Three Consultants worked on this idea together, and it will be used in future training courses.
Here in their own words they explain the project:
This idea came from a discussion about things that make us angry. All three Consultants had very similar experiences of cultural pressures from family about what it means to be a woman, as well as pressures from friends and partners and siblings.
We started brainstorming ideas of the journey of the young woman and used our own experiences to decide and root the storyline of the young women. We wanted to make it obvious that she is told very conflicting and confusing messages from everyone in her life; her parents, her school friends, her mum.
We also wanted to show a positive example of being a young mum because all we get is negative stereotypes as this is very central to our experiences. It was important that we collaborated on the journey on the young women - it was comforting that our experiences have all been very similar; from being treated differently to our male siblings, to cultural pressures. We were all able to contribute experiences of being blamed or shamed for how we presented, or for things that we have done.
One of our Consultants is an excellent illustrator so we decided to make this into a comic book because we wanted it to be accessible to lots of different young women for different ages and abilities and use our own skills to create the resource.
We developed and created a 12 scene storyboard describing the journey of a girl living in London navigating societal, peer, cultural and gender pressures. The story aims to explore the unrelenting pressure for girls and young women to conform to confusing, contradictory and double-standard expectations. These sometimes subtle issues are the root causes of inequalities that make young women vulnerable to exploitation, grooming and harm.
Gendered pressures affect and damage every young girl, from not talking up in class, to doing things you don’t want to because it feels the only option or it’s what’s expected. We believe that the change we can make is raising and educating children differently.
It’s about stopping the cycling of parenting that limits and restricts ideas of girlhood.
It’s about shifting ideas, attitudes and values about what it means to be a man and women and this is what these images show.