Girls Count Competition: Namhla Ruselo – “Women-led hubs for the advancement of girls”

Namhla Ruselo – South Africa
Women-led Hubs for the Advancement of Girls

Young women in Africa have been structurally excluded from decision-making particularly decisions pertaining to their health, education, economic participation, defined social participation, sexuality and access to information. This has been evident in the number of cases of abused women on the continent, the numbers of young girls becoming pregnant early and the job prospects of women in positions of leader thus making women the most affected by poverty and structural limitations for advancement.

From an early age young girls are taught to disregard themselves for the benefit of others and the cycle continues in many ways leaving communities underdeveloped and structural change very minimal.

So, what if we had a hub? A mobile hub? A hub to connect girls to women? A safe space open and far reaching to young girls in villages and far outlying areas of the continent and delivering a platform for girls to connect with opportunities to enable:

1. Access to quality education – via mobile learning booths
2. Access to health and safety – quality sex education and body rights education
3. Access to job-readiness, enterprising and social service
4. Advocacy, political participation and policy-making
5. Access to mentorship, guidance and support
6. Access to advancement of scarce-skills for young women to accelerate their economic participation!

This hub must be made mobile enabling each young girl an opportunity to experience all that it has to offer.

For each village or town the hub travels to groups of young women can be tasked with projects such as starting small libraries, veggie patches and community activism among other things; which can connect them with other young women in nearby villages, townships, cities and countries! Creating a network of education, advancement, safety, possibilities and opportunities for women of Africa. The ripple effect of empowered women could mean a changed Africa, for the better!

Through communities impacted by the mobile hub we can be sure to see an increase in safety for women, activism, role modelling, economic participation and innovation. This is my vision for girls in their journey to womanhood walking hand-in-hand with other women for the betterment of the continent!

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