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Free comic books featuring fictional, locally-originated heroines.

Our group discussed how girls in many low-income neighborhoods are raised to be subservient and quiet. Many do not stand up from themselves and fail to report abuse. Even during an attack, many women do not have the courage to yell and make noise. Our idea is to give girls a relatable role model who can instill self-respect and a sense of empowerment. An enjoyable and cheap to produce form factor for these heroines can be comic books. The origin of this idea is a variant of Ms Marvel: a 16 year old muslim crime-fighting heroine (see pictures). Using her as the lead character in South Asia would be great because she already has a fair amount of international recognition, but new characters can be created by local artists as well.

Photo of Neil Sharma
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Part of this is finding the right heroine (or gathering local artists to create one). Local artists can collaborate on characters/stories until one with a right cultural/religious spin is found. 

If something takes off, relevant merchandise can be distributed as a symbol of support. The first that comes to mind are simple yet distinctive bangles, similar to Livestrong's.


Explain your idea in one sentence.

Distribute free comics and posters featuring locally-relevant heroines to help young girls build self-confidence and a sense of empowerment.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

Our goal is to change gender expectations by making women feel more independent, capable, and intolerant of social malfeasances.

How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

Put a poster and a stack of comics and hand them out to girls in low income neighborhoods. Have 2-3 editions, possibly once a week, and then ask the girls for feedback.

Evaluation results

4 evaluations so far

1. Does this idea have the potential to impact the lives of low-income women and girls living in urban areas?

Yes, the idea clearly targets low-income women and girls living in urban areas. - 66.7%

The idea targets women and girls but isn’t necessarily focused on those living in low-income urban areas. - 33.3%

The idea targets people living in low-income urban areas but doesn’t seem to benefit women and girls specifically. - 0%

2. Does this idea describe a set of next steps and a timeline to accomplish them?

The idea clearly outlines next steps, the resources and team needed to execute them and a timeline to accomplish this. - 0%

The idea gives a broad explanation of what it hopes to accomplish but there is no clear timeline or activities to reach its desired goal. - 50%

The idea has not clearly articulated what the next steps are. - 50%

3. How feasible would it be to implement a pilot of this idea in the next 12-18 months?

Very feasible – the next steps described in the contribution seem achievable in this time period. - 25%

A pilot appears feasible but more work needs to be done to figure out how it would be executed. - 50%

The idea is not ready to be piloted yet – the concept needs several more months of user feedback and prototyping to be ready for a pilot. - 25%

4. Does this idea bring a new and fresh approach to the city or region in which it’s set?

Yes, this idea appears to be new and innovative! I’m not aware of other ideas in this city or region that address this need using a similar approach. - 75%

There are other initiatives doing similar work in this area – but this idea targets a new group or has an updated approach. - 25%

I can think of many initiatives addressing the same need using a similar approach in the same region. - 0%

5. How scalable is this idea across regions and cultures?

This is an idea that could help women and girls in many different cities. I can see it being implemented across multiple regions and cultures. - 50%

Maybe but I’d imagine it would need very significant changes. - 50%

The idea is really only suited for one specific region / population. - 0%

6. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

I love this idea! - 50%

I liked it but preferred others. - 50%

It didn't get me so excited. - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Karena Schroeder

To add to my comment earlier, what about building upon previous models? The content isn't 100% what your initiative is about, but "Persepolis "was a beautiful story and work of art about a girl/woman with guts in Iran.

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