“If you want to lift up humanity, empower women. It is the most comprehensive, pervasive, high-leverage investment you can make in human beings" - Melinda Gates, The Moment of Lift
Who We Are
Girls's Lead for Peace (GLP) is a start-up virtual exchange program that seeks to empower women in Iraq and the United States by building bridges and connecting women between the two countries. Launched in summer of 2021, the inaugural class have recruited, empowered, and graduated 24 female high school students from Iraq. GLP's goal is to uplift young girls by connecting them with one female mentor from the United States and discuss issues related to womanhood, cultural identity and the value of education in our lives. The program aspires to make a change through building sustainable relationships between the mentors and the mentees that makes all women feel heard, appreciated and uplifted through future GLP classes.
GLP's curriculum is composed of 5 modules
Girls' Lead for Peace's curriculum is designed to make students introspective and more thoughtful about their life through sharing personal stories and experiences by relating to each other and increasing their self-awareness about the world around them. The 5-week program immerses students in thinking deeply about one particular topic in one week long module. Guided by their mentors, students do one activity per day in one week that involves reading, writing, watching a video, and bringing all of their learning together by having a weekly hour long dialogues with their mentor virtually. The dialogue helps to create a safe space for students to reflect on what they learned, share with peers, and connect with their mentors.
Module 1: Womanhood and Cultural Identity
Relating culture to our sense of self.
In this week, students work together to pinpoint specific aspects of their identity that makes them who they are. Students' guide for module 1 can be found here.
Module 2: Education Paths and Career Interests
Exploring our educational interests.
This module works to bring students' attention to their choices of education and how they came to take that decision. It stimulates the students' ability to study and learn beyond school curriculum and the academic year. The students' guide for module 2 can be found here.
Module 3: Women in Business, science, politics and technology
Thinking about the future.
At Girls' Lead for Peace, we are dedicated to stepping up our efforts in making students broaden their future career options by supporting them in finding what fields they love. Module 3 is designed to make students think deeply about their passions within technology, politics, business and so on. Module 3 guide can be found here.
Module 4: Women in the media
Looking for role models.
In module 4, as students have gotten to be more comfortable and confident, we begin to tackle the portrayal of women in both Iraq and globally. The module works to help students recognize inner biases and media influence on young people and help them to form their own opinion on popular women issues. Module 4 guide can be found here.
Module 5: Women4Women
Bringing it back together.
With module 5, our goal is to bring everything we learned together in the program and put it into practice and context. In this closing module, students work together to identify steps they can take to support other women in their community and work hand in hand to define sisterhood and how they can apply that in their everyday life. Module 5 guide can be found here.
Virtual GLP Community
From the Midwest to the Middle East.
GLP's farewell party August 1, 2021
Bannoor and Maryam
Two of our alumni
"I decided to apply to GLP because I really liked the idea of program and how it connects different people from different cultures in America and in Iraq. To share their ideas and activities and also talk about important issues together and listen to the other's opinion on this issue. I also wanted to improve my communication skills in English and to contact with girls from different societies." - Bannoor, 16, Baghdad.
"The program was amazing and it was a great opportunity for girls in our ages to have this summer holiday. I decided to apply because I want to try new things that benefit me and make connections with different cultures and people from different places that make the relations stronger .It also helped me to develop from my English language and be more social and confident." - Maryam, 16, Baghdad.