Date of Meeting: 11 October 2018

Meeting Organizer: Working Group on Girls

ISJC Staff Present: Major Victoria Edmonds, Stephanie Marinelli, Catherine Millan

Reporter: Catherine Millan and Stephanie Marinelli

Which SDG does this topic cover? Goal 5: Gender Equality

Type of meeting: Speakers and drama presentations

Brief summary of presentation of information made

Girls Speak Out is an event for girls and leaders to come together to bring awareness to challenges that are faced by girls around the world.

Selina – Girl Scout Gold Award Winner

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Activist
  • Created a sustainable project to tackle 1 root cause of a problem
  • “It’s challenging to break social norms because spoken or unspoken, they sting”
  • Necessary to encourage girls age 10-13 to pursue STEM paths
  • Selina raised $5,000 for low-income families – 7,000 girls came to the workshops
  • Travelled to China to help teach how to teach STEM camps
  • “Great changes start with small steps”
  • To policy makers: “Believe in our capacities because girls can be successful”
  • It is important to have parents who encourage girls.

Clara, #GenerationGirl: Education

  • “Education for girls is essential to gender equality”
  • Education will help girls to know their own capabilities

Shreeya – From Nepal, 14 years old

  • Raised awareness to the dowry system by speaking about experiences in her home town in Nepal
  • If the parents of the girl cannot pay the boy’s family, then the girl is punished
  • Shreeya talks about the root problem being education
  • She was able to get out of the system because of her education
  • Girls who have education will be bold to speak out against the dowry system.
  • “Girls are strong like me.”

Nathalia, #GenerationGirl: Climate Change, Mental Health

  • Talks about climate change
  • Girls walking to get to water – climate change affects this
  • Mental Health is a big issue between girls
  • Girls are more likely than boys to suffer from depression
  • 4% of Asian American girls suffer from depression and 2% of them face mental health issues.

Trinity, Girl Scouts of the USA

  • Own your truth
  • Girls in poverty develop higher levels of anxiety.

Nadia, Zero Hour

  • Climate change leads to the oppression of women
  • Animal agriculture takes up 18% of fossil fuels
  • How can you help?
    • Go vegan/vegetarian
    • Reduce plastic use

Hannie, PLAN International

  • Talks about her struggles related to being a child in a natural disaster
  • Her best friend died in the natural disaster
  • Advocate for remote children rights
  • Children are the most vulnerable in these situations. They are left behind, treated as less than people
  • Talks about the value in peer education
  • “Be seen, be heard, and have the power to influence”

What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

The International Day of the Girl helps to raise awareness about the living conditions of Girls around world. They face many challenges because of societies impositions. In many societies, girls are not allowed to be girls because they must stop their education to get marry. It is important to remember what the attitude of Jesus towards children was. Even when people thought that children were bothering him. He said to them: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18:16). As the Salvation Army, we can be there to help them to speak out with freedom. We can show our love towards them. We can hear them and help their heart to be healed with the love of God that transforms lives and societies.

Web links for more information Day of the Girl website UN Women website Livestream video of Girls Speak Out from 11 October 2018

Tags: United Nations, Women, Social Justice, SDG5: Gender Equality