IDG Support Team Sep 19 The 2023 Girls Speak Out will draw upon the IDG theme of “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership & Wellbeing” focusing on action for girls’ rights. This begins with fulfilling, protecting, and respecting girls’ rights. It demands trusting girls’ leadership as equal partners, ensuring there is space for girls to be heard, to participate and co-lead, and respecting their voices, perspectives, and lived realities as decision-makers and as the leaders of today. This also requires investing in and supporting girls’ health and well-being as well as their education and including girls in determining what their needs are while working in an intergenerational effort to meet those specific needs. In listening to Girl Advocates’ perspectives and Girl Activists who are already making change, the overarching questions at this year’s Girls’ Speak Out will be: How are you taking action for girls’ rights? How are you investing in, supporting, and working towards the realization of girls’ rights? Register Here In-person Registration:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/717402930477?aff=oddtdtcreator Virtual Registration:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/717421947357?aff=oddtdtcreator
In collaboration with the Working Group on Girls, the GSIJP Office is cosponsoring with Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice (IIMA) Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco an IDG Sponsorship Day on October 7 ‘Investing in Girls’ Leadership and Power.’ This is an X/Twitter Storm starting at 11.00 a.m. EST. Follow social media for more details.
Join girls from Asia Pacific on October 7 from 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Malaysian time in their celebration. LINK TO REGISTER
Happy International Day of the Girl! We at the Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Office are privileged to present here a round up of activities taking place this week-end in the lead up to the day. The celebrations start in Asia Pacific on Saturday afternoon live on zoom at 2.00 p.m Malaysian ( 2.00 am EST). You can view live or watch later at GSIF Asia Pacific YouTube Channel. It promises to be an exciting fun packed afternoon with engaging conversations on girls rights, featuring girls from countries all around Asia inspiring change for a better world of all.
This is followed by a live zoom from Madagascar networking Africa girls celebrating International Day of the Girl. The session commences at 1.00 p.m. Rome Time (7.00 am EST) and has french interpretation. CLICK HERE TO JOIN See meeting ID etc in the poster
On Sunday 9th October at 11.00 am EST, the GSIJP Office sponsorship event with the Working Group on Girls will be live streamed to Facebook and later uploaded to YouTube. This is a 30 min programme features girl activists Isabel, (Moderator, Philippines), Athabile (South Africa), Gayathri, (Malaysia) Susan, (India) and Christle (Sri Lanka). The theme for the day is ‘policy decision-making in order to produce girl-specific solutions.’ To view our live panel please visit https://www.facebook.com/DayoftheGirlSummit
Athabile had her poem published on Day of the Girl Summit on October 1st together with two other submission that were made from South Africa, one from Uyathandwa and the second from Kiara. You can access by visiting Day of the Girl Summit webpage. Then click on South Africa and the girls names will appear. Then click on the name and their submission will appear. Well done girls in South Africa!
There were other submission uploaded including Shreya (India); Jasmine (India) As other become available I will upload them. Some may be used for the UN Session in the video compilation that will be shown on Tuesday October 11. This bring me to the big day itself. A hybrid event with some girls present in the United Nations and other on line. Good Shepherd have one girl from Latin America who will be presenting by video. Her name is Vivian. The event will be live from the United Nations at 3.00 p.m. EST on UN Web TV and the recording will be available following the event. Misean Cara Ireland wrote to me today to inform me that “Vivian, a young women from Ecuador will participate, through her involvement with your good selves in the RGS “Girls Rights for an Equal Future: Girls-for-girls clubs in Ecuador and Brazil, promoting safe and inclusive education” under our Innovation Funding scheme.”
We in the GSIJP office are very proud our our many girl activists around the world participating in local, regional, and global events on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the International Day of the Girl and their many mentors and Unit Leaders who make every provision for such participation.
From April through to September 2020 I led a series of webinar on the Good Shepherd Position Papers. These were supplemented by Theresa Symons, Director, MDO Office, Asia Pacific with application of the paper to ministry realities throughout the region. We have brought all the material together – the Powerpoints and the video recordings and uploaded them here for your use and convenience.
October 11, 2020 Day of the Girl – Asia Pacific Forum
The International Day of the Girl, IDG2020, with its Good Shepherd Asia Pacific Forum Panel was a historic groundbreaking event, a festival proclaiming girls’ rights with girls and for girls throughout the 19 countries of Asia Pacific. It was a truly global virtual experience. This event and its ongoing activities for 9 more weeks reach the epitome of collaboration and it was a privilege for the GSIJP Office in New York – Alexis and Winifred – to be actively engaged and participating. The event showcased girls’ voices, girls’ art work, girls’ music, girls’ poetry girls’ drama and girls’ dreams. While containing many elements of fun and creativity the message was very clear – ‘we have experienced discrimination as girls.’ We must say no to every and all forms of violence perpetrated against girls whether in the name of religion, tradition or culture. The highlight for me was being the moderator of the panel with four eminent girl activists –
Their presentations were clarion calls as to what needs to be done in four distinct areas of discrimination, abuse and violence against girls – migration, girl activism, LGBTQI+ sensitivity and child early and forced marriage. In their very persons they demonstrated integrity, resilience and action for their cause. The words of the theme song echo in my mind and heart even a week after the event: “We raise our voices… being feminine is a pride… empowered with vision for the future…with joy and power we claim our equal rights…resilience is our name…we break the silence… we are willing… we are ready… with vision and inspiration we claim our equal rights.” The logo and art work were inspirational reaching the stars and beyond! And the message from it all – to quote Maya Angelou, an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, – “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” This light I saw shining clearly within the many girls from Asia Pacific who contributed to IDG2020. It was brightly shining in our 4 girl/youth advocate panelists and it shone brightly in Deepthi and Deeprka, showing us that it is never too early to be engaged! And the light has not dimmed in the many who collaborated to bring the event to fruition, technicians, videographers, teachers, mentors, administrators, and our fearless leader, Theresa Symons!
Webinar October 13, 2020 RIMOA – Sorelle e Fratelli Tuti and the United Nations
October 15, 2020. Webinar on Migration – Mission Effectiveness USA
Panel Presentation on October 27 “RELIGIOUS WORKING IN INTERNATIONAL ADVOCACY AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING”
Webinar November 27, 2020 by invitation of Camarines Norte State College, in the Philippines
Webinar with Asia Pacific November 30, 2020
NEW January 3, 2021
Video Reording and PowerPoint slides on:
Exploring programs/projects on LGBTQ+ issues
LGBTIQ Inclusivity at Good Shepherd by GS Australia New Zealand
Sharing of Experiences with LGBTQ Families by GS Philippines Japan
UNANIMA International’s Webinar series on Family Homelessness/ Displacement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 3 parts ended on 10, December 2120. All the material is uploaded and availabe. If you are interested in homeslessness this is an excellent series
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
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