Campaigns from Pakistan, Nigeria, and India were selected to receive a prize and full promotion via official World Pulse marketing and media channels.
Portland, Ore. (June 21, 2016)—If World Pulse was a woman, she would be described as tirelessly ambitious with a voice to fill any room. Collectively, that’s how World Pulse operates: amplifying women’s voices and visions in order to speed up change and improve the lives of millions around the world. This summer, World Pulse is proud to present three women leaders—Sadaf Kashif of Pakistan, Carolyn Seaman of Nigeria, and Urmila Chanam of India—whose work has been selected to receive a $1,500 USD prize and full promotion on WorldPulse.com and its marketing and media channels, in order to bring greater visibility to the issues of child marriage, girls’ empowerment, and menstruation.
Three Powerful Visions for Change
Sadaf Kashif is working to stop child marriage in Pakistan by involving and educating fathers and boys. She believes that ending this harmful custom will start with raising awareness among men so that they can stand up for their daughters. Her campaign, "My Dad My Hero-Breaching Customs Structuring Future," seeks to reach men on a larger scale through creating and distributing documentaries and by hosting an interactive web portal that will address the subject holistically. “I believe in harnessing digital platforms to reach the maximum number of people in the shortest possible time,” says Kashif. “Reaching the community is vital as knowledge acts as a catalyst to unlearn inhumane customs and adopt women friendly practices.”
Carolyn Seaman’s “Make Girls Voices Count” campaign will entail a radio series aimed at mobilizing community action toward girls' empowerment. Each episode will feature an audio story about a local girl’s life, a brief discussion where Seaman and several colleagues discuss the story, and a call-in session for questions and comments from listeners. Beyond the radio show itself, comic-book style animations for social media and the usage of #MakeGirlsVoicesCount will further the digital outreach of the campaign. Seeking to empower adolescent girls, Seaman’s goal is “to teach girls to use their voices to influence their lives, and to raise community awareness about the plight of young girls who are married too young and denied educational and job opportunities.”
Urmila Chanam chose to focus on raising funds and awareness for “Breaking the Silence,” a campaign that has already won her awards like the UNFPA National Laadli Award in 2015 for the Best Social Media Campaign in India. The campaign is dedicated to using technology and social media to change public perspectives on menstruation. Chanam’s newest proposed program for her campaign, entitled “Urban Partnerships for Rural Impact- Dignity for Periods,” will run from June to November 2016. Adamant about the use of technology as a means of education and a tool to combat old schools of thought, Chanam says she is on a mission to end “the myths, taboos and stigma around menstruation. 23% of girls in India drop out of school when they get their first period. My campaign uses social media, on-the-ground outreach and community- and school-based trainings to spread accurate information on menstruation, its hygienic management and creation of a support system for girls and women.”
Campaigns Developed During Intensive Training through World Pulse
These three women are among 30 recent graduates of World Pulse’s signature training program, Voices of Our Future. The program provides an intensive 8-week training in digital skills so that women worldwide may sharpen their vision and ignite change in their own communities. “Voices of Our Future is a journey that you take with well-structured, monitored and evaluated processes,” says Chanam, referring to the close attention paid by World Pulse to ensuring that lifelong—and life-changing—personal connections are made through the program. Each participant is paired with a personal mentor, and collectively the participants make up an intimate but globally diverse cohort of women. The application process is competitive, and is known to draw hundreds of applications from 190 countries. The Winter 2016 graduating class comes from 21 countries, helping to generate greater impact in communities across the globe.
All 30 women proposed their own campaign as part of the training, on issues ranging from violence against women in Kenya to the economic empowerment of disabled women in Syria. They worked hard for their vision to be pushed to the global arena for attention, action, and change. Seaman says, “the Voices of Our Future program is a rich and highly treasured learning experience that is not taken for granted. We feel privileged to have been selected to participate in Voices of Our Future and we are proud to share that honor everywhere we go!”
Follow these leaders’ incredible campaigns through the stories, events, and resources they are posting on World Pulse.
About World Pulse:
World Pulse is a social networking platform connecting women worldwide for change. The network has over 25,000 members from 190 countries all on one mission: to create a world where all women thrive—one click, one comment, one connection at a time. On World Pulse, women exchange stories, make connections, and learn new digital skills that allow them to rise up and create faster change in their communities.
Chelsea Maricle, World Pulse, (+1) 503-331-3900