What a festival of GIRL voices since October 1 to October 11. The theme in Good Shepherd Asia Pacific ‘My Voice=Our Future” The theme with Working Group on Girls Speak Out hosted on the Day of the Girl Summit page was #EquityForGirls #BeBold. The Girls Speak Out premiered 6 times in different languages and in different time zones – a global celebration. You can access all the information HERE . English Version There is a delay of 18 minutes. The link was live for 18 minutes before the program started. Towards the end at 1.09 you will see the winning song from Good Shepherd Asia Pacific – Sri Lanka featured. It fades with the music in the background and then comes on again. The title of the Song ‘We break the Silence.’
For Good Shepherd the highlight was the Good Shepherd Asia Pacific Forum which was livestreamed on YouTube. After the introduction you can see another rendering of the our Song ‘We Break the Silence.’
An Asia Pacific Video was also produced and launched on October 11. Link Do enjoy it. It has the theme song and video launched for the celebration. There is a lovely song toward the end ‘We are the future of this world’
And the work continues today with the launch of guidelines for internet / social media usage over the next few weeks
A 15 years old girl activist from Myanmar share her story. I am a Grade 9 student and studying very hard because I want to be an educated person to support my family. In my life, the woman whom I admire most is my mother. She is a good mother to us. Although my family is poor, my mother is working very hard. Therefore, we all can study because of her endless hard-work. Sometimes, we don’t have enough food to eat in our home. In that situation, my mother always sacrifices for us. She gives all and said she’s not hungry at all. I felt very sad. I want to help my mother but she always said that it would be great help to her if I study hard. Because of this, I am studying very hard now and hoping one day, I can support my family effectively as well as my country. My mother is really a hero to me. I am gifted in drawing beautiful pictures. Thus, today, I drew a picture of my mother, sitting on the chair and guiding us.
Another girl shares: ‘When I was younger, I did not want to be a girl. But, when I came and stayed in the boarding house at (Good Shepherd Convent), the sisters teach us many courses about girls and women. Since then, I have come to know more about the attributes of girls and women and I appreciate myself more and feel proud to be a girl. Women have strength and power not only to support others with compassion and kindness but also strength to take up leadership roles like Daw Aung Sun Su Kyi of Myanmar. I am 16 years old and I want to be a woman who can stand on her own two feet and have the ability to help others. Don’t feel sad to be a girl because girls also have strength. Even when you face challenges, do not feel sad. Get up and stand up again!’ Happy International Day of the Girl.
We also had submissions from Malaysia. Linking a video
This November 20th we will celebrate 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the light of that celebration the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty October 17th is focusing on poverty in the lives of children. The theme is: “Acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty” The concept note explains what the day is about. It is in English and French ” Avant tout, il est impératif de reconnaître et de traiter les discriminations spécifiques vécues par les filles.”
Another experience that children endure has been outline in a UN Global Study on Children Deprived of their Liberty. This report was presented in the Third Committee in New York on October 8, 2019. It is in French, Spanish and Arabic. I attended an event at UNICEF that same evening to celebrate the launch and to call for action. There are a few interesting paragraphs on ‘Gender Dimensions’. See Paragraphs 35 – 38. Para 35 ‘On analysis the data show significant gender disparities in the situation of children deprived of liberty. Far more boys are deprived of liberty worldwide than girls. In the administration of justice and in the contexts of armed conflicts and national security, 94 per cent of all detained children are boys; in migration detention the figure is 67 per cent and in institutions it is 56 per cent. The number of boys and girls who live with their primary caregiver (almost exclusively mothers) in prison is similar.
In paragraph 36 the study shows a tendency of the child justice system to be more inclined to apply diversion measures to girls than boys. While approximately one third of all criminal offences worldwide committed by children are attributed to girls, only 6 per cent receive a prison sentence. There may be various reasons for this phenomenon. Most importantly, girls usually commit less violent offences and are more often accused of status offences. Girls are generally first-time offenders and more receptive to the deterrent effect of incarceration. Another explanation is the “chivalrous and paternalistic” attitude of many male judges and prosecutors in the child justice systems, who assume, according to traditional gender stereotypes, that girls are more in need of protection than boys.
Paragraph 37 highlights and interesting fact. Although most States allow convicted mothers to co-reside with their young children in prison, only eight States explicitly permit fathers to do so. Even in places where fathers as primary caregivers are allowed to co-reside with their children, there are (almost) no appropriate “father and child units” in the prisons, which means that there are practically no children co-residing in prison with their fathers.
Paragraph 38 continues… While boys are over represented in detention, girls often suffer gender-based discrimination. Research conducted for the study shows that girls are more likely to be arrested for status offences, for behaviour rather than actual criminal activity, including sexual activity, truancy and running away from home. Girls living on the streets are particularly vulnerable, as they are often arrested for prostitution. If States criminalize abortion, girls risk incarceration, even where the pregnancy is a result of rape. Girls from poor families run a higher risk of institutionalization and incarceration, as they lack access to supportive systems. In detention, girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual and other forms of violence.
39. Almost half the world population lives in the 70 States in which existing laws criminalize conducts on the basis of sexual orientation. Children belonging to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community are more likely to be arrested and detained for status offences, in particular for sexual activity and expressions of sexual orientations and gender identities. LGBTI children are over represented in child justice facilities and health-related institutions. They are usually placed in gender-inappropriate detention facilities and are particularly vulnerable to sexual and other forms of violence.
Key findings from the study are listed in a publication on Human Rights Watch also in French. Some background information to the report can he accessed here
Performance by theChildren’s Choir of Musicians for Human Rights
It’s posted – the UN Webcast of the Day of the Girl Celebration October 11, 2019. Congratulations to Working Group on Girls, Girl Advocates and Girl Activists and their mentors. Hope you will enjoy it – 8th Annual Speak Out At marker 33 – 34:17 there is reference to ‘Good Shepherd Center’ in Singapore. Telling the story of a girl being too old at 17 years to be admitted to a children’s service and too young to be admitted to an adult shelter. What is she to do! Thank you Good Shepherd Singapore!
There were really some solidarity moments on Facebook with regard to the celebration coming from Philippines, Myanmar, Honduras, Malaysia, Australia
Finally do have a look at the Plan International latest publication ‘Rewrite her Story’ The State of the World’s Girls in 2019. It is available in English, Spanish and French Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
“Kasi nasabi niya sa mga kapatid at mother niya na siya ay inabuso ng tatay nila.”
*** This story is part of the series we are featuring this month for the International Day of the Girl. Girls play an important part in changing our families, communities, nation, and the world. Making sure that girls enjoy their rights and are protected from harm is one of the priorities of the Religious of the Shepherd in the Philippines.
*** Ate B has been a Good Shepherd lay mission partner for 20 years. As a social worker, she handles abuse cases, mostly of teenagers. When asked about the bravest girl she has journeyed with, she thinks of Lisa* and her journey towards healing.
*Name has been changed for confidentiality
Ate B met Lisa 5 years ago. She was referred to one of Good Shepherd’s residences because she was manifesting destructive behavior. She lived a financially comfortable life and her needs were well-provided. However, she chose to hang out with her group of friends who were into vices like smoking and drinking.
With RGS, Lisa bravely journeyed through her abusive past. Her biological father sexually abused her, and she decided to keep it from her mother and siblings because she was afraid that it would cause conflict within her family. This was the reason why she didn’t like going home and preferred to stay with her friends. During her stay in the RGS, she eventually mustered the courage to tell the truth to her family.
Why did Ate B consider Lisa to be the bravest? “Sa akin siya iyong bravest kasi nasabi niya sa mga kapatid at mother niya na siya ay inabuso ng tatay nila (For me she’s the bravest because she was able to tell her siblings and mother that their father sexually abused her).”
The journey to healing didn’t come instantly for Lisa and her family. Stains from Lisa’s past abuse still surrounds their family. Trust towards her father is still an issue that they are slowly dealing with. In this case, healing has so far been a difficult journey, as Lisa was harmed by one of people who should have been protecting her.
Despite all the challenges she has faced, Liza is now a young woman, pursuing her dreams. Ate B stressed the importance of being present as parent. In the many cases she has handled, parents are either absent, or they may be physically present but are not receptive to the needs of their children, especially teenagers.
“Kahit hindi ko naiintindihan si Mama, pero love ko pa rin siya, eh.”
*** This story is part of the series we are featuring this month for the International Day of the Girl. Girls play an important part in changing our families, communities, nation, and the world. Making sure that girls enjoy their rights and achieve their full potential is one of the priorities of the Religious of the Shepherd in the Philippines.
*** This is Michelle, one of Good Shepherd’s lay mission partners. She works at the Center for Overseas Workers (COW) and has been with RGS for 14 years. The COW office responds to one our priority issues: forced migration. This is the story of Tanya*, a 15 year-old girl, whom Michelle considers as one of the bravest girls she has ever met.
*Name has been changed for confidentiality
It was 2006 when Michelle met Tanya. Being a child of an overseas Filipino worker, it was never easy for Tanya. This resulted to her manifesting destructive behavior, to show that she’s not okay with her mother’s absence. She hated her mother. And, to make matters worse, she did not trust her. This damaged their relationship, to the point that Tanya even felt that her mother never loved her.
When Michelle was asked why she thought of Tanya to be brave, she attributed this to her journey of acceptance and hope. In the midst of uncertainties, Tanya often mentioned that, “Kahit hindi ko naiintindihan si Mama, pero love ko pa rin siya (Even though I don’t understand my mother, I still love her).” Tanya also believed that she could surpass all the challenges that she was facing during that time.
Healing was not an easy process for Tanya, but she eventually reconciled with her mother. Honesty through open communication helped their relationship get better.
Tanya now has her own family, and has also taken her mother in, to live with them.
*** Michelle pointed out during the interview that good communication is very important. Working with OFWs for the past 14 years has made her realize that communication is a double-edged sword. It can make or break family relationships. Thus, during the pre-departure orientation seminars that they conduct at COW, the value of effective communication with the family that the OFW will be leaving behind in the Philippines is highlighted. Open and honest communication helps families better understand the situation of their loved ones abroad.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted a resolution declaring 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, and has asked the International Labour Organization (ILO) to take the lead in its implementation.
The report of the Special Rapporteur – Ms. Urmila Bhoola – on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, is not available in the 6 languages of the United Nation. The report gives an overview of current legislative framework and definition. It then goes on to review the manifestations of child slavery, root causes, and the consequences for the child. Before making recommendations section VI outlines strategies to prevent and eliminate child slavery. The Special Rapporteur makes 30 Recommendations – most of them addressed to member states. Here are some facts and figures
Worldwide 218 million children between 5 and 17 years are in employment. Among them, 152 million are victims of child labour; almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous child labour.
In absolute terms, almost half of child labour (72.1 million) is to be found in Africa; 62.1 million in the Asia and the Pacific; 10.7 million in the Americas; 1.2 million in the Arab States and 5.5 million in Europe and Central Asia.
In terms of prevalence, 1 in 5 children in Africa (19.6%) are in child labour, whilst prevalence in other regions is between 3% and 7%: 2.9% in the Arab States (1 in 35 children); 4.1%in Europe and Central Asia (1 in 25); 5.3% in the Americas(1 in 19) and 7.4% in Asia and the Pacific region (1 in 14).
Almost half of all 152 million children victims of child labour are aged 5-11 years. 42 million (28%) are 12-14 years old; and 37 million (24%) are 15-17 years old.
Hazardous child labour is most prevalent among the 15-17 years old. Nevertheless up to a fourth of all hazardous child labour (19 million) is done by children less than 12 years old.
Among 152 million children in child labour, 88 million are boys and 64 million are girls.
58% of all children in child labour and 62% of all children in hazardous work are boys. Boys appear to face a greater risk of child labour than girls, but this may also be a reflection of an under-reporting of girls’ work, particularly in domestic child labour.
Child labour is concentrated primarily in agriculture (71%), which includes fishing, forestry, livestock herding and aquaculture, and comprises both subsistence and commercial farming; 17% in Services; and 12% in the Industrial sector, including mining. Taken from ILO
Today at the GSIJP Office we celebrate reflections from Latin America. Three countries contributed to the Girls Speak Out in the United Nations on October 11. Columbia shared many photographs
and a video which I think contrasts girls living and having childhood experience – school, play, culture and games and another group of girls who are influenced and socialized into a different reality. Sr Bianca, the director of the program makes the following observation: “El vídeo enviado en el correo anterior fue iniciativa de las niñas y Adolescentes, desafortunadamente es la realidad que viven en su barrio, ya pueden ver el tipo de música y la forma de bailar a tan temprana edad; este programa existe para tratar de ofrecerles otra a alternativas que dignifiquen su proyecto de vida y prevenir toda clase de abuso.”
Translation – “The video sent in the previous email was an initiative of girls and adolescents. Unfortunately it is a reality that young girls often live in neighborhoods where they are influenced (socialized) into sexualized behaviors through music and dancing at a young age. The program exists to offer alternative experiences such that girls have an opportunity to experience childhood and their dignity as girls to counter and prevent all kinds of abuse.” Thank you Sr Bianca for your work and dedication with and for girls.
Read the experience of girls in El Salvador (Spanish Only)
We have some drawing from girls in Honduras 6 – 10 years expressing what they would like to be when they group up. We have a doctor, a professor, a swimming instructor, another doctor, religious sister and a secretary. These girls were excited to take part and responded immediately and confidently.
October 11 is fast approaching and we are on Day 5 of the 11 Days of Action leading up to the celebration. Join us for a Twitter Chat at 11AM EST led by @GlobalGirlsGLOW to discuss how girls and their allies can act against injustice! Join the conversation using hashtags #HerStoryCampaign #IDG2018 #generationgirl #11DaysofAction You can follow on Facebook at Day of the Girl Summit @DayoftheGirlSummit. Yesterday October 4th the GSIJP Office featured Indira from the Mahila Documentary. If you got to Justice Peace page of the website you can see the Facebook and Twitter posts
Today, Her Story is asking girls and their allies around the world to share a story about a time they or a girl they know took action to challenge injustice. Then share a photo or video of girls in action and tag @GlobalGirlsGlow and @LitWorldSays with #HerStoryCampaign #GenerationGirl.
All this will culminate in the Girls Speak Out at the Unites Nations on Thursday October 11 starting at 3.00 p.m. EST. It will be Webcast Live from the United Nations
Congratulations to Afrida from Indonesia was was in solidarity with Day 4 showing the Mahila Film in the classroom and photographing the class activity and sharing with you all. And my observations it is a day for girls and boys! Well done Afrida!
Helena Moderno (left) from Portugal is doing an internship at the GSIJP Office for 6 weeks and is engaging in the IDG activities particularly the social media part. On the right is Alexis our new staff and the WGG wristband with the slogan ‘Girls’s Rights are Human Rights’
Read the reflections of girls from Myanmar and their experiences of being girls Khin , Nu and Shwe by clicking on their names. These experiences will be captured in the Girls Speak Out.
October is a busy month with the 11 days of Action in preparation for the celebration of International Day of the Girl. It is followed by a number of other important days – October 15, International Day of Rural Women; October 16, World Food Day; and October 17th International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Indirectly all these days impact negatively on girls as girls live in rural areas, are often hungry and experience multidimensional poverty. All these issues were summed up in the hashtags for the International Day of the Girls #JusticeForGirls and #GirlsRights.
The GSIJP Office Sponsored one of the 11 days with Twitter Chat on October 8th. Cecilie prepared a set of question and then answered them from the @gsijp twitter account. Here are a few samples
The highlight was October 11 with the Girls Speak Out from the ECOSOC Chamber of the United Nations, New York. The Speak Out was cleverly crafted using a ‘Girls in Crisis Hotline’ to introduce stories and issues that affect girls. Three criteria were outlined prior to answering a call ‘Listen with full attention; Ask how they are feeling,’ and thirdly say ‘We love you, we believe you and you are not alone.’ You can view the full webcast HERE There is a snippet with Under Secretary General Amina Mohammed remarks.
The Member States of Canada, Turkey and Peru (displaying their Day of the Girl writs band)
were the sponsors of the resolution on the International Day of the Girl and present supporting girls. The personal sharing of the Honorable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women Canada’s moving – a migrant, a muslim and the first woman muslim women to be a member of the parliament in Canada. See marker 10.10 of the webcast.
The ECOSOC Chamber was filled to capacity with girls … and yes there were some boys too supporting the International Day for Girls also. Our Sisters and mission partners in Indonesia share a lovely video implementing the ‘HeForShe’ campaign From Jakarta
Other events were also hosted … UNICEF in the morning. The video recording of the UNICEF Event An opportunity to the Honorable Minister from Canada again. Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Loretto Sisters cosponsored an event also celebrating girls hope and resilience. It was streamed on Facebook Live Plan International had an event in the evening .
At the end of July and into August there was a request from the Working Group on Girls and through our GSIJP Office to submit stories, poetry, art etc telling the story of what it is like to be a girl where you live. These stories were collated and formed the backdrop for the Girls Speak Out. Thanks to Indonesia for sharing their celebrations with the office and thanks to Monique for the lovely image used at the top of the page. I had one other reply from the Democratic Republic of Congo but it was late for inclusion. Much has been done – much remains to have #JusticeforGirls and #GirlsRights
International Day of the Girl 2017 is almost here! We celebrate the 6th annual day on WednesdayOctober 11, 2017. Every year Good Shepherd around the world celebrate the day in amazing ways and I am sure that this year will be no different. The International Day is preceded by 11 days of action starting on October 1 and concluding with ‘Girls Speak Out’ at the United Nations when girls initiate, prepare, and moderate the session speaking to world leaders of girls’ experiences around the world.
What unique challenges are girls facing just because they are girls? There are so many unusual challenges girls have to deal with today, from injustice in society, their community and in the workplace, to unfairness in opportunities in education, or gender violence, sexism, war, climate change, trafficking in person, sexual exploitation, migration and many others. There’s no right or wrong answer here. What’s important is how you define “crisis” or “injustice” and how you or a girl you know dealt with it.
The International Day of the Girl is our day to celebrate girls everywhere -– to celebrate our power, our voices, and our unique place in this world. On August 4th you were sent a request to share stories. The request was for creative work by girl sharing on ‘What it is like for you to be a girl facing injustice?” While the closing date has gone for inclusion in the ‘Girls’s Speak Out’ it is not too late to share with the GSIJP Office and we will feature them on Winifred’s Blog and on Day of the Girl Summit website and the GSIJP social media sites
Be a girl (or group of girls) up to 18 years old
Describe the whole situation in any format that you want to express yourself. It can be a monologue, a story, a poem, a piece of visual art, a video, or a song. Be creative!
GSIJP Office will be taking the leadership for Day 8 of the 11 days of action bringing attention to the importance of girls’ human rights and demands #JusticeForGirls.
Part of the Good Shepherd Team in NY attending the Girls Speak out 2016 – visitors from Australia, Tanya Corrie and Rome Monique Tarabeh and some pictures from last year. Check out posting of October 2016 on this blog.
UNICEF sponsored an event on October 11th and I am happy to be able to share with you. Livestream After the opening addresses by Mr Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF and Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director and Under Secretary General of UNFPA there are two amazing girl ambassadors from Africa
– Satta Sheriff from Liberia (in the picture with me) and Rebeca Gyumi from Tanzania. Do listen to them! Satta is a member of the Children’s Parliament in Liberia while Rebeca lobbied her Government to introduce legislation to raise the minimum age of marriage in Tanzania to 18 years in July of this year. Suman Shakya spoke about a new way of collecting data in Nepal and Karen Peterson from the USA was promoting STEM subjects for girls.