Our Future Our Keighley
The evaluation from Our Future Our Keighley showed that developing critical thinking skills is vital for women and girls to be able to make more informed decisions. Many of the other lessons learnt from this project are reflected in our Values.
Our previous experience has shown that taking individuals away from their surroundings and networks for a few days helps them to focus on themselves, share their experiences/feelings and empowers them to commit to taking long-term action. Safe spaces are fundamental to building trust and openness with individuals. Evidence showed that there was a visible difference in attitude and confidence with people who took part in residential training and development projects. Finally, the creation of a group of people that can be united on an issue alongside the support needed to take a series of small actions/changes leads to positive changes in their personal lives, communities and neighbourhoods.
Consistency & Continuity
Self-worth, independence and other needs of our women and girls requires repetition and consistency to ensure they feel supported. This need will be reinforced via our Gender Mainstreaming approach to each activity. Long-term relationships with women and girls are vital, if meaningful and long-term outcomes are to be achieved. Our women and girls increasingly experience services that are short-term, sporadic and narrow in remit. The establishment of both trust and honesty allows women and girls to progress further and gives them a support network for future issues that may arise, which in turn prevents perpetual negative cycles.
Using facilitation techniques to ensure every voice is heard fosters collective wisdom in understanding and addressing complex issues. This gives women and girls the confidence to address their own issues alongside their peers, which in turn empowers them and strengthens their unity as a group. This will be reflected in our techniques used during each activity.
According to research conducted by UN Women, Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is rooted in discrimination and inequality, making it challenging to address. Men and women who have not had the opportunities to question gender roles, attitudes and beliefs, are unable to change them. Women and girls who are unaware of their rights cannot claim them. Therefore, if safe spaces are set up to raise awareness and understanding, there will be a potential impact on the reduction on VAWG.