So, on Gender Day we were on our second full day of camp! It seemed pretty surreal at this point, the camp was going- and going well!!!!! Of course, the girls still stayed up all night to chat, sleep in each other’s beds and talk on their phones but* they were becoming closer and closer!
Gender Day was one of the most important days for me to have at the camp. I wanted them to realize how special it is to be a woman. How many advantages they have, versus a lot of the disadvantages that they might see, that they truly have the power to change things BECAUSE of their gender and not in spite of it.
We started the day off with exercise, of course!
Then some fabulous teambuilding!
this icebreaker became a favorite and was done at least ten times per day
Then we had workshops with these two fabulous ladies!!!!
These ladies also deserve more recognition than just doing some amazing workshops on Gender day, because they are some of the reasons that the camp even happened!!!! During the planning time, they were available to translate anything and everything, and also provide feedback. I don’t know if I can ever truly express how humbling it is to,literally, not be able to write. Morocco is a very bureaucratic country and often our mudir wants the documents he has to turn in to be perfect. But, we can’t provide any of it! Especially because our computer separates the Arabic letters if we try to type it in a Word document. Our assistant mudir has an email, but I have to type a message in google translate (that is most definitely wrongly translated) and hope that it at least says some* of the right things. This makes the process of getting anything done 3 to 4 times longer than it should (it also means about 1000 hours of printing new documents out). These two were there for us throughout the entire week to help out with anything we needed, but they were there months before that making the camp happen from a distance. My gratitude towards them is never ending. Then to add to it- they presented some pretty fab workshops….
A workshop about the Mudawana Code (which is the family code written by the government) which includes clauses about divorce, inheritance, marriage, kids etc. etc.
And then a Sexual Harassment Workshop
Then of course we had art time!!! For art time the girls worked on “Stop Sexual Harassment Signs”
Our workshop at night was on self-development and presented by a wonderful woman who works with a women’s association here in Larache.
This was also the day that it felt like the girls were becoming a cohesive unit because of all the time that they had been spending together… this resulted in our first “wedding” of the camp…
and continuous singing during meals- don’t ask me how they ate and sang the entire time during meals but they did! What can I say? These were some fabulous ladies!!!!
a video of these shenanigans would be here- if I had better technology skills (SORRY*)
One of the most interesting aspects about the concept of a Gender Day is, the word for gender in Arabic is the same work for sex. This is confusing especially when my counterpart becomes extremely bashful when she sees on the schedule that she is doing a “Sex Workshop” when the meaning is supposed to be “Gender workshop” (completely understandable!). I know in English it is a fairly new concept to treat gender as an entity and sex as an entity, but throughout my lifetime they have been two different ideas and always been presented as such. At first, I did not understand the confusion and still struggle with attempting to explain the difference when it is the same word.
All in all though- Gender Day was a complete success!!!! I hope the girls learned that they are special and unique because of their gender and it is important to be a woman and speak out!