Gender Dynamics

Girls' Unique Risks

We can see a tension between protection and participation for girls and the need to find a balance between the two. If we want girls to be active participants in class, in school life, in the family and in the community, then measures need to be taken to protect them from any potential risks. At the same time, this protection should be empowering and should not limit girls or deny them the same sort of active participation opportunities that are possible for boys.

The Healing Classrooms concept of "strategic protection" describes the sort of support that girls and women need to be proactive agents of social change, peace-building and/or post-emergency reconstruction. "Strategic protection" measures ensure that women and girls are safe and not at risk of abuse and exploitation but at the same time have opportunities to participate fully in community activities, to play active roles in decision-making processes and to be leaders in their contexts.