Young women and girls in Kazakhstan share their stories of trafficking, exploitation and violence and how connection and compassion is helping them to raise their voices and show leadership.
NEW YORK, LONDON, ALMATY, November 26, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — On Friday, 25th November, Footage Foundation launches its campaign: Together We YOUnite! 16 Days of Activism in support of the United Nations global campaign to raise awareness of gender-based violence (#GBV) and violence against women across the world.
From the 25th November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – and throughout the 16 days, Footage will be sharing the stories from young women who participated in the Girl-talk-Girl program and compassionate leadership training in Kazakhstan during October this year. Watch the trailer of their shared stories here.
In Almaty, Footage, working once again with Kazakh partner Rodnik– known for preventing trafficking in the region – aimed to build on the success of the previous Girl-talk-Girl program in 2019-20, and foster young women’s leadership capacity as they scaled the program with their peers. This work is made possible thanks to generous sponsorship from the U.S. Consulate and Embassy in Kazakhstan.
Many of the young women who participated in the workshops and training understood — for the first time in their lives — that they are not alone, that they are seen, that their trauma is shared and that their experiences as young women from countries across Central Asia — including Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, China, and Kyrgyzstan — are at once singular and collective – and that their voices are worthy of being heard.
“Girl-talk-Girl and the work with young women in Kazakhstan and the connection it brings to light, demonstrates how important this program is in addressing the global crisis of gender-based violence (GBV). It uses the science of storytelling and compassion to level the inequalities that sustain GBV, such as a lack of leadership opportunities. It encourages and inspires the confidence of young women participants to raise their voices in the knowledge that they are not isolated or forgotten,” says Program Director Dr. Kristen Ali Eglinton who led the workshop and training designed to inspire the young women participants to fulfill their potential as compassionate leaders.
“Without question, we did what we set out to do,” says Dr. Eglinton. “In fact, while in Kazakhstan I saw in our young women participants that the skills that they so naturally have are those very skills that constitute compassionate leadership. As compassionate leaders, the young women we trained to scale the program took action, listened deeply, collaborated, built trust, and acted creatively. These young women who demonstrate resilience, deep integrity and connection, are the inspirational leaders the world so desperately needs right now if we are to defeat this epidemic of gender-based violence and violence against women and girls. The importance of this work, supported by the U.S. Consulate and Embassy in Kazakhstan cannot be underestimated.”
About Footage Foundation: Footage is a U.S. based feminist organization raising voices to elevate lives through creative research, wellbeing interventions, and advocacy—all advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Footage has received nine Public Diplomacy awards from the U.S. Department of State to design and implement programs focusing on women and violence primarily in the Post-Soviet region. A nonprofit organization founded by PhD colleagues at Cambridge University, Footage uses narrative and expressive approaches empowering young women around the world to connect as agents of social change. Our programs provide connection — a community for women on the frontlines of gender inequality where their ideas matter and their voices count. We have a particular focus on forced displacement and gender-based violence and believe compassion and connection are as important to sustainable development as food and water.
Girl-talk-Girl connects young women worldwide, using mobile digital storytelling (2-5 minute multimedia narratives produced on mobile phones) to spark dialogue and change around the gender-based violence present in their lives. Thus far young women across USA, Chile, Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan have been connected through this public diplomacy program.
To learn more about how you can donate, or join Footage in solidarity and advocacy, and help to raise the voices of those at risk from gender-based violence (GBV) and displacement visit footageproject.org and follow Footage on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
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