“Safe Space”: the REAL social network

girlsonlyLast week I wrote about the seminar on girl education and empowerment that was hosted by BRAC , the world’s largest non-government development organization.  A take away that I failed to mention was this idea of providing “safe spaces.” Think of it as a real life social network or a girls only club. Sorry boys.

Former BRAC Bangladesh senior manager in the education program, Farzana Kashfi, turned this idea on its head. In most developing countries women don’t have spaces to themselves where men aren’t allow. Often times boys will hang out in public roadside or at the shops in town, but you would hardly see girls gathering. By providing women with a “safe space” in the form of these “girl empowerment clubs,” they can escape the pressures of family life and pressures of a male-centrist society to focus inward and share their story in this real life social network. There are about 10,000 of these clubs worldwide with about 275,000 members who gather to sing, dance, learn and thrive. Peer mentors, who are trained by BRAC teach the girls life skills, health awareness, financial independence with access to micro-loans and ways to reach their fullest potential.

To watch Kashfi describe more on “Safe Spaces” watch the clip here.time stamp: [40:00-44:55]

The End.

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