Celebrate IDG 2014 at the 2nd Annual Girls Speak Out

1KW_9054The Working Group on Girls is proud to partner with Day of the Girl Summit to host the 2nd Annual Girls Speak Out at the United Nations on 10 October 2014.

This year, the Girls Speak Out will focus on tell the stories of girls from around the world. We need to hear from YOU! 

Reflect on a specific moment in your life when you thought to yourself, “THIS is what it means to be a girl!” It could be a brave act, a moment of connection, a time when you overcame an obstacle, a life turning point, a best friend adventure, or a silly celebration.

Then send it to the IDG Summit! We are looking for original stories, poems, artwork, videos, photos, songs, or declarations about what it means to be a girl where you live!

We will select a diverse collection of bold, sensitive, funny, powerful, everyday stories of girls’ lives to be performed LIVE by girls during at the United Nations in New York City on Friday, October 10th.

And get this! We will also feature a select collection of stories on the IDG Summit site for the entire month of October in celebration of IDG 2014! www.DayoftheGirlSummit.org

cropped-IDG-2013.jpgTo submit your work, you must:

  1. Be a girl (or group of girls) 18 years of age or younger.
  2. Answer the question: what does it mean to be a girl where you live?
  3. Tell us your story. Send your original work to: info@dayofthegirlsummit.org with your name, age, country and contact information by Friday, August 1st

Length requirements for submissions:

  • Short stories (maximum 500 words) and poems (maximum 250 words)
  • Art or Photos: send a picture with a short 50 – 100 word description
  • Video or music (maximum length of 3 minutes)

WGG’s Response to OWG 12 Zero Draft

New 10WGG has prepared a response to the Open Working Group Zero Draft proposing specific amendments to the goals and targets.  You can read a copy of this response: here.  We have sent this to the NGO Major Group for inclusion in their submission at OWG 12.

Please print out the document and use its contents in mission visits and other advocacy moments to further strengthen ‘girls rights’ in the new development framework. Don’t forget to also share WGG’s Post-2015 Agenda.

Special thanks to our Post-2015 and Advocacy Task Forces for their work on this draft.

WGG Girls Address Youth Forum

Editorial By: Disha Banerjee Bhattacharya, WGG Intern Summer 2014

AnCrisAmLizEmJulDishAt the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Forum on Youth from 2nd-3rd June 2014, UN Women held a side event titled Beijing+20: WHAT? An interactive dialogue with young people about gender equality and women’s empowerment in the post-2015 context. UN Women invited young women and girls to be panelists and participate in a dialogue with Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, ECOSOC President, H.E. Martin Sajdik and Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi.

The discussion between the panelists and the three senior UN officials centered on the twelve critical areas covered by the Beijing Platform for Action, namely, poverty; education and training; health; violence against women; armed conflict; the economy; power and decision-making; institutional mechanisms; humans rights of women; the media; the environment; and the girl-child.

ChrisLizJulAnitFive of WGG’s Girl Advocates, Julia, Christina, Lizzy, Anita and Ameesha, were panelists along with Johanna from the Austrian Youth Council, Tiffany from the YMCA, and Emily from the Girl Scouts.

  • Julia addressed the issue of girls and women as entrepreneurs and innovators and the importance of girls’ and women’s participation in conversations on climate change.
  • Christina discussed the necessity of girls and women in leadership and decision-making roles – as outlined by the Beijing Platform for Action – and the impact that had on her future and the futures of girls around the world.
  • Lizzy explained what gender equality meant to her, why it mattered to her and her peers and her experiences in conversing with young boys on the issue of gender equality.
  • Anita spoke to the merits of and fundamental importance of the Beijing Platform for Action as a means of achieving gender equality and a sustainable future for both women and men alike.
  • Johanna outlined her vision for how education could and should help girls and boys alike to understand and achieve gender equality.
  • Tiffany highlighted how violence against girls and women continues to be a global pandemic and stated that for gender equality to even begin to be realized, it is of utmost importance that this egregious violation of human rights be wholly and completely eliminated.
  • Emily discussed the importance of girl’s and women’s participation in forming, implementing and monitoring environmental policies and the effect environmental issues have on girls and women.
  • Ameesha shared with us her thoughts on the future of girls and women and the importance of ending all forms of discrimination and violence against them so that she and her peers may, in their lifetime, live in a world that is equitable and equal for all.

The event concluded with Ms. Mlambo-Ngucka, Mr. Sajdik and Mr. Alhendawi responding to the comments made by the panelists and by reaffirming and reiterating their commitment to the Beijing Platform for Action and highlighting the importance of having girls as leaders and facilitators of change in the Post-2015 development context.

ECOSOC Youth Forum: Review of June 2 -3 Event

Editorial By: Disha Banerjee Bhattacharya, WGG Intern Summer 2014

CrisLiz ECOSOC YouthThe United Nations Economic and Social Council held a Forum on Youth from 2nd-3rd June 2014. The forum was titled, “#Youth 2015: Realizing the Future They Want” and was held in the ECOSOC chamber at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The purpose of the forum was to provide a space for youth to voice their concerns about and opinions on the Post-2015 Development Agenda so as to be able to influence the agenda to accommodate a more comprehensive set of goals aimed at improving the situation of youth around the globe and facilitating greater youth participation in the polities, economies and public spheres of the world.

The forum opened with remarks from H.E. Mr. Martin Sajdik (President of the ECOSOC), H.E. MR. Ban Ki-moon (Secretary General of the United Nations), H.E. John W. Ashe (President of the 68th session of the General Assembly), Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi (United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth). The keynote addresses were made by Ms. Brittany Trilford (Activist and Youth Advisor at CIVICUS Alliance) and Mr. Nik Hartley (CEO, Restless Development). The speakers all emphasized the importance of the youth as political actors for change and encouraged their involvement in their communities and in global forums as individual actors and as a collective bargaining body. The speakers also talked at length about including the youth in the formation of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

UNW Mlambo-Ngcuka. Brautigam.EnvoyAlhendawiH.E. Mr. Dullas Alahapperuma (Minister for Youth Affairs and Skills Development, Sri Lanka), Mr. Gabriel Laurence-Brook (Spokesperson of the Francophone Youth Parliament), and Mr. Alejo Ramírez (Secretary-General, Ibero-American Youth Organization) reported on the levels of youth participation in governmental processes and in civil society in their respective countries and regions – Sri Lanka, Africa and Latin America. They then facilitated dialogue amongst the youth and themselves on the areas that most affect and concern the youth.

Youth employment and entrepreneurship, education, health, governance and participation, and peace-building and stability emerged as the main areas of concern and were then discussed in-depth by the youth delegates in Break Out Sessions with a number of high level UN and state officials.

The Break Out Sessions provided the United Nations and its member states with a set of concrete ideas on the rights and responsibilities of the youth – from the perspective of the youth delegates – with regard to the aforementioned areas. One of the ideas suggested that gathered unanimous support from the youth delegates was the formation and implementation of development indicators for the youth in regards to progress made in the areas of youth employment and entrepreneurship, education, health, governance and participation, and peace-building and stability. The delegates demanded these indicators be established by the youth and then implemented and monitored by the youth in a formal capacity.

The forum concluded with a presentation of the consolidated document and reflections on the tasks and targets set to ensure youth issues are concretely reflected in all aspects of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Annual Report: FY 2013-2014

AnCrisAmLizEmJulDishThe Working Group on Girls had an incredible year! Thanks to our Task Forces: Advocacy, Communications, CSW 58 Logistics, Development Committee, Girls Against Violence, Girls Participation, Girls Against Violence, Post-2015 and our membership – the girls’ rights agenda continues to gain momentum and visibility at the United Nations.

The WGG remains committed to elevating the status and rights of girls’ worldwide.  Toward that end, we proudly share the following presentation, which highlights some of our key activities and initiatives for FY 2013-2014.