Countdown for the International Day of the Girl October 11

Members of the Day of the Girl Virtual Summit community are invited to host an online social screening of the film Shadya to commemorate the first-ever International Day of the Girl.  This film screening is a fantastic way to explore the opportunities for girls’ leadership, resistance, and empowerment in their everyday lives.  Join the webinar training on Friday, September 28th 4:00pm – 5:00pm EST to learn how to set up your own social screening. Register by Wednesday, September 26th at: 

Attached flyer will give you all the information you need. Click here   Shadya Film Screening Flyer

Post 2015 Development Agenda and Women

Read about a recent meeting I attended on the Post 2015 Development Agenda and women.  Read more

A series of over 50 national consultations will take place over the next few months. I will provide an outline of the countries where they are scheduled. Please approach the office of UN Women in your country and ask about this consultation.  The consultation will be set up in a way that facilitates the inclusion of voices of people living in poverty.  And of course that includes girls and women!

Nuestra Experiencia de Participación en la Conferencia de Naciones Unidas sobre Desarrollo Sostenible

Marta Iris and her team who attended the Rio+20 conference on behalf of the whole congregations has provied a very extensive report in Spanish.  It is in three parts  a) Experience of being at the Rio+20 Conference – 3 pages – it will come in English.  Informe 3 parte (a) experiencia en Rio+20  b) Report of the Conference – alsmot 7 pages   Informe 3parte (b) Conferencia Rio+20 and c) a powerpoint presentation Participación NSC-BP RIO+20    Thanks Marta to you Aurea, Femanda, Doris and Erika for sharing.

Comunidad de Chimbote

Promoting Awareness of Violence Against Women  – Orange Day.  Congratulations on this initiative!   D I A   N A R A N J A.   La Campaña “ DÍA NARANJA” ha llegado a nuestra Comunidad Apostólica de Chimbote un 24 de Julio del presente año, en un mensaje enviado por nuestra  Hna. Provincial.
Desde aquel día, conscientes  del mensaje, nosotras Hermanas, laicas y jóvenes nos hemos unido a la iniciativa internacional de lucha contra el maltrato contra las mujeres y niñas existente en el mundo y en nuestra realidad.  Read more at   Share your awareness programme!  Check out the Say No to Violence website Check the Say No to Violence Website

Final Draft of the guiding principles on extreme poverty and human rights, submitted by the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona

The Final Draft of the guiding principles on extreme poverty and human rights, submitted by the special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona is available in all six languages of the United Nations.  French, Spanish and English uploaded here for your convenience.

Ms. Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights made a statement at the 21st Session of the Human Rights Council on 12 September 2012. Link to the full statement is attached here.  English only                                            DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12503&LangID=E

Some quotations from the statement made by Ms. Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona on September 12, 2012
“The Guiding Principles aim to be a tool to guide the design and implementation of social policies and poverty eradication efforts, in a manner that respects, protects and fulfills the human rights of persons living in extreme poverty.
These Principles do not create new obligations in regard to human rights. They simply represent a concise guide on how to fulfill existing obligations in the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies to overcome poverty.
It is important to record the long history of these Guiding Principles. They date back to 2001, when the Commission on Human Rights, recognising the necessity of formulating principles on the application of human rights norms in the context of the fight against extreme poverty … The document is relevant for all countries, at all stages of development.”

The GSIJP Office has been contributing to this process since 2001. Good Shepherd Sisters responded to the consultations and submitted very valuable information in 2011. The following units contributed: Colombia (4), Mexico (2) New York (2), France and Central America. Hedwig and Mags in the Geneva Office attended meetings when requested and kept us updated.

A good history of the process is annexed at the end of the document – but in English only. One of the first processes I was engaged in was reviewing an initial draft document with other members of the NGO Sub-Committee for Poverty Eradication. A note I have to this day reads, ‘we must find words to substitute for ‘the poor’. The term agreed was ‘persons living in poverty’. This term is used 120 times in the final draft. We struggled with ‘Poverty as a human condition’ and suggested alternative language ‘Poverty is a dehumanizing condition’ but this did not find its way into the document – see paragraph No 2 a term used by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2001. Another phrase that stand out for me as innovative at the time was to eliminate ‘the accumulation of wealth and poverty’. The phrase ‘eliminate the accumulation of wealth’ is not found in the final draft.

  • The final draft has 108 paragraphs, 30 pages
  • 14 specific rights are elaborated. (Paragraphs 62 – 90).
  • If you want to discuss poverty read the preface Paragraphs 1-10.
  • The Objectives of the Guiding Principles on extreme poverty and human rights are outlined in paragraphs 11 -13.
  • There are 8 foundational principles.
  • There are three references to implementation of the social protection – see paragraphs 30, 54 and 86 (b).
  • It is imperative at national level that you bring this document to your local government representatives and government ministers.

Extreme poverty is not inevitable means that the tools for ending it are within reach. A human rights approach provides a framework for the long-term eradication of extreme poverty based on the recognition of persons living in extreme poverty as rights holders and agents of change.”  Paragraph 6.

My Meeting with HRH Princess Basmah Bint Saud

Yesterday the WGG first Membership meeting of the year was honoured with a vist from HRH Princess Basmah Bint Saud. Her message to us was similar to her Mission Statement found on her website

“As I was growing up, I was the kind of child, who questioned everything and everyone around her. For years I sought to unlock what I saw as the mysteries of life but hard as I tried those secrets remained tight lipped.

When I became a mother some things, like my responsibilities, became clear but I still had no answers to the many pressing questions that still haunted me. Essentially, I felt I wanted to make a difference but I didn’t know how and where to start.

As I reached the golden age of 40 it was as if I had woken from a long sleep. Everything became crystal clear. I knew what I had to do. I had to embark on a journey of reform, first in my personal life and then in my public life.

The first step was to leave an unhappy marriage and take full responsibility for my five children. Once I experienced reform in my private life, I wanted to see it everywhere. I especially wanted to see it in my country, Saudi Arabia, whose problems I was no longer afraid to highlight.

But my country was only a starting point and increasingly I felt the need to promote respect and freedoms within all societies and between genders.

My message is global. I have taken upon myself this responsibility and I invite you to join me on this momentous journey. My mission is to promote peace, prosperity and dignity, not war. We live in an age of cynicism where no one feels they can make a difference. It’s time we all stood up to our responsibilities, pooled our efforts together and pushed for a better, more equitable world.

This quest needs to be undertaken with wisdom and with a faith that we can make a difference. For the sake of our future generations, we must fear no one but God in our effort to bring prosperity, transparency, respect, equality and freedom.”

Princess Basmah spoke of her organization to promote her ideas ‘The Lanterns United Global’ a global network of peoples and organizations working towards a more egalitarian world. The Princess answered questions posed by Caroline Donovan and Yvonne Rafferty.

We are grateful to Rima Salah who introduced Princess Basmah to The Working Group on Girls. Princess Basmah posed for some photogrpahs with the WGG Co Chairs and Rima following her presentation

Join with me in celebrating the first international day of the girl child on October 11th. WITH GIRLS FOR GIRLS!

October 11, 2012 is the first International Day of the Girl Celebration.  What are you planning?  Have you informed  girls in your programmes about this day? What sort of activity can you do?  Here is a great website and some great ideas. Activities:  1.  The Day of the Girl Virtual Summit:

Register now for the virtual summit on October 11   Register Now! Join Day of the Girl for your chance to win UGG boots.    In honor of the First Day of the Girl, UGG Australia is giving away 100 pairs of UGG boots to girls participating in the Virtual Summit. Register here for your chance to win!

2. Have the ‘Day of the Girl’ proclaimed in your local area.  Visit this page and learn more

Download the ‘Day of the Girl Proclamation Toolkit’ This toolkit will guide you through this process giving you many hits, steps and sample action plans but will not inhibit your creativity.  This is a 10 page tool kit– Cover page and table of contents.   Page 1 answers Why a Day and Why a Proclamation? Pages 2,3,4 and 5 is a Roadmap outlining 4 easy steps Page 6 provides a snapshot of some major crises facing girls Page 7 gives you some tips for successful meeting with local elected officials Pages 8 and 9 Options in planning an event and winning media attention Page 10 A sample action plan.  It is not too late to start!  PLAN TODAY AND CELEBRATE ON THE 11th  OCTOBER

3. The Day of the Girl Challenge  5 Challenges are presented to you.  Check them out – they are easy.  Celebrate the First International Day of the Girl. You will love the last one!

4. Events    There is an interactive map showing where planned events are taking place.   Nigeria is listed.  Good Shepherd are present in over 70 countries.  In how many counties can we ‘Good Shepherd’ get celebrations underway?

5. Hall of Fame    Girls do amazing things every day! 2 times a week, we will profile inspiring girl activists from around the world. Check back here to read their powerful stories and tell us who you want to see in our Girls Hall of Fame.  Is there a girls in your local community that you would wish have listed in the hall of fame?

6. You can do some Day of the Girl on line shopping.  Visit

7. Downloads  –  Help spread the word about the Day of the Girl Virtual Summit! Just put a Day of the Girl banner on your website.

8. Sponsoring Organizations:  There are 6 official sponsors of the Day of the Girls Virtual Summit.

Do you visit the Working Group on Girls Website?

Carolyn Christie a high school student prepared a toolkit for WGG Members .  This is a very comprehensive toolkit with lots of information about girls.  See Page 3 for the contents.  Page 5 is the United Nations Resolution designating October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child starting in 2012.  There is an extensive review of girls in UN documents.  Ideas to explore in your community and with girls:

• Pages 12,13 and 14 looks at things that hinder girls’ progress and ways that make them succeed.  You could hold discussion groups on this as one of the events and share your findings.

• Pages 15 and 16 are some good resources, short video and stories on girls.  Review these and determine which one you would use to tell your community about girls and girls’ rights.

• Pages 17, 18 and 19 have some wonderful questions to facilitate discussion on a wide range of topic. Which one is relevant to your area?

• Page 20 is on the Day of the Girl Virtual Summit.