International Day of the Girl 2017 – Yes, it is that time of the year again!

IDG 2017International 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

Here’s how:
  1. Be a girl (or group of girls) up to 18 years old
  2. 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!
    • What happened?
    • Who was there?
    • When was it?
    • Where were you?
    • Why did you do what you did?
    • What was the outcome?
  3. Send us your inspirational story! Email your submission and consent form to:  gsijpoffice@gmail.com  and winifreddohertyrgs@gmail.com with your name, age, country, and contact information no later than October 13, 2017  

Full information can be found here. Be sure to include this consent form with all submissions.

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.

 

Check out this resource prepared by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts WAGGGS – Hong Kong – Resource for IDG 2017

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Another resource is from 2015 entitled #Start the Convo: a guide to having healthy, meaningful and respectful discussion on gender equality #Start the Convo

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HLPF (High Level Political Fourm) July 11, 2017

Those of us attending the HLPF, now in its second week are overwhelmed with words.  Yesterday,  July 17th the National Voluntary Reviews begun, and continue today and tomorrow.

One highlight of the first week was our side event at the Irish Mission to the UN.Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 12.44.53 PM

IMG_3134It was a great event … great sharing, collaboration and real implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals from India to Kenya to Mexico – reaching the furthest behind! I will be forgiven by my other religious colleagues at the UN for saying that Donatus Lili from Kenya made an excellent

Presentation The event was live streamed on Facebook  and there were numerous photos.

 

 

 

 

The dedication and commitment of sisters  – Daughters of Charity, Presentation Sisters, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loretto) and ourselves with our mission partners can never be underestimated.  This was truly an event illustrating the the words of the gospel – “the kindom is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” This yeast of ministry is truly the transformative agent toward the ‘world we want’ and full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.   Towards the end of the discussion there was a reference to spirituality that informs such commitment and Ambassador Donoghue concluded yes, but in the political arena it is a moral imperative.

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Advocacy Campaign #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights

The Campaign #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights has just launched a 15 page CAMPAIGN TOOLKIT  #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights – Global Days of Action – 8-24 March 2017.  ¿QUÉ ESTÁ EN JUEGO? en español

I am going to highlight some points of entry as I can hear you say “I don’t have time to read 15 pages.”  “I  don’t know anything about tax.”  “What is #TaxJustice?”

Page 8      7 Reasons Why We Need #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights   Print out the sheet for reference.   #TaxJustice is when taxes are fairly raised and fairly spent.

  • Tax is the key building blocks of society
  • Tax is the most sustainable source of Government revenue
  • Tax avoidance and tax breaks to big business costs developing countries
  1. #TaxJustice helps girls get a better education
  2. #TaxJustice reduces women’s and girls’ unpaid care burden.
  3. #TaxJustice helps women get life saving health services.
  4. #TaxJustice reduces violence against women and girls.
  5. When multinational corporations and the very rich don’t pay their fair share of tax, it hurts women most.
  6. #TaxJustice helps access to clean water that keeps women safer and builds their economic power.
  7. #TaxJustice provides social protection for women.

Focus this topic in a community meeting, a justice prayer, a Lenten reflection, a capacity building session with girls and women.  Use the  Powerpoint – Getting the Conversation Started.  How does #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights link with our Position Papers?

If you use social media there are many suggestion as to what to write – for

  • Facebook: go to page 12 of the toolkit … pictures that you can use are already prepared In English, French and Spanish  Alternatively like me on Facebook and share my Facebook posting with your friends.
  • Twitter see pages 9, 10, 11 and 12   Pages 11 and 12 are prepared tweets  My twitter handle is @winifreddoherty @gsijp  retweet the messages.

If you are a little more adventurous get engaged in a national campaign – Write a letter – the template is prepared.

Lastly there are key dates to be aware of:

  • March 2 Oxfam International will launch a report on women’s economic empowernment
  • March 8th International Women’s Day
  • March 13 -24 is the Commission on the Status of Women – Theme:  “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.’
  • March 15 ActionAid International will release a new report on macroeconomics and violence against women
  • March 16 #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights forum in NY
  • March 22 World Water Day – Ensure the Human Right to Water.

Your GSIJP Team in New York will be fully engaged in CSW 61.  We are delighted to welcome Sr. Jane Joan Kimathi from Kenya to join us.

 

 

Advocacy March 8th to 24th

The Global Alliance for Tax Justice is a growing movement of civil society organisations and activists, including trade unions, united in campaigning for greater transparency, democratic oversight and redistribution of wealth in national and global tax systems.

The Global Alliance for Tax Justice comprise the five regional networks of Africa, Latin America, Asia-Australia, North America and Europe, which collectively represent hundreds of organisations.  The website is in ENGLISH and SPANISH

This campaign is launching on March 8th – International Women’s Day and ending on March 24th when the Commission on the Status of Women ends its 61st session with an outcome document on ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment in the changing world of work.’  See ENGLISH and SPANISH    A copy of the  ‘draft agreed conclusion’ (English only) has been published. This will form the basis for negotiations among member states during the Commission.  While there is mention of the establishment of universal social protection floors (page 4 (m)  to ensure access to social protection for all there is no reference as to how these floors could be financed.

#TaxJustice is a call to our governments to stop the global scandal of corporate tax dodging, end illicit financial flows, and transform inequitable fiscal policies in order to fund and fulfill women’s rights.  An excellent overview of the issue WHAT’S AT STAKE?  ¿QUÉ ESTÁ EN JUEGO? is on one page ENGLISH and SPANISH   Print out and bring these points to discussion groups.

“There is an  urgent need to raise domestic revenue for the gender-sensitive public services, social protections, and infrastructure essential to women’s equal human development and equality. Emphasize that progressive tax policies are required to advance women’s rights and economic equality.”

“Hay una urgente necesidad de recaudar un ingreso doméstico para los servicios públicos que comprenda un enfoque de género, así como protección social e infraestructura esencial al desarrollo humano igualitario de las mujeres y a la igualdad. Enfatizar que se necesitan políticas fiscales progresivas para potenciar los derechos de las mujeres y la igualdad económica.”

ORGANIZING TEAM

The #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights Global Days of Action campaign is an initiative of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice, GATJ Tax & Gender and Global Action Working groups, and committed partners including Public Services International, the International Trade Union Confederation, Association for Women’s Rights in Development, Center for Economic and Social Rights, ActionAid, Christian Aid, Oxfam and Tax Justice Network.

Suggestions towards Good Shepherd Action:  

a) During the days of 8-24 March, post on your Facebook and/or Twitter account what you are learning about #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights.

b) Alternatively, read what is posted on my Facebook page or the GSIJP Facebook page. LIKE and SHARE with your friends.  Ask questions for clarification – answer questions – make suggestions.

c) Many suggestions are available on the website

d) Use the following hashtags: #IWD2017 / #taxjustice / #womensrights / #UNCSW17

Looking forward to seeing you on Facebook and Twitter.

Sugerencias para la acción de Buen Pastor:

a) Durante los días del 8 al 24 de marzo, publica en tu cuenta de Facebook y / o Twitter lo que estás aprendiendo sobre #TaxJustice (Justicia Fiscal) por los Derechos de la Mujer.

b) Alternativamente, lee lo que se publica en mi página de Facebook o en la página de Facebook de la OIJPBP. Haz clic en “ME GUSTA” y COMPARTE con tus amigos. Haz preguntas para aclaración – responde a preguntas – haz sugerencias.

c) Muchas sugerencias están disponibles en el sitio web.

d) Utilice las siguientes etiquetas hashtag: #IWD2017 / #taxjustice / #womensrights / #UNCSW17

Espero verles en Facebook y Twitter.

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Follow up on Global Forum on Migration and Development

On this International Migrants Day I am sharing the report of Theresa Symons and Magdalena Saavedra.  There is a call to action for Good Shepherds around the world. How are you going to respond?  Share your ideas in the comments box.

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Good Shepherd Representatives at the GFMD

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Sr. Magdalena Saavedra from the Centre of Overseas Workers, Davao, Philippines and Theresa Symons from MDO Asia Pacific, represented Good Shepherd at the recent Civil Society Programme for Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 8-9 December.  There were about 300 participants at the civil society forum.

This was followed by Common Space between civil society and governments on 9 December and the GFMD Summit for governments from 10-12 December.

Focus of the civil society forum

The theme for civil society programme was “Time for Action: Doing rights-based governance of migration and development in our communities and across borders.”

Robust discussions were held at the plenary debates and parallel working sessions which focused on four action-oriented themes:

  • Doing protection of migrant workers
  • Doing protection of migrant on the move
  • Doing inclusive development
  • Doing global governance better

Outcome recommendations broadly centered around various ways of implementing people-centered, needs first, rights-based policies on migration and human development; with civil society working with governments and businesses.

The recommendations will influence the development of a governance framework on migration called the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, Regular Migration, which is expected to be finalized by 2018 to be adopted by UN member states.

Our learning experiences

Magdalena and Theresa shared that it was a privilege for them to attend the civil society forum.  It was an opportunity to network with participants coming from different organizations, engage in conversations on good practices, listen to different perspectives on migration and learn about issues affecting migrants in other countries.

These are some of their insights and reflections in relation to the Good Shepherd Congregation:

  • Good Shepherd worldwide have extensive grassroots activities in sending as well as host countries. We play critical roles in educating and empowering our program participants on the rights of migrants
  • It is not enough to just be doing grassroots activities on migration. It is also important to have a working knowledge of policies, statements and guidelines on migration so that we can shape our programs to influence systemic changes locally, regionally and globally.
  • The needs of migrants have evolved in complexity which cannot be addressed by a sole organization. To increase our effectiveness in mission, we need to network and collaborate across borders as Good Shepherd agencies and with other NGOs, faith based groups, civil society organizations, governments and businesses.
  • A large bulk of migrants (regular and irregular) are women and children, it is a must for the Congregation to strengthen its response to the plight of the migrants in the local, regional and global level. As an international Congregation, more concrete and collective action has to be done (pro-active response to our broad directions).

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Links to the following important websites related to the GFMD:

  1.  Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) http://www.gfmd.org
  2. GFMD  Civil Society Days MADE Migration and Development Civil Society Network 
  3. The New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants  New York Declaration in 6 languages
  4. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Sustainable Development Goals

In the picture our representatives with Eva Richter from NGO Committee on Migration in New York.       (Submitted by Theresa and Magdalena)

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With some of the participants and Undersecretary Ambassador Jose S. Brillantes Chairman of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers,  Pathma Krishnan Regional Coordinator of Education International-Asia Pacific, Theresa Symons Good Shepherd Congregation MDO-Asia Pacific, Mel Nuqui of Dawn – Executive Director (courtesy of Magdalena)

 

URGENT : Call for signatures! On line signature campaign to repeal the sedition act in Malaysia. TAKE ACTION NOW!

Signature Campaign … Sign Here

The signature campaign can be accessed at the link above.  Please go on line and fill in your name and e-mail address in support.  You will receive an email to confirm your address.  This is an important step in the process so don’t forget to check your e-mail and confirm.

Good Shepherd Mission Partners in Malaysia have asked the Good Shepherd International Justice Peace Office (GSIJP) to gather support for an on-line signature petition to repeal the sedition act in Malaysia.   The GSIJP office is fully informed of the situation and endorses the campaign.  Currently many human rights defenders are under threat in Malaysia among them Edmund Bon.  I quote from the Malaysian Bar press release of September 18th “ A lawyer, Edmund Bon, was reported in the news media on 12 September 2014 as being investigated under the Sedition Act 1948 in relation to his alleged comments on the Federal Constitution, by way of legal opinion, in a news report entitled “Bukan Islam tidak perlu patuh kepada titah Diraja atau fatwa, kata peguam”.”  He is not the only one – there are references to three other –  in the press release.  Full text here

On September 16th Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein) urged  Malaysian authorities to immediately stop investigations and prosecutions under a 1948 law that curbed free speech and freedom of expression in the South-east Asian nation. Click here to read more

The signature campaign can be accessed below.  Please go on line and fill in your name and e-mail address in support.  You will receive an email to confirm your address.  This is an important step in the process so don’t forget to check your e-mail and confirm.   EVERY SIGNATURE COUNTS – CLICK HERE

 

Theme for the Good Shepherd Gathering in Australia/New Zealand ‘If you want Peace work for Justice’

Read all about it at  http://goodshep.net.au/gathering/ and don’t forget to follow the links where the information is further expanded.  http://goodshep.net.au/gathering/about/our-speakers/  and http://goodshep.net.au/gathering/about/un-worker-to-speak-at-gs-gathering-in-melbourne/