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NNGG A: Helping young women challenge body image myths

 Some members of the association

Some members of the association

WITH the support of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the Dove Self- Esteem project, the Nigerian Girl Guides Association has pledged to take part in a ground-breaking programme that empowers young people across the country to speak out, challenge body image myths and boost their body confidence and that of a whole new generation.

The new programme dubbed Free Being Me challenges girls and young women to stand up and take action to empower the next generation. Seven 14-year-old Girl Guides will reveal the conditions and expectations of the society towards girls and young women, expose airbrushing and challenge body talk.

Globally, 3.5 million girls and boys worldwide will take part in Free Being Me over the next two years, with over 63,000 lives being reached in Nigeria. A special Free Being Me badge will be rewarded to those who participate making it the first body confidence badge of its kind. Research has shown that 60 per cent of girls had significantly improved body confidence and 78 per cent felt more confident at school after participating in the programme.

The Nigerian Girl Guides Association is taking action to tackle a growing body confidence crisis among girls and young women. With six out of 10 girls worldwide choosing to withdraw from activities because of poor body confidence, the organization is working to help girls overcome appearance concerns that can hold them back from reaching their fullest potentials.

During the first national training for peer educators (16-25-year olds), which had 41 participants from 17 states of the country, the young women expressed their displeasure towards the standards being set by the society, constant peer pressure from friends and family about the way they are expected to look. At the end of the training it was clear that they knew the right advocacy steps to take.

Ogo, 16, a Peer Educator says: “Being beautiful depends on me!”

According to Ayomide, 21, another Peer educator: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent, love your individuality and that is what Free Being Me helps us to achieve!”

To find out more about Free Being Me, people can contact the NGGA headquarters at 16 Omo-Osagie Street, South West Ikoyi or call 01-4540398 and email freebeingme9ja@yahoo.com.



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