Mambo!
(Hello in Swahili)

So I would like to take a bit of time to talk about one of the biggest challenges that we are facing during our time in Tanzania - and this is the You For Her campaign, which challenges gender inequality and encouraging girls that they do have rights, opinions and they can do just as much as boys can.

Each week, myself and my Tanzanian school partner, facilitate a lesson about "girl power" to around 40 girls. That's a lot of girls to try and speak to. Especially considering these girls have spent all their 17 years being told that girls can't do this and girls can't do that. What is a huge shame that we soon realised, as that a lot of these girls can't see the point in our sessions, because nothing will change and the way their culture respects girls won't change. But we're determined not to give up!

Back home in England, and in most countries around the world, girls and boys are now seen and treated as equals; girls can do just as much as boys, they can study the same degrees, do the same jobs, travel to the same places. However the culture that the girls in our class has taught them is

"Boys are stronger than girls - girls aren't supposed to work"

"Boys are cleverer that girls"

"Girls are meant to marry young and have children"

"Girls stay at home and look after the house and the man"

No

What we are encouraging these girls is that women, especially at the moment with several international events, have equal, if not more power than men. Theresa May is the Prime Minister; Hilary Clinton is in the running for the US Presidential Election; statistics show that most school teachers are women.
The fact this still in 2016 there is no equality between girls and boys is sad, and even though we won't change African culture, if we can inspire even just a few girls that they can do more then our job is done.

So by covering topics such as "Healthy Friendships" | "Communication" | "Goals & Ambitions" we can slowly help to inspire the young girls in our class that they are the same as boys - in the way they live, their ambitions, their abilities to study hard and speak english. There are some girls who want to be engineers, or soldiers (typically seen as boys jobs) but there is nothing stopping them from doing it, and it's really refreshing to hear these ambitions!

This is our biggest challenge and I think it's really important that people are aware that this inequality is still happening in places around the world.

Hannah x 

Published by Hannah Boulton