Raquelina from Mozambique spends a day with Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

Congratulations to Raquelina Fernando Langa, Matheus Samsão Muthemba School in Polana Caniço, Maputo, Mozambique who spent a day with the Secretary General in New York.  Read the entire article and see the great pictures

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Beijing+20 Focus this month The Girl Child

Read more on Beijing20 Campaign Girls and Young Women

BW_ChristinaSelby_1_360x170 jpgChristina is a 17-year-old girl living in New York City who is about to graduate from high school. She has been a Girl Advocate for The Working Group on Girls NGO for the past three years and works on the Girls Participation Task Force and Steering Committee. Christina is featured on the webpage.

Did you take the quiz yet?  I got 100%  What did you get?

UN Women has dedicated the month of August to consideration about the girls and young women

UN Women launched a year-long campaign in the context of the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The #Beijing20 campaign is running under the title: “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity:  Picture It!” and features monthly mini-campaigns, each focusing on a subtheme of gender equality. They are now rolling out the third mini-campaign for August, focusing on girls and young women.                                                                                                                                                               The website is available in three languages by clicking on the required language    –  English     French     Spanish  You can access social media tools in the various languages by clicking here


Check it out – there is a lot of good information which could be used to lead discussion on girls and girls rights.   Nnenna Agba speaks for Nigerian girls.  Education is the key that opens doors to progress.  As I post this photograph telling us of Nigerian girls desire for education I am immediately thinking of the girls who have been kidnapped.  It is day 110 and on Facebook we are united with Rifkatu and this is her dress – Follow on Facebook   Each day a dress is made for a specific girl so as not to forget and to be in solidarity with all 273 girls.  Nnenna is the lucky one.  See her story on the website.


See how Malala spent her 17th birthday in Nigeria championing #BringBackOurGirls   Click here


Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin Executive Director of the UN Population Fund and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Executive Director of UN Women spoke out after 100 days.  Read the statement

And what about Palestinian girls and young women and what is happening in the Gaza.   While this infographic tells us of the benefits of education in reality a girls desire to be educated can be very threatening

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The L Platform of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for action is entitled the ‘Girl Child.’  How are the rights of the Girl Child being upheld in your country and project?  Click here to read the 9 strategic objectives enunciated 20 years ago

Strategic objective L.4.     Eliminate discrimination against girls in education, skills development and training.  Millennium Development Goal 2 – Achieve Primary Education                                                                                      Proposed Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.

When will rhetoric end  and real political will for change begin?  What is the systemic cause for this  continued violence against girls?  Share your thoughts in the comment section.


Red Flag document of the Women’s Major Group

Click here to read the red flag document of the women’s major.  These flags highlight critical areas needing attention in the Outcome Document – Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. If you have been following this blog you will know that there are 17 sustainable development goals outlined. There is an introductory section having 18 paragraph leading into the Goals.

1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.   2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.   3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.   4. Ensure      inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.   5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.    6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.   7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all           8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.    9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.    10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.   11. Make cities and human settlements             inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.   12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.                 13.Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.    14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.   15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.   17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development Finance

To see the targets connected with goal Click here

The Women’s Major Group do appreciate what is currently elaborated in the goals in the following words

” We welcome: The standalone goal 5: “Achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls” with its targets to end all forms of violence, discrimination, early and forced marriage and harmful practices against women and girls, universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, to ensure women’s full participation in decision making, and equal rights to land and economic resources[1].  We also welcome the fact that gender equality and women’s rights are addressed in different goal areas including equal rights to education and life-long learning, to decent work and equal pay for work of equal value[2]; the stand alone goal on inequalities within and between countries, as this is imperative to addressing the root causes of poverty; and the targets to reverse the trend towards ever growing income inequalities by reforming global financial systems and fiscal measures; the goal on peaceful inclusive societies and its targets on participatory decision making, access to justice and reducing arms flow; the goal on Means of Implementation (MOI) and that in addition each goal area has its own set of implementation targets  – although many of these MOI targets lack ambition, we welcome the fact that, unlike the MDGs, the agenda has standalone goals on ecosystems, ocean, sustainable consumption and production[3] and a standalone goal on climate change which recognizes women’s role [4]; and that, the agenda comprehensively aims to end poverty and hunger, ensure healthy lives, universal access to water and sanitation for all.

However, the Women’s Major Group has continuously called for stronger rights-based targets and a deeper transformation of our economic and financial systems, which we regret are not reflected in the outcome document: the proposed SDGs are still not sufficiently ambitious, transformative or rights-based, and we present our “red flags”.

Red Flag 1)   Absence of Human Rights.  Red Flag 2)    Sexual and reproductive health targets do not go far enough.    Red Flag 3)    Concentration of power and wealth imbalances that deepen poverty and inequalities within and between countries are not sufficiently addressed, and the agenda lacks targets to reverse this trend.   Red Flag 4)   The burden of unpaid domestic and care work still rely on women.    Red Flag 5)   Lack of recognition  of women as farmers, fishers, indigenous peoples and key for sustainable natural resource management.  Red Flag 6)    Insufficient attention to women’s role in peace and justice.     Red Flag 7)    Concern around  “partnership(s)”   Red Flag 8)   Technology focus remains on trade and private access.  

To see the elaboration of each read flag Click here

Which of the goals and which of the red flag issues would directly advance your project?