University of East Anglia
Day of the Girl Norwich exists to raise awareness about the issues facing girls locally, nationally and internationally and uses the UN designated International Day of the Girl Child as a focal point.
The project looks at issues affecting girls and women such as literacy, education, physical, mental, and sexual violence as well as social and economic inequalities. It promotes healthy body image and self-esteem by working with young people and partner organisations.
The project comes out of lead academic's research into gender and popular culture. Both Sarah Godfrey and Tori Cann work within the field of media and cultural studies and have particular interests around questions of gender, identity and youth culture. Both scholars’ work engages with the intersections between identity and culture and the project comes out of their commitment to engage new audiences with issues around gender politics. Both scholars have extensive experience of working with young people in a research and engagement context; the project is currently being developed into a larger 3 year research project.
The project activities include school visits, workshops and other activities culminating in a day-long public celebration which takes place annually on International Day of the Girl which is held on the 11th October. On the day itself there is a public exhibition of work created by participants as well as ‘live’ arts and craft making. Alongside this creative work there is a symposium for high school partners which included sessions on self-esteem and a writing workshop, and also a series of public discussions led by academics from the University of East Anglia which take place over the course of the day.
Since 2012, the project has engaged with 15 schools and community groups, a women’s art cooperative (Sweet Arts), Norwich Castle Museum, Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library, Future Radio (community radio) and Norwich City Council and in 2014, Norfolk Guides became another partner, enabling the project to reach even more young people and engage them in the discussion about girlhood in the UK and abroad. As a result of the collaboration, the Guides will be creating a ‘Day of the Girl’ badge that they can earn through engagement with the project.
This year saw the launch of GirlsRoar! This is a network of young people across Norfolk who form the basis of the activities and events for Day of the Girl Norwich. These groups define the agenda and the aims of the project. The network contributes to the blog and online art sections and work alongside organisers to help make Day of the Girl Norwich a real success. Boys are particularly encouraged to be part of this network as well.
The project website is a primary site for the continued engagement between the project and the local community. The website incorporates a section which is curated by participants and partner organisations and this also ensures the development of media literacy skills of the participants. A blog is used to encourage continued participation from partners and participants. These resources are freely accessible. A range of schools resources have also been developed which are used to run assemblies, workshops and other activities.