Ignite Equity strand

“There has been an increase in attendance and attitudinal change in both girls and boys concerning menstruation and menstrual hygiene. Most of the girls used to stay at home during their menstruation but with the introduction of menstruation, menstrual health and hygiene and provisions of menstrual pads almost all the girls come to school regularly.” (EduSpots’ Catalyst)

In 2023, we led a highly successful trial of our ‘Ignite Girls’ programme. Following four regional conferences which saw 260 volunteers trained in girls’ empowerment areas, 22 communities decided to join this practical volunteer and community-driven programme.

Together, through a clubs delivery model, they reached over 700 girls in Junior High School 1-3 with 7 months of structured activities ranging from across sustainable period projects, sexual harassment and abuse, career development and future planning, communication, gender stereotypes and social entrepreneurship. As one element of this programme, 22 sustainable enterprise-focused period projects were created. 

Following feedback from the communities, we are relaunching the Ignite Girls strand in 2024, under the name ‘Ignite Equity’, aiming to involve both girls and boys in girls’ empowerment areas, recognising the role both boys and girls can play in upholding or challenging gender unequal norms. Some sessions will be held with the boys and girls combined (e.g. communication, gender stereotypes, future careers), and others separately with a targeted gender-based approach (e.g. sustainable period projects, sexual abuse and harassment). 

Students will be inspired and mentored by local volunteers leading to improvements in their school engagement, well-being, learning outcomes and confidence. Our volunteers and students will lead wider community engagements and events on the rights and needs of the girl (and boy) child, also showcasing their talents, leading to girls’ (and boys) education being valued more highly, and girls being supported in their aspirations by the wider community with their voice raised.

Resources such as storybooks will be chosen that profile female leaders, with a focus on breaking gender stereotypes and raising awareness that girls and boys can follow studies that align with their interests not gender norms; e.g. girls can excel in STEM subjects or boys in the arts or care-orientated careers. 

2023 Programme Impact 

“Being in the Ignite Girls club has made a positive change in me.” (90% strongly agreed) 

Sample of reasons given:

  • “It built my confidence level and makes have the confidence to talk when I see something wrong” 
  • “I benefited positively because I now know more about my personal hygiene and the menstrual cycle” 
  • “My perception about being a girl has changed because at first girls were taught not to speak when men are talking”