GIRRL power! Participatory Action Research for building girl-led community resilience in South Africa
This article aims to crystallize the contributions of the Girls in Risk Reduction Leadership (GIRRL) Program in building resilient communities through the integration of adolescent girls into local level decision-making and action for reducing disaster risk. Disadvantaged adolescent girls carry a double burden derived from vulnerability associated with gender and age within the context of disaster risk. Girls often face greater danger than boys or adults and are perceived as powerless. Their needs go unheard and capacities ignored because of their exclusion from decision-making and social participation. Efforts to reduce risk must be inclusive of the needs of vulnerable populations. Despite global calls for the inclusion of women, children, and youth in risk reduction policy and planning, its application has been insufficient. The GIRRL Program, utilizing Participatory Action Research, helped to catalyze the capacities of girls through personal empowerment to drive the agenda for inclusive involvement of vulnerable populations to build community resilience. The paper will document the contributions of the GIRRL Program to improving community resilience through engaging decision-making, facilitating multi-sectoral understanding of vulnerability and risk, validating the importance of girls in risk reduction, creating capacity to manage girl-led processes, and strengthening risk reduction through local girl-led activities.
Abstract provided on behalf of the authors Kylah Forbes-Genade, Dewald van Niekerk
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