Advocating for the Rights & Needs of Vulnerable Girls

This course engages Iranian social workers, teachers, civil society advocates and community volunteers in crafting both psycho-social needs and rights-based solutions to the crises facing vulnerable girls in Iran.  Students in this e-course will survey the causes of the disempowerment of girls in Iran, including legal inequality, the denial of equal opportunity and dignity for girls, sex segregation, mandatory hijab, and systemic sexual harassment, including in the workplace, as well as violence, sexual abuse and child marriage. This survey will then expand to include the broader socio-economic challenges facing the poor and marginalized, especially unemployment, drug addiction, crime, and the ensuing breakdown of traditional family support systems.  Students will analyze Iran’s epidemic of runaway girls, and the risks girls face on the streets, from prostitution to trafficking, physical abuse to self-harm, and the current state of Iranian efforts to protect their welfare and rights. They will explore best practices from how other governments and civil societies address similar challenges and discuss specific strategies such as advocacy for legal reform and public awareness-raising; NGO-based legal, medical, and psychosocial services provided directly to girls; traditional civic organizing to counter societal stigmas and empower girls; strengthening of community-based solutions for families in need; social work and protective shelters; and more.  

 

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