Walk in Her Shoes
Across the globe, many women and girls are not allowed to have a voice in decisions about their own lives. These include every day decisions such as how much time and effort to spend fetching water, doing household chores, where and when they can go outside their home, and if and when they can have play or leisure time. These also include major life decisions, such as the decision to access and continue education, have a career, if, when, and whom she will marry, and even if and when she will have children. Often, most of these decisions are made for them and dictated by how girls’ and women’s roles and capabilities are viewed by their families and the broader community they are part of. When girls do not have voice and choice about their own lives they are often forced into life paths that do not allow their potential to flourish and for their own dreams and desires to become a reality. When girls do have opportunities to have a voice and choice they become change makers not only in their own lives but for others in their family and community.
We’d like to offer you the chance to walk in the shoes of a few adolescent girls and young women who have transgressed and started on an alternative path never before imagined. How did they do it? By challenging existing social norms and demonstrating alternative behavior, with the support of CARE’s Tipping Point Project.
Through their experiences we hope you can envision a world where girls do have a voice and choices in their life and see how that can catalyze their potential as change agents. For each of these girls you will experience the typical reality where her choices are limited and her voice is not heeded, followed by what happens when we are able to create access to alternative paths and girls are able to make decisions about their own lives.
These stories are an inspiring demonstration of the power of challenging deeply entrenched social norms and creating an alternative path against all odds. It requires support, an enabling environment and collective action to upend existing oppressive practices and replace them with empowering ones. Having a voice in the decision making process has been life changing for these girls. Tipping Point’s goal is to support gender equitable social norms and opportunities that give way to alternative paths for women and girls and the courage to believe in the broader possibilities for their lives.