FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STATE DEPARTMENT FUNDED PROGRAM USES MOBILE TECHNOLOGY TO EXPLORE GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AS A PLATFORM FOR U.S.-RUSSIA DIALOGUE
New York, New York – June 17, 2015
Recent research from Gallup and Pew have found that public opinion in both Russia and the United States increasingly views the other country unfavorably. However, Footage Foundation's U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program award through the U.S. Department of State has led to the creation of the Girl-talk-Girl program to help ordinary citizens in these countries, in this case young women, find common ground. The final results of the Girl-talk-Girl project will be available in Autumn 2015.
The project brings together young women who are at-risk of being affected by gender-based violence including domestic violence in New York City, USA and St. Petersburg, Russia by providing an opportunity to share their experiences of the emotional, psychological, and/or physical violence impacting their lives. The young women in both countries have participated in workshops using the mVoiceWorks© method to create short digital stories on the “Girl-talk-Girl” mobile application that they helped to redesign. Later in June, their stories will be shared in an online forum, which will serve as a platform to spark peer-to-peer dialogue exploring both unique and common experiences of violence ever-present in their lives.
Initial opportunities to hear each other’s stories suggest that the project has been successful in helping these women find common ground. Young women in both locations have expressed changed opinions of girls in the other country. After hearing several of her counterpart’s stories, one participant in New York City noted:
“...Some of the stories we have seen from Russia are things that I also experience on a daily basis or have experienced before and so it was really cool . . . We know deep down that there is a really human level that we all have and that we all experience but just to physically see it and be reminded of it has been a really awesome experience.”
Beyond facilitating dialogue between young women in both countries, the project seeks to further the conversation around violence against women and women’s rights globally. Using these young women’s stories and discussions from the forum, Footage Foundation and project participants will create a toolkit to help NGOs, community leaders and others working with at-risk youth to engage them as they navigate important issues in their lives. This toolkit and these girls’ stories will be made available at www.girltalkgirl.org in Autumn 2015.
Footage Foundation is a US based NGO with a focus on amplifying the voices of young people worldwide. For more information visit www.footageyouth.org.