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The Teach/Her Project

The Teach/Her Project is a safety initiative for women and girls which seeks to empower individual community members to become local educators in women's rights and safety procedures.

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Women's empowerment is a social need that has motivated much of my personal and professional life. I have researched Feminist Thought, written numerous papers on the subject, and sought to integrate its values into my life daily. However, I never learned as much about what it really meant to be a woman until I taught it.

For two years, I worked as a Teacher and Minister at an all-girls high school. As an old saying goes, "The best way to learn, is to teach." I learned more about women's empowerment, safety, and opportunity by engaging 14-18 year old girls in dailiy conversations on the subject. The ideas and experiences inspired within those classroom walls have given birth to this idea: The Teach/Her Project.

The Teach/Her Project is a safety initiative for women and girls that seeks to empower individual community members to become local educators in women's rights and safety procedures. It desires to do so by sending a trained teacher into the needed community (or, ideally, seeking one from the community if available) to teach and engage one willing student about women's rights and safety. The teacher needs to be a person who has an indepth understanding of the culture and community that she/he will be working in, as well as an approach to how women's rights and safety protocals can be translated into the local context. The student needs to be an active community member passionate about the safety of women and girls who is willing to become the next teacher by passing along the information to one other student. Each student, then, is transformed into a teacher, not only more deeply learning and living women's empowerment daily, but also spreading the message to the rest of the community. As more students become teachers, the community itself begins to transform into a well educated, well equipped team devoted to the safety of women and girls.

The Teach/Her Project stems from the individual and aspires to create communal change. Therefore, as these individual teachers reach out to more and more people, smaller groups can begin to organize in order to discuss creative ideas on how to utilize local and global resources to continue to develop safer and more effective means of safety for women and girls within the community. These ideas are being born from the community members themselves, the initatives being created and sustained by the community members themselves. Then, these small groups can turn into larger groups which can advocate for systemic change by pressuring companies and governments to support the initiative. They can also serve as protective neighborhood watch networks that help keep community members safe.

A curriculum can be developed suited to each community's needs, as well as a unique way to identify each community member who decides to become a teacher for the cause. One idea is to have the teacher teach her/his student how to make a bracelet to wear all the time. The bracelets in the community will all look the same, communicating that any person wearing one is involved and devoted to women's safety. As the cause grows, the bracelets will become more and more easily recognized, both promoting the initiative, as well as warning any person wishing to harm the woman or girl that this person is connected to a network that successfully seeks to keep her safe.

This initiative is called The Teach/Her project because it is determined to end violence against women and girls, however, it's participants are not limited to women. All peoples need to be included in the cause for the world to witness a significant change towards women's safety.

This is an idea that needs much more development in its specifics, but I share it at this point in the challenge in order to be a part of this inspiring global brain storm. Thank you for your interest in my project!

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