Girls Speak Out: Justice for Girls
Brief summary of presentation of information made
Meeting begins: Structure of gathering is explained, moderators (all girls) are introduced
Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, with Irlane, Brazilian girl
- Girls are valuable and can contribute enormously to society if given the freedom and opportunity
Maryam Monsef, Minister of the Status of Women, Canada
- The minister told the story of running for mayor as a young Muslim woman in Canada. She lost, but then won a seat in Parliament, breaking down gender barriers and other barriers along the way.
- It is up to us to help girls reach what they are capable of
Drama Presentation presented the theme of the meeting, a message to girls in crisis:
We love you, we believe you, and you are not alone.
Let’s put our heads together and unite for a common goal.
Raphaela, Girl representative of UN Women
- I want to be a professional athlete but sporting is often biased towards men. I even feel unsafe going to practice.
- No one should be diminished for being a woman.
H.E. Feridun H. Siniroğlu, Representative of Turkey to the UN
- Girls’ rights are human rights, which we must remember during crises and migration
- Turkey, hosting Syrians, Iraqis and Afghanis, is working to strengthen the rights of refugee girls by making education of displaced children a priority.
- Girls are being informed of their rights in a child-friendly, easy-to-understand way
Martina, Girl Representative of Bella Abzug Leadership Institute
- She came to the USA illegally as a child.
- Vows to advocate for progressive changes in the USA, such as immigration reform and the institutionalization of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
- Dreamers (DACA children) are the basis of the US economy – deporting them would cost the US $460bil in GDP
- Dreamers have human rights as well. They came here seeking a better livelihood, with no malicious intentions
- No person should live in constant fear for their future
Laura, JusticeForGirls Topic Director, Gender Inequality
- Girls are often forced to surrender their innocence and their childhood because of crisis, pushing them developmentally behind their male peers
- Creates a vicious cycle of gender inequality
H.E. Gustavo Meza Cuadra, Representative of Peru to the UN
- Now is the time to take action to improve rights and opportunities for girls around the world
- Peru has made progress fighting inequality, especially in education, but rural areas need more attention
- Environments like schools and homes should be unquestionably safe spaces for girls, but this is not always the case.
- Peru will enter the UN Security Council, and opportunities for girls will be a priority
- Near-future goal is to work on providing reporting methods
Daunette, Girl Representative of Omaha Native American Tribe
- Native Americans are resilient: “We are still here” despite centuries of oppression
- Suicide rate is 2.5x higher among Natives; poverty rate is much higher
- American education should be a complete history of America and indigenous people
Christina, Girl Representative of Girls for Gender Equity
- Acknowledged school push out factors: discrimination, dress code, unfair pressures, etc that can lead to dropouts
- School curriculums should use content that is relatable for women of color, where they can see themselves, not just European history
- Girls want to succeed in life, but by being pushed out of school they’re being pushed out of many of life’s best opportunities
Thandolwethu, Girl Representative for The Grail
- Girls in her hometown try to walk in groups, but sometimes they have to walk alone. That should not be scary.
- Related to climate change: Plastic is thrown into streams, and women that are responsible for finding fresh water have to travel farther (often alone).
- The Grail is using youth volunteers to keep streams and wells clean. “Stream custodians”
Lakshmi Puri, Director of UN Women
- “This is my favorite day of the UN year!”
- Rural remote areas need better access to services, infrastructure and rule of law.
- We have a responsibility as an international community to step up and speak out. Every single girl must be supported.
What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?
Any kind of structural crises and issues disproportionately affect girls, such as climate change and civil war. Girls need special attention in these situations.
Indigenous people groups are often forgotten or neglected – girls in these communities are especially vulnerable and deserve assistance.
Refugee and immigrant girls are often a targeted demographic, and The Salvation Army has a biblical mandate to care for them.
Web links for more information
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57858#.WeECD2hSyM8 UN News Centre article on 2017 International Day of the Girl
http://www.unwomen.org/en UN Women websiteTags: United Nations, Women, SDG5: Gender Equality