Jun 27 2023

Social and Emotional Learning as a Tool for Girl Advocacy


Adolescent girls need more than access to education to succeed. It’s crucial that they also develop their social and emotional skills to fully understand how to thrive in a world that often tells girls they’re not worthy of living fulfilling lives. 

Global G.L.O.W. steps in at this stage of development to ensure girls have the tools they need to advocate for their rights through meaningful engagement with their communities. 

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to:

  • understand and manage emotions
  • set and achieve positive goals
  • feel and show empathy for others
  • establish and maintain positive relationships
  • make responsible decisions. 

Globally, girls face barriers to success due to lack of access to education, financial co-dependence, and insufficient healthcare, as well as other forms of gender-based discrimination. By equipping girls with the SEL skills they need to thrive, we’re helping them confidently pursue lives of their own design. 

Each module of GLOW Club includes skill-building activities to grow girls’ awareness of mental and social health issues while teaching them to deal with these challenges in positive and healthy ways.

SEL focuses on five core competency areas: self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, relationship skills and social awareness. Read on to learn how GLOW Girls around the world are using these competencies as a powerful tool for advocacy. 

Self-Awareness and Self- Management 

Self-awareness encourages reflection and self-evaluation, enabling girls to identify and express their feelings effectively. Once able to identify their emotions, girls can regulate their emotions, set goals, and make responsible choices.

Girls in GLOW Club practice self-awareness and self-management as they learn to advocate for themselves.

Our  “My Why Vision Board” activity provides girls the opportunity to identify their values as they define self-advocacy. In this activity, members find an issue they’d like to advocate for and, after identifying the problem and their emotions toward it, make a plan to solve it.

“As my mentors guided me towards self-advocacy, I began to realize the positive changes in my academics. I learned about my worth as a girl and developed the zeal to impact others, too.”

Samiratu, Cameroon

As girls identify their principles, comprehend their value as a girl, and practice self-advocacy, they in turn learn how to advocate for others.

Relationship Skills

In GLOW Club, girls learn to build and maintain healthy relationships through effective communication, active listening, teamwork, and conflict-resolution strategies.

GLOW Club members identify important qualities to bring to their relationships and which qualities to look for in the people around them.

Through the “Relation Ship” activity, girls define characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships, allowing them to build on their skills of self-advocacy as they learn to establish personal boundaries. 

Social Awareness

Social awareness produces empathy and grows club members’ understanding of different cultures and perspectives. It encourages them to appreciate the feelings and needs of others, fostering inclusivity and respect. 

Through the “Community Mapping” Activity, girls identify where they can find and offer support in their neighborhoods.

By drawing a map of their community, club members visualize their own interactions within their community and understand how to take ownership of aspects of their community’s overall health and effectiveness. 

Decision-Making Skills

In GLOW Club, girls are equipped with problem-solving techniques, ethical reasoning, and the ability to consider long-term consequences. Through the “North Star: My Compass” activity, girls are given the opportunity to explore their current decision-making processes and work together with their peers to brainstorm problem-solving tips.

“I have seen how girls have low self-esteem and I want to take action to make a change. I plan to become a prominent person in my future so I can be an example to other girls that, if I have been able to make it, they can also make it.”

– Fidelia, Ghana                     

By reflecting on their process and then determining future positive decisions, girls come together to share their goals for the future. They build upon their advocacy and relationship skills to create a future for themselves that benefits their community and the world.

GLOW Club builds upon the core SEL competencies through each module of the program. Self-awareness and self-management are vital aspects to girls’ responsible decision-making and healthy relationship-building.

Throughout the process, girls are gaining the social and emotional tools they need to advocate for themselves, build strong and healthy relationships, make responsible decisions, and contribute meaningfully to their communities. 

Global G.L.O.W. partners with community-based organizations in 30 countries to operate mentorship-driven programs for girls ages 10-18. Our SEL-based curriculum gives girls the tools to express themselves, advocate for their rights, and challenge the most critical barriers to achieving gender equality. Support our work at globalgirlsglow.org/donate.

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Our Mission:

We  mentor girls to advocate for themselves and make their communities stronger.

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Let’s join forces to remove barriers holding girls back from reaching their full potential.