Self efficacy through mentorship and role modeling....
How can we help women overcome various challenges - build women’s self efficacy (confidence) and improve access to information
The challenges range from lack of access to education, poverty, unemployment, social discrimination and cultural practices that endanger women.
In some communities in Kenya (and in Africa) a girl may be forcefully undergo FGM and usually after the procedure she is considered ready for marriage. Early marriage denies her right education.
Many girls living in slums and rural areas cant afford to but sanitary towels due to poverty. when they are on their menses, they stay away from school for fear of embarrassment in case they soil themselves. It affects their academic performance.
Other challenges (not limited to Kenya) include the lack of the ability to negotiate for their sexual rights and this puts women’s health at risk , gender based violence . Some women believe that if your husband doesn’t beat you, then he doesn’t love you…
So, here is a woman who was forced out of school to get married and is living in an emotionally or physically of abusive relationship. Because she training she doesn’t know how to start a business and can’t leave her husband. He is her sense of security. How will she take care of her children? If she leaves her husband society may reject her.
This woman is neighbor, your sister, auntie or friend. Afraid she hopes that her daughter’s life won’t be a replay of hers. Her self esteem is in tatters. Can she get any help? YES she can. But where can she get the information she needs? Lack of access to knowledge she needs is her other problem.
1. A girls mentorship program and social modeling to build this woman’s and her daughters self efficacy. According to Albert Bandura self efficacy is a person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation. Social Modeling, witnessing other people successfully completing a task is another important source of self-efficacy.
“Seeing people similar to oneself succeed by sustained effort raises observers' beliefs that they too possess the capabilities master comparable activities to succeed” (1994).
In Swahili we have a saying samaki hukunjwa angali mbichi. Translated meaning is you start coaching children when they are still young. A network of professional women willing to be mentees…for Kenyan school girls is necessary. Are you one of them…?
Were once in the position of the woman above. Would you help another women out?
2. How about a Women’s mobile internet cafes? This will help overcome the lack of access to shave access to the many resources on the web that gives the knowledge that helps them make informed decisions. I haven’t figured out how to overcome the language barriers, any ideas?
3.Strengthen the capacity of the organizations already in the field. Sometimes all they need is training and an email leading them on the right direction for training or accesses to resources. Why reinvent the wheel?
World Pulse is a good place to start connecting the dots...
Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V. S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior,4. New York: Academic Press, pp. 71-81.