about their experience of sexual harassment or sexual violence. She addressed the fact that the mentality some people have about “being nice” to cover the shame of sexual violence is wrong. She encouraged the girls to always speak up and never keep silent on any act of sexual violence against them.
The girls were also empowered to pursue their education and financial freedom. She emphasized that.education was very important and hence, their need to focus on their books in preparing them to be empowered in the fu The other facilitators shared their experiences of how they focused on their education and how they benefited from it, years after. The girls were inspired by the stories they heard and they asked a lot of questions seeking to better understand the topics that were discussed.
To conclude the session, Myra took the girls through an exercise of affirmation. The girls were made to say positive words to themselves to give them a sense of pride and worth as young ladies.