Why Girls-Specific Programming?
We believe that every girl has much to contribute toward making the world a better place. When they’re given the tools, space and encouragement, girls can become strong advocates for themselves, their communities and a fundamentally better world. Supported by volumes of research with and for girls, we know that girls are not on a level playing field with boys. Systems of oppression based on gender affect access to resources and power. Other factors, such as socioeconomic status, race, immigrant and refugee status, ability, sexual orientation, and gender-identity also play a role.
Girls and young women encounter unique social, political and economic issues in their everyday lives, and as a result they live multiple and intersecting experiences. Gender-specific concerns include: physical, emotional, sexual, and mental health concerns that may differ from those of boys, men and older women, including unique and disproportionately high levels of violence; self-esteem issues, body image, eating disorders, and low-self esteem; isolation; bullying; racism; poverty; homophobia; gender identity; and sexism.
Research with and for girls and young women indicates that gendered spaces and programming combat a diverse range of issues that are associated with growing up female. Many studies show that girl-specific spaces and programs are needed to support girls in order to deal with violence, gendered socialization and other challenges. There is a need for services designed specifically for girls and for all-girl spaces where young women can come together to talk about their experiences and develop strategies to improve their circumstances.
The Blossom Project is committed to girls’ programming because there is a need to create spaces where young women are empowered. Our intention is to create spaces where young women are able to learn about, talk about, and affect issues that are important to them in an open, supportive and honest way, where they can question stereotypes, speak up, and speak out. Our programming fills a gap in the current services provided. We empower girls to take action against the injustices in their lives and their communities and encourages them to change the world.