Girl Determined, the exclusive organization in Myanmar solely dedicated to adolescent girls, is sparking a movement of girls with leadership skills to advocate for their own rights and a future that does not re-create the risks they now face.
Girl Determined reaches out to girls aged 12-17 in rural and urban communities across the country with weekly programming that increases girls' ability to participate in their world. Though coming from incredibly diverse backgrounds, girls in Myanmar, a country of 55 million that is just coming out of 50 years of military repression, share many similar struggles. They face restrictive gender roles, discrimination based on ethnicity or religion, poverty, dangerous labour, displacement due to war, violence, school drop-out and early marriage. In early adolescence gender role norms calcify and girls begin to believe that they are naturally ill-suited for leadership in both the private and public sphere. Our programs help girls to gain critical skills and confidence to assert their needs and develop plans to improve girls' lives.
All of our work is girl-focused. Reflecting our research and the independent findings in the fields of public health and education, we have created a girl-centered, strengths-based curriculum that aims to develop the whole girl. In addition to confidence, deepened tolerance and decision-making skills, the group activities impart important financial literacy and reproductive health knowledge. Teenage girls need safe spaces, mentors and social networks for positive personal development.