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Negotiating Girl-led Advocacy

Addressing Early and Forced Marriage in South Africa

Sadiyya Haffejee, Astrid Treffry-Goatley, Lisa Wiebesiek and Nkonzo Mkhize

Increasingly, researchers and policymakers recognize the ability of girls to effect social change in their daily lives. Scholars working across diverse settings also acknowledge the key influence of individual, family, and societal structures on such activism. Drawing on our work with girls in a participatory visual research project in a rural community in South Africa, we consider examples of partnership and collaboration between the adult research team and the young participants. We highlight their agency in mobilizing adults to partner and support community and policy change to address traditional practices of early and forced marriage in this setting. We conclude that collaborative engagement with adults as partners can support activism and advocacy led by girls in contexts of traditional leadership.

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Claudia Mitchell

This first issue of Girlhood Studies in 2015 heralds the beginning of our move from two to three issues a year. This change acknowledges the burgeoning interest in Girlhood Studies as an academic area, and the increase in submissions from contributors. It also acknowledges the global context for work on girlhood. Indeed, as part of this exciting time, we bring to the Girlhood Studies community the second in a series of themed issues focusing on girlhood in different geographic and political contexts. Thus, following “Nordic Girls’ Studies: Current Themes and Theoretical Approaches” (Girlhood Studies 6:1), and in collaboration with the guest editors of that issue, we present this special issue on “Girlhood Studies in Post-Socialist Times.” The mock-up in Figure 1 offers a transliteration of the logo on the cover of Girlhood Studies into Russian; it was created for the first Russian Girlhood Studies conference, “Girlhood Studies: Prospects and Setting an Agenda” held in Moscow on 7 December 2012 at the Gorbachev-Foundation. This conference was a momentous event, attended by Mr. Gorbachev himself, that brought together scholars from various Russian universities and institutions to consider what Girlhood Studies as an interdisciplinary area of feminist scholarship could look like. Many of the presentations at that conference are now articles in this themed issue.

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Emily Bent

Stories about girl activism circulate as exceptional narratives of individual girl power causing intergenerational partnerships and community collaborations to become invisible and apparently unnecessary to girl activist efforts. At the same time, practitioner-scholars attest that sharing authentic stories about intergenerational feminist praxis is difficult to do since it requires us to write with intentional vulnerability exposing the failures and tensions inherent to girl activism networks. In this article, I provide an autoethnographic exploration of the intergenerational processes involved with organizing Girls Speak Out for the International Day of the Girl at the United Nations. I draw inspiration from Lauren J. Silver’s methodological remix of youth-centered activism, and in doing so, reassess the impact and experience of leveraging girls’ political voices in spaces of normative power.

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The Inheritance of Activism

Does Social Capital Shape Women’s Lives?

Supriya Baily, Gloria Wang and Elisabeth Scotto-Lavino

In the call for proposals for this special issue, activist networks were defined as virtual or in person communities devoted to social change. The impact for girls active in these networks has been shown to promote identity development and de-marginalization/empowerment/reclamation of political spaces where girls are marginalized, intergenerational collaboration among women, and community building among feminists. In this study, we seek to explore how women at different generational points reflect on and remember their engagement in social activism. Understanding how these generational shifts affect the impact of social capital on the lives of these women and the changes we might see as they mature into leaders will provide a platform to better understand the influence of belonging to such networks during girlhood.

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Working Hard, Hanging Back

Constructing the Achieving Girl

Colette Slagle

” (111). The hardworking girl stands in sharp contrast to “achievement models associated with masculinity, such as effortless success” (112), which is afforded to boys. In the final chapter, “‘Girls hang back’: Choice, Complementarity and Collaboration

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Fatima Khan, Claudia Mitchell and Marni Sommer

Khan (left and right). Are There Two Jackie Kirk’s? Catherine Vanner Reflects While academia is known to be cut-throat and competitive, we have heard how powerful friendship and collaboration can be in creating productive partnerships. Panelist Marni

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My Words, My Literacy

Tracking of and Teaching through the On-Field Language Practices of Australian Indigenous Boys

David Caldwell, Nayia Cominos and Katie Gloede

the important role of oral language and group collaboration as integral to Aboriginal culture. The literacy modules derive from a detailed linguistic analysis of an authentic context, which is then made explicit to the students through an appropriate

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Tweens as Technofeminists

Exploring Girlhood Identity in Technology Camp

Jen England and Robert Cannella

Affirm Successes As Denner and others found, “Girls benefit from learning environments that involve collaboration with peers” (2005: 96). This is further enforced by Sheridan and Rowsell (2010) , who argue that collaboration is another key disposition of

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Falling Apart Together

On Viewing Ali Atassi’s Our Terrible Country from Beirut

Ira Allen

taken everything from him, including both revolution itself and the loving collaboration that sustained it. And yet, even as Our Terrible Country confronts this horrifying reality, the film begins and ends with profound hope. In the early moments of

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Annabel Erulkar and Girmay Medhin

controls. The districts were purposefully selected in collaboration with the local government staff from departments of education and the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs. Using available government statistics, areas that displayed high levels