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WOMAN OF THE WEEK
22 April Louisa Wall
Power of Campaigns: Current Campaigns
Developing Young Women's Leadership
Gemma Killen joined the YWCA of Adelaide for her University of Adelaide Arts Internship in 2012 and produced this powerful research report on Young Women, Body Image and Leadership.
To read the report please click here.
YWCA of Adelaide Member Ashleigh Lustica completed her University of Adelaide Arts Internship at YWCA of Adelaide in 2011 working on Reclaim the Night and a research report in to young women’s participation in gendered centric activism. Ashleigh is commended for her contribution to the organisation and for this valuable report. You can read the report here.
YWCA of Adelaide Member Shaez Mortimer was one of three inspiring young women guest speakers at the 2012 YWCA Round the World Breakfast demonstrating the theme ‘Women Leading Change’.
“I recently came back from living 6 months in Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands. I was working as a volunteer with the YWCA Solomon Islands, funded under a program called Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD).
The YWCA Solomon Islands (SI) is a small NGO with offices in Honiara and Munda. YWCA SI runs a young women’s hostel in Honiara and kindergartens in both Honiara and Munda. Recently, the YWCA SI has also started to run training and programs for young women in leadership, human rights, gender and sexual and reproductive health.
My job was to help coordinate the Rise Up! Young Women's Leadership program. To give you a bit of background: Rise Up! Young Women’s Leadership program was developed by YWCA SI in 2010 as a four-day workshop to teach young women in Solomon Islands about human rights, women’s rights, gender, public speaking, leadership, and social change. It was piloted in Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands, and then run in two regional centres, Munda and Auki. Sixty young women have so far graduated from the program.
I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with the incredible women of the YWCA Solomon Islands. I have learnt so much from them and feel really proud of the work we did together. I’m excited to hear about how the Peer Education program progresses this year.
When thinking about writing this post, I struggled with how to try and explain the last six months of my life, what it is like to live and work in Solomon Islands and how the experience has changed me. I have so many wonderful memories of my time there, such as dancing around the office with my work mates when the Workshop Manual was finally printed; watching the Rise Up! girls do hilarious drama presentations about issues facing young women in their community; and, washing cars with kids from a local youth group as part of the YWCA’s fundraiser for the only domestic violence shelter in Solomon Islands.
I have also learnt so much from working in a third-world country (two to four hour powercuts a day, anyone?) and different cultural context. Overall, I think the experience really confirmed my faith in promoting young women’s leadership as a tool for social change. With so many barriers facing young women in Solomon Islands, the work of the YWCA SI is revolutionary in giving young women small, safe spaces where they can be respected and grow their leadership potential. I feel so grateful to have been part of some of that work and the learning process of the future leaders of Solomon Islands.”
To find out more about the work of YWCA Solomon Islands, check out their website: http://www.ywcasolomons.com/
To find out more about AYAD, check out their website: http://ayad.com.au/
Positive Self Image Projection Project
YWCA of Adelaide has been collecting Polaroid images since 2007 of young women who write on the image what they like about themselves.
On International No Diet Day 2011 – an annual celebration of body acceptance and body shape diversity - we launched an exciting projection project in the city of Adelaide. More than a hundred images projected nightly from 6 May to 31 May on the wall of the Target building in Rundle Street encouraging everyone to challenge media representations of women and to celebrate difference.
Research shows clear links between exposure to mass media images of the supposed female ideal and body dissatisfaction, disordered eating, depressive effects and low self esteem.
To help address self image concerns among young women YWCA of Adelaide is calling for:
- Media literacy programs in South Australian schools
- The South Australian Government to advocate to the Federal Government for the introduction of standardised clothing sizes in Australia
- Media, advertising and fashion industries to adopt the principles in the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image
Be inspired to Celebrate You by viewing a selection of the images by clicking here