- Investing in adolescent girls to college age young women to equip them with skills, confidence, and life options: through family, schools, vocational, mentoring, health education and training to improve health, social and economic support systems;
- Continuing to advocate for making violence against girls and women visible and unacceptable both in private and public domains;
- Strengthening data, measurement and the evidence base in relation to the empowerment of
and violence against adolescent girls to young women
- Developing culturally relevant services, information and education accessible to girls effective in meeting their needs for health, welfare and safety
- Facilitating adolescent girls and young college age women to engage in civic, economic and political life, as a social change agent;
We have witnessed diminishing rights of children to live in a violent free society, obtain a quality education, declines in health status, increasing child and welfare dependence, poverty and major safety reduction. All impede the right to live and compete in a global environment . Young women in low-income and some minorities are disproportionately victims of dating violence and rape. Women ages 20-24 are at greatest risk of nonfatal domestic violence, and women age 24 and under suffer from the highest rates of rape. The Justice Department estimates that one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape during their college years, and that less than five percent of these rapes will be reported. Income is also a major factor: the poorer the community the higher the risk of teen dating violence. Young women in the lowest income category experience more than six times the rate of nonfatal intimate partner violence as compared to women in the highest income category. When race is considered African-American women face higher rates of intimate partner violence than white women, and American-Indian women are victimized at a rate more than double that of women of other races. Our daughters depend on us as adults to create a desirable and safe environment.
When dreaming of having my own child Asia, in the early 1980’s I pondered what kind of world would exist when she became of age at 21. Little could I have ever guessed she would only live to reach age 21, at a time there was significant decline in the status of girls, young women, via all media . She was thrilled to reach the legal age to vote, ready to put her undergraduate education in psychology in pursuit of a masters degree, in the caring profession of nursing. Asia was very excited about exercising her rights as a responsible, well educated, prepared supported young woman. Then suddenly, poof, in the blink of an eye, all ended when she fell to the TDV ultimate victimization, by a young man she was dating as she was breaking up with him. He and his friend decided to rob, then kill Asia. She became Philadelphia’s ### Femicide victim on November 7, 2004.
Suddenly, my eyes became absolutely wide opened. I watched the environment quickly move towards diminishing respect for young women, particularly women of color, a paradigm developing where violence became an acceptable way of life, a culture where games (too many) children play have devolved into how to rape a girl or young women. A culture where girls and young women are routinely referred to as derogatory names in all the music and most visual images of girls. Now routinely OUR Daughters are routinely referred to as b$tch, a phenomena they’ve grown to accept as normal. What? While the number of tdv victims began spiraling out of control .
As a young women of color, coming of age after the 60’s civil rights, or 70’s Peace and Women’s movements/ to now watch OUR Rights as Women disintegrate, WE must respond, and become vigilant about this negative imagery of girls and young women, left for future interpretation! These images of OUR girls clearly objectify them All as body parts, versus thinking feeling virtuous young women. Clearly disrespectful. This ongoing denigration of young women, has become an unacceptable norm.
Unlike many middle class educated minorities, we did not migrate to the suburbs, away from urban Philadelphia, but had a firm belief in the WEB Dubois Talented Tenth concept, that the educated amongst us should remain in the community, support the people, children and build healthier and better communities.
But as urban communities have a higher concentration of too many children with multiple psycho social educational dysfunction, higher concentrations of poverty, political systems that don’t prioritize the needs of non voting children, decaying societal norms, increasing crime rates, increasing abuse of substances and alcohol to self medicate from psychological pain and abuse, increased risk of violence for just attending school. Diminishing culturally sensitive psychological, educational, and social supports, doesn’t add up positively for OUR girls. With an approximate 50% graduation rate in Philadelphia), reduced academic performance in the basics of reading and writing,understanding basis necessities of cooking, organizing a household, a not engaging educational system that hasn’t advanced with the technology, leading to a continuum of uneducated children, unprepared and ill equipped to provide for themselves. Combined with a lack of culturally sensitive psychological, sociological supports, too many end up in prison, on drugs, self medicating, homeless and a burden to society.
This is conjunction with a record numbers of children involved in child welfare systems due to parental absence, drug use, imprisonment, our urban children are riddled with far too many life sustaining issues. It’s a basic Human Right (per the UN 1940 treaty) for OUR children to obtain a quality education, be healthy, and live in a world where violence is not the norm. Children depend on us as adults to support creation of safe and healthy environments, attend town meetings, sign petitions to call the attention of elected officials to support public education, health, safety, and become a voice for OUR Children without voice. Sometimes its needed to adopt a young parent too, to provide a supportive community, that prioritizes the health of OUR children, OUR daughters, OUR future…… Let’s do whatever we can to support and Save OUR children. Sign our petitions, share our website link, like us on facebook, have us speak to your group, volunteer with us. Call us at 215 438 1840 or email AsiaAdams21@gmail.com. Much Love!