December 19, 2013.

EXCITING NEWS: With 4 of the students I brought to Camp GLOW Sodo, (I brought 5 students to camp but sadly one of them moved to Hawassa) we started Club GLOW (Girls&Guys Leading Our World) in my school last semester! 

Our Club GLOW student leaders (Biniyam, Yamrot, Tesfahun, and Asres) and I had our first program for twenty 7th grade students about social challenges / gender equality- one of the lessons they received during camp. My 4 leaders planned, prepared, and executed it wonderfully.  We also invited one of the school’s Civics teachers to participate and share about an experience of overcoming gender inequality.

We first divided into boys and girls, sharing what social challenges we face as a male or female, and what inequalities exist in Ethiopia.  Then we shared with the entire group, what social and cultural challenges exist that prevents gender equality.  Students shared answers such as early marriage, sexual harassment, gender norms- females doing all the house work, less encouragement for females to get an education, FGM (female genital mutilation), rape, unequal job opportunities for females, less respect towards females, etc.

We wrote these answers on a piñata I prepared beforehand (simple recipe here), and then reflected on how we can prevent gender inequality in our communities and culture.  Female students then wrote a personal answer to "I am a strong woman because…" while male students discussed and filled in the statement “I can help gender equality by…”

Afterwards, we went outside and made a line to hit the piñata - symbolizing breaking gender norms and all things that cause gender inequality.  Before a student hit the piñata, they announced their personal statement to everyone. Examples: I am a strong woman because I believe in gender equality, I can help gender equality by educating my peers and not participate in early marriage / rape / sexual harassment / respecting all people)

Once the piñata broke, we shared the candy and wrapped up the program. Club GLOW’s first session was a huge success! I am especially proud of my student leaders, they worked so hard for this.  Next semester, we will prepare another lesson - stay tuned!