Blanca Nubia (Good Shepherd Sister) welcomes Pope Francis to Cartagena

“And so, about four years ago, I began a new program for girls. We called it Talitha Kum, words from the Aramaic Gospel phrase Jesus used to bid a girl to rise up. It honors the dignity of each person. According to the mission of our congregation, I had made a decision to go to the tourist city of Cartagena de Indias, the colonial name when Cartagena was a port for export of silver to Spain and import of slaves from Africa. It is famous for being a walled city — and, indeed, many invisible walls hide lives of poverty, unemployment, gangs and early pregnancies in squalid neighborhoods. Good Shepherd has a center dedicated to the prevention of sex tourism, which is, sadly, the specific object of many tourists.

At Talitha Kum the children “rise up” every day. We welcome children (ages 9-17) to a program that includes school, human and spiritual accompaniment, and enrichment of family and civic environments. We are always proud when, as recently happened, a 17-year-old girl finished high school and now continues her study. ”    Read the full article   Global Sisters Report – Papal Encounter in Cartagena, Colombia

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Good Resources to follow up on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)

The UN Women and UNEG (United Nations Evaluation Group) have developed a guideline in 5 languages to evaluate the SDGs with a gender lens. Link to English, Arabic, French, Russian and Spanish

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Another excellent resource linking the SDG’s with various human rights mechanism has been published by the Danish Institute For Human Rights.  It too, is is multiple languages and has an interactive dimension – you can choose a goal or target and see the linkages to human rights.

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Human Rights Guilde

Link Here The Human Rights Guide to the Sustainable Development Goals

Responding to Violence Against Women in Kenya

Sr Donatus Lili who is the NGO Regional Representative for Good Shepherd in Africa has been attending the 68th Session of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women)  held in Geneva from October 23, 2017 to  November 17, 2017.   Among the counties presenting this year where Good Shepherd is present were Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Kenya, Paraguay and Singapore.  The various reports and documents are uploaded HERE   Donatus has prepared a report on behalf of Good Shepherd in Kenya on Fistula.  Read the very interesting and informative REPORT prepared by Donatus.

IRWAWWhile in Geneva Donatus had the opportunity to be engaged in the training session sponsored by IWRAW Asia Pacific the only regional/international NGO working with the CEDAW Convention as a main tool for change in the Asia Pacific. We see a critical role for ourselves in filling the gap between the promise of women’s rights and their actual realization.  This group do incredible work prior to each meeting of the CEDAW Committee.

Donatus 3Madam GBEDEMAH Hillary, the rapporteur for Kenya to CEDAW (standing) during a briefing on Wednesday November 1, 2017 prior to the review.                                                         

It was not possible for Donatus to make an oral statement but she did present a copy of her proposed statement to the rapporteur.  NGO (CONGREGATION) written statement to 68th CEDAW Session

The review for Kenya was held on Thursday November 2, 2017  All the documents can be accessed HERE and the UN Webcast Morning Session and the Afternoon Session

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Donatus (center) with  Ambassador Dr. Stephen Ndungu ‘Karau  and on the left Mr. Andrew M. Kihurani, Deputy Ambassador,  Permanent Mission of Kenya to the UN, Geneva.  (Photo taken at the the UN, GENEVA)

It’s November – Get ready to add your voice and your action to end all violence against girls and women 2017!

The 16 days campaign to end violence against girls and women is at hand.  It begins on November 25th and ends on December 10th.

According to UNICEF’s latest report, “A Familiar Face,” 9 million girls were victims of forced sex last year. Only 1% reached out for help. Help us stop the sexual exploitation of girls who can’t speak out.  Read the report   Use your social media by  clicking HERE  #HerToo  #MeToo #NowYouKnow.

Orange the World

Taken from the website of UN Women the link to the full document is 16 Days 2017 Action Plan Final

Because it is thanksgiving weekend in the USA the following areKey Activities

The 16 days of activism against gender based violence is in multiple languages and maybe more helpful in creating awareness Choose your language  However the tool kit is only in English.

UN Women have a report Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces.  “A series of stories illustrate what authorities, grass-roots women, women’s organizations and other community partners can do as part of a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces. Many of their initiatives have successfully enhanced safety, including through a focus on the most impoverished urban areas.

English   Spanish   It is not available in French.

Highlight of the week at the UN – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Tuesday October 17th

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This is the spirit of the day – coming together to ensure that human rights be respected’ quoting from Fr. Joseph Wresinski.  He was born to immigrant parents on February 12th, 1917 in Angers, France and knew the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd as a child, serving Mass each morning in the Contemplative Community.  He founded the organization International Movement ATD4th World.  We were celebrating 100 years of his birth and more. Each year since 1987 – 30 years – the International Day has been celebrated at the United Nations stemming from a Resolution proposed by  tow UN Member States – France and Burkina Faso and adopted by the General Assembly inaugurating October 17th as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

This was my 11th time celebrating this day at the United Nations with ATD4th World.  My first experience was at ‘the commemorative stone’ on the North Lawn in 2007  and part of this celebration was at the commemorative stone which has now been replaced following the UN building renovations.   Below is a good photograph of the restored stone and the words of Fr Wresinski.  IDRPYou can see baskets with stones on the corners – each participant at the celebration was invited to take a stone home with them.  This is my stone.

A group photo of all the participants. 

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Your UN Representative Winifred and Cecilie at the stone  – STOP POVERTY 

The UN Webcast has the full recording of the event in Conference Room 2 when people living in poverty (this year from around the world)  take the microphone and speak truth to power – experiences of  humiliation, stigmatization, exclusion, inhumanity, disrespect, marginalization and the words  , to those in poverty: “Demand that the world learn from you and your courage”

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Event entitled “Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies” (on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (A/RES/47/196)) (co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Burkina Faso and France, in collaboration with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and ATD Fourth World)

Webcast   17 Oct 2017 – Event entitled “Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies” (on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (A/RES/47/196)) (co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Burkina Faso and France, in collaboration with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and ATD Fourth World)

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IDF Musical Interlude

Another moment of insight for me – read the tweet …IDEP 8

The STOP Poverty Campaign did not end today!  No, there was renewed commitment to ‘ALL TOGETHER IN DIGNITY.’

A video live stream is available HERE  We need to hear the voices of the people.

Do you know the Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights and the handbook “Making Human Rights Work for People Living in Extreme Poverty’.  The handbook is available in three languages.   Download Here

 

 

Reflections on October 11 – International Day of the Girl (IDG)

IDG 2017 MoniqueOctober 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 Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 3.57.24 PM

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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.

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The Member States of Canada, Turkey and Peru  (displaying their Day of the Girl writs band)

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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.

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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

and a short video show

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More photographs from Yogyakarta

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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 .

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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

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Happy International Day of the Girl 2017!

High-level meeting of the General Assembly on the appraisal of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons – September 27 and 28, 2017

Today is the second day of the appraisal of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.  Member states are continuing to make their country statements in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations, NY   If you want to red your country statement check HERE and navigate to your country statement over the 27th and 28th.

On Wednesday morning the session began with the adoption of the  The Political Declaration in 6 languages

Together with the plenary there were three important session – the official opening and two panels.  For the official opening that following presented statements:       H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the UN General Assembly  UN Webcast             H.E. Mr. António Guterres, UN Secretary-General   UN Webcast                                         H.E. Mr. Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime                                                                                                                                           Ms. Mira Sorvino, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the global fight against human trafficking   UN Webcast                                                                                                              Ms. Grizelda Grootboom,  Civil society representative and a human trafficking survivor represented the power of survivor leadership and the critical importance of Member States to address sex trafficking and the exploitation of prostitution.   UN Webcast marker 34:32

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Grizelda is from South Africa.  Do listen to her experience of being trafficked.   “Welcoming the fact that the United Nations were gathered to address human trafficking — and that Member States had committed to implementing the Global Plan — she pointed out that women and girls made up 96 per cent of trafficking victims.  “Sex slavery is just another form of oppression, especially for the black child,” she said.  “It is so important to hear the voice of survivors,” she said, adding that it was also important for victims and survivors to see the commitment of the United Nations to helping them.  She stressed that she was not speaking because she wished to be an activist, but because she understood the true pain of being a sex slave.  She concluded by expressing hope that the Plan of Action would not take action merely on paper, but in every community, township and city across the globe.”  Read more

Grizelda is from South Africa.  Do listen to her experience of being trafficked.   “Welcoming the fact that the United Nations were gathered to address human trafficking — and that Member States had committed to implementing the Global Plan — she pointed out that women and girls made up 96 per cent of trafficking victims.  “Sex slavery is just another form of oppression, especially for the black child,” she said.  “It is so important to hear the voice of survivors,” she said, adding that it was also important for victims and survivors to see the commitment of the United Nations to helping them.  She stressed that she was not speaking because she wished to be an activist, but because she understood the true pain of being a sex slave.  She concluded by expressing hope that the Plan of Action would not take action merely on paper, but in every community, township and city across the globe.”  Read more

The Assembly’s first panel discussion was titled “The Global Plan of Action and effective partnerships for the prevention and prosecution of trafficking in persons: achievements, gaps and challenges, also taking into consideration the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Panel 1 was chaired by Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve (Belgium), it featured presentations by                                                                                                                             Purna Sen, Director of the Policy Division, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women);                                                                 Kevin Cassidy, Senior Communications and External Relations Officer, International Labour Organization (ILO); and                                                                                                 Rani Hong, Chief Executive Officer, The Tronie Foundation.

Panel 2:  The Assembly’s second panel discussion addressed the theme, “the Global Plan of Action and effective partnerships for the protection of and assistance to victims, including through the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, also taking into consideration the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”.  Chaired by Alya Ahmed Saif al‑Thani (Qatar), it featured three panellists:                           Benita Ferrero‑Waldner, Chair of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons;                                                                                         Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary‑General for Human Rights and Head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in New York; and       Joy Ezeilo, Executive Director of Women Aid Collective.

Good Shepherd was able to address the Assembly during this panel.  Webcast  Marker 56.58    Read full statement HLP Global Plan Final Sept 27 2017

Winifred HLP GPOA 2017

The Holy See made a statement during this session also paying tribute to the work of Religious Sisters throughout the world. See marker 34.32