Day of the Girl – October 11 preceded by 11 Days of Action

Thank you Religious of the Good Shepherd Philippines-Japan for whom everyday is Day of the Girl
Read the story below!

“Kasi nasabi niya sa mga kapatid at mother niya na siya ay inabuso ng tatay nila.”

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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.

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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.

#DayOfTheGirl
#GirlForceUnscriptedUnstoppable

“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.

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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.

#DayOfTheGirl
#GirlForceUnscriptedUnstoppable

READ the full story in Global Sisters Report
This is an example of Day of the Girl every day in Good Shepherd around the world

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!

Day of the Girl 2016 at UNICEF

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-3– 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.

 

Watch and sing along with the Global Girls Film

‘Girls Speak Out’ at the United Nations 2016

Webcast of the ‘Girls Speak Out’   Enjoy the two hour programme.

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An exciting moment to have international visitors attending the ‘Girls Speak Out’ Tanya Corrie, Development Lead - Financial Security, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand

Sr Monique Tarabeh, Soeurs du Bon Pasteur, Communications Rome, Province of Lebanon/Syria.

Barbara O’Carroll, GSIJP Team, Mission Partner, New York (bottom picture) Cecilie Kern (middle picture) and Winifred Doherty (green jacket)

I was proud to be featuring girls from Angola, Indonesia and Malaysia on social media and the prayer was prepared by  Sister Taskila Nicholas, Province of Central East India/Nepal.  Thank you Taskila.  Truly,  we are a network empowering girls changing the world!

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Beijing What?

Beijing+20: WHAT?  An interactive dialogue with young people about gender equality and women’s empowerment in the post-2015 context.  Four Girl advocates of the Working Group on Girls were among the panelists – Julia, Christina, Lizze, and Lizzie.  This dialogue took place within the 2 day ECOSOC Youth Forum of June 2 and 3. Girls from YWCA, Girl Scouts USA and a girl representative from Austrian youth were also panelists. Their linking with the issues of Beijing and bring them into the post 2015 Development Agenda debate was excellent.  The event was webcast  Link to webcast

Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka invited the girls to share with her on the various themes.  You can read her address Here

Questions posed to the girls included: Julia:  Why is it important for women and girls to be part of the conversation on climate change and entrepreneurship?  How will this contribute to a different future?  Christina: Why is it important for women and girls to partner in leadership and decision making as outline in the Beijing platform.  How is this important to you and your future?  Lizzie:  Why does gender equality matter to you and your future?  What about your peers?  Anita: Why is the Beijing platform so relevant for some of the areas we need to focus on and for change for a sustainable future?

The following question were posed to he Austrian Youth delegate Johanna: What is your vision for education and how does it contributes to gender equality?   Tiffany is from the YWCA: What can we do to put an end to women’s lack of safety and violence against women?  Emily from the Girl Scouts: Why is environmental policies so important to girls and women world wide.  Is this something we need to include when looking at in the post 20 agenda?   Ameesha Girl Scouts USA: You have witnessed the discrimination of women and girls in families and you have identified it as a challenge in India.  You are a strong gender equality advocate.  What would you like us to change?  What actions can we take to make sure this happens?

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Can you use this presentation to talk about Beijing? I think it is a useful tool. How would your women and girl groups answer these questions?

There is a very interesting sharing by an 18 year old man Joe Davis talking about women’s rights from a young man’s perspective.  See move marker to 43:30

The Good Shepherd International Foundation on their Facebook page have a posting on the UN ECOSOC Youth Forum.  See