Every day, we always hear about women and girls being victimized. In our society, a girl child believes in the myth that girls are vulnerable and boys are strong and independent because this message is being constantly reinforced at almost every turn, by siblings, classmates, teachers, parents, relatives and so on. Therefore, she’s raised to absolutely depend on the opposite gender, who are perceived to be stronger (her brother, boyfriend, uncle, father, husband), for her protection and defense. Unfortunately, worldwide, one in three women experience sexual or physical violence, and the majority by husbands, intimate partners or someone they know. Furthermore, she’s told not to go out alone, not to walk at night, not to go to parties, not to take a walk alone around the neighborhood, etc. as reliable preventive measures to avoid being a victim of rape or assault. However, not only do these assumed preventive measures places restriction and infringes on a girl child basic human right of freedom, but it has also proven to be false measures because globally, between 15 and 76 percent of women/girls are targeted for physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. In order words, either a girl child is advised to imprison herself by staying at home or decides to be social, it doesn’t change the fact that she’s still at the risk of physical or sexual assault, which unfortunately is even mostly carried out by people she knows and not strangers, within the circumference of comfortable places such as home, school, workplace etc.
Violence against women/girls is a global problem and not limited to a specific group of women/girls in society. However, the forms of violence might be shaped differently based on factors such as sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, class, age, nationality. In order to effectively address physical, and sexual violence which can lead to long-term physical, mental and emotional health problems for women/girls, our team at YGEM always visit schools to teach self-defense classes to girls and we also visit communities to teach indigenous women how to defend themselves against domestic violence, and sexual assault. Our self-defense classes use VR/AR technology for effective result.
We heard the unfortunate story of a helpless 15-year-old girl, who was raped to death by her uncle in her house. She wasn’t outside walking alone in the dark, as oppose the social belief; she was staying in her room when the ugly incidence happened. At YGEM, we believe that teaching girls self-defense would definitely make a difference in reducing violence against women/girls. Learning self-defense provides a person with the skill to avoid being hurt or injured in an attack. While this doesn’t guarantee safety, it does reduce the risk exponentially in an attack. In the alarming chance that you find yourself confronted with someone who might cause you harm, knowing how to defend yourself will give you the potential upper-hand and may buy you enough time to get away to safety. With this understanding, we equip girls with martial arts skills to protect themselves from harm and seek safety because the goal is not to stay and continue fighting, rather it is to defend and attack to get away from an assailant to find help. At YGEM, we visit schools to teach girls self-defense using virtual reality technology so that the girls can gain real-time experience and practice how to truly defend themselves by recreating the experience of physical and/or sexual assault scenes and we also teach them the signs of violence and how to avoid such.
Not only do we teach girls self-defense classes using virtual reality, we also engage the boys too because report shows that men are more likely to perpetrate violence if they have low education, a history of child maltreatment, exposure to domestic violence against their mothers, harmful use of alcohol, unequal gender norms including attitudes accepting of violence, and a sense of entitlement over women. Therefore, engaging the boys and teaching them true manhood from a tender age will reduce bullying in schools and as they grow to become men in the society, violence against women will drastically reduce, hence creating a safer society for all.
Keeping yourself safe is a priority, and every woman deserves to know the proper skills to defend herself if or when danger attacks. We visit communities to enroll indigenous women in our self-defense training classes with the aim to reduce the occurrence of violence against women. We make use of virtual reality application to immerse our trainee in a virtual, yet safe, world to learn martial art skills for self-protection. Our focus is to empower women to gain valuable experience of dangerous or life threating environments from the safety of a training room. Building confidence in physical resistance skills allows women to feel more capable and more at peace when in potentially dangerous areas as they know the proper techniques to help fend off an attacker. Our VR self- defense classes also teach women how to be better able at discerning the warning signs of assault.
Objectives of our VR self-defense classes:
Traditionally, the bread winners and money makers are touted to be men and this led to financial dependence of women. Financial dependence is one major reason for women vulnerability to violence and abject poverty. Eighty-five percent of women who leave an abusive relationship return. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a significant proportion of women who return to the relationship attribute their inability to deal with their finances as a major contributing factor, which is often enhanced by the fact that the abuser often has all of the economic and social standing and complete control over the family finances. This is rooted in unequal power relationships between men and women in society. In a broader context, structural relationships of inequalities in politics, religion, media, business, and discriminatory cultural norms promote women financial dependence and perpetuate violence against girls and women. Financial dependence is a very serious problem for women and embracing women entrepreneurship today is essential for women liberation.
Entrepreneurship is critical for the economy as entrepreneurship is an engine of economic progress, job creation as well as social adjustment. Throughout the world, entrepreneurship fosters economic growth and generates new jobs. Enhancing women's participation in society is essential not only for achieving social justice but also for reducing poverty. Worldwide experience shows clearly that supporting a stronger role for women contributes to economic growth, it improves child survival and overall family health, and it reduces fertility, thus helping to slow population growth rates and improve economic growth. In short, investing in women is central to sustainable development.
With women still less likely to participate in the labour force, and more likely to take the worst jobs in it, insecure, unsafe and poorly paid jobs, inclusive growth remains far out of reach. Given the opportunity, women invest the majority of their income into their families and communities, but unfortunately, most women experience unnecessary barriers that limit their ability to fully participate in the economy. Those barriers prompt women/girls to become so much depended on their dads, brothers, and husband. Also, due to discriminatory cultural norms, some women/girls have been brainwashed to believe in the myth that they won’t have a husband/family if they are financially independent, so most girls/women don’t even try to earn or work in their whole life. At YGEM, we are committed to challenging discriminatory cultural norms limiting the potentials of women in society. YGEM is focused on improving the role of women in economic development through our Entrepreneurship workshop training and by providing women to productive resources such as credit and loan. We strongly believe that with the right policies and interventions, there is a huge opportunity to unleash women entrepreneurs, boosting economic growth and lifting millions of people out of poverty in the process.
Globally, women make up 50 percent of the global population, 40 percent of the global workforce, yet only own about 1 percent of the world's wealth. A large number of women entrepreneurs have yet to fully comprehend their own greatness due to the belief, culture, and environment they were raised in. They are made to falsely believe that they don't have what it takes to run a business successfully and be an inspiring leader simply because they are women. Also, there is often a lack of entrepreneurial programs in schools and universities, and business programs too often teach students how to be employees rather than employers.
YGEM helps to build entrepreneurship spirit in women and empower them to contribute to economic development. Our entrepreneurship workshop is so unique. We create the opportunity for women to learn the practicality of entrepreneurship and experience the lifestyle of an entrepreneur through our virtual reality application that provides an entrepreneurship environment (real-life business scenario), allowing women to demonstrate their leadership skills, decision-making skills, design thinking skills, management skills etc. and gain experience through VR.
We believe everyone is talented regardless of gender. Women are the backbone of communities and the continent's greatest potential for unlocking economic growth as they provide the majority of labor with the least amount of resources. However, women are faced with societal constraints; these barriers limit the expression of women potentials and innovative ideas, capable of transforming the world. The barriers begin with comparatively low investment in female education and health, they continue with restricted access to services and assets, and they are made worse by legal and regulatory constraints on women’s opportunities. As a result, the worldwide progress in development over the last three decades has not translated into proportional gains for women.
YGEM assists women to transform their ideas into business. We strongly believe that harnessing innovation, which has the potential to increase skill formation, enhance productivity and create youth employment opportunities are essential to eradicating forced labour, slavery, human trafficking, and poverty. We provide women with the environment to nurture their business ideas. We also assist them to raise business funds because we are aware that funding is an issue that many startup owners are familiar with, but this problem is even more evident to women entrepreneurs as they have limited access to capital and assets. This challenge may lie in the simple fact that the top offices of decision makers are still largely occupied by men, some who may have an unconscious bias towards women. In addressing this, we run a cooperative society for women to have easy access to credits and loan to support their business and also, to encourage savings for women for future use.
Our online platform serves as an interactive hub that connects younger businesswomen to promote peer networking and know how sharing and provide business mentorship/counseling.
Objectives of our Entrepreneurship Workshop: