Girl-Led Design


FCAM, an organisation based in Nicaragua, uses peer-to-peer education groups in their women’s camps, which provide adolescent girls the opportunity to explore issues that affect their lives through a gender, inter-generational and feminist perspective.

The objective is to open spaces for reflection so that adolescent girls can build new kinds of relationships together (peer-to-peer), based on their experiences in their organisations and as individuals, with a profound analysis of how power relationships can arise.

Personal empowerment and control are closely linked. Programme partners report that when a girl feels like she has control over her body, her future and her environment, she begins to feel strong and powerful. It is important to give participants in your programme some degree of control over the design of the program, especially when the intent of the program is to increase girls’ self-esteem. Girls are more likely to fully engage in activities that they help design.

Tips: How to Engage Girls in Programme Design

  • Allow girls to choose paint colours and make decorations for the space where their sessions are held.
  • Ask girls to vote on how they would like to be grouped for competitions, for example, by age, by region or by skill level.
  • Give girls the choice of uniform colours and team names.
  • Consult with girls and their families about time and duration of practices and training sessions.
  • Ask girls to create rules of conduct for sessions and penalties for breach of conduct.
  • Pick a group of girls to interview and evaluate potential coaches.
  • Ask girls which sport they would like to play.
  • Ask girls which life skills topics they would like to discuss.