On the International Day of the Girl Child, girls and adolescents from the region participated in advocacy spaces to share their experiences, present the issues that affect them and raise their voices for the recognition of their rights.
Bolivian teen Susan calls for bridging the digital divide at “Girls Speak Out” event
As part of the Girls Speak Out initiative, the Working Group on Girls, UNICEF, UN Women and UNFPA, together with the governments of Canada, Peru and Turkey, held the virtual event for Girls Speak Out: “Bridging the Digital Divide to Accelerate Opportunity”, with the aim of bringing girls to the forefront to share their experiences, hear what they need and partner with them and key stakeholders to highlight sustainability and innovative solutions to the issues they face.
Susan, a 16-year-old Bolivian teenager and President of her municipality’s Committee for Children and Adolescents, shared her experience with a panel of girls from other regions of the world, government representatives and United Nations agencies.
“I think we are overcoming obstacles, but we need the support of civil society and governments to get more information and training workshops to learn how to use the technology, and to include indigenous and remote areas,” explains Susan.
“We have a long way to go, but we are committed to this path. The more people who can support our work, the better it will be for closing this gap and for us to have an equitable society.”
A group of adolescents from the region held a virtual dialogue, which was also attended by Victoria Ward, Save the Children’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. Adolescent girls are or have been involved in political advocacy processes, are leaders in their communities and territories and activists for the rights of girls and adolescents. The purpose of the dialogue was to exchange experiences, as well as to make visible the importance of the leadership of girls and adolescents in advocacy spaces. It also promotes that other girls can be inspired and know their potential to make their voices heard louder.
Through this dialogue, they reflected on gender inequality and the various situations faced by girl leaders, such as mansplaining and other forms of machismo and gender violence. One of the highlights of the dialogue was when each of them mentioned the woman who inspired them, exchanging in this space part of the history of their countries and the conquest of their rights. Finally, recommendations were made to the authorities to continue working for the rights of girls and adolescents.
You can watch the full live session here.
“ I think it is important that every day we can make our point of view known and thus change society’s perspective on women and girls.”
Something very important is social equality. We have the opportunity to connect, but there are girls who cannot. They have the right to connectivity.
I also have something to say
“I wanted to join the soccer team and they told me no, you can’t play because you are a woman. I felt indignant, because both women and men can play.”
I also have something to say
“Seeing women in positions of power inspires me to keep going. If the women of history made it, what we are doing now is going to pay off for future generations.”
“This date is important to remember because we girls have been made invisible, we have done the housework, and our work has been undervalued. It is important to have a day to raise our voices.”
“I would say to those girls and women in our communities who are already great and who inspire us, and keep fighting to break away from that macho reality to keep growing.”
Monica, El Salvador
“Leaders must invest in mental health for women who have experienced violence.”
Victoria, Save the Children’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean
“I am inspired by you and what you are doing, by your very real analyses of what is going on in the lives of girls (…). You inspire us to do the work that we do.”
Tamairu, a teenager from Venezuela, provides input to the Girls Lead Act Initiative.
Tamairu is a 16-year-old Venezuelan teenager. This week she had the opportunity to participate in the Girls Lead ACT organized by Save the Children US. The event revolved around increasing girls’ leadership globally and highlighting the importance of the Girls Lead Act; a U.S. foreign assistance bill that seeks to highlight the leadership potential of girls and aims to increase the civic participation of girls worldwide.
Tamaru shared the panel with girl activists from the U.S. and Indonesia and U.S. Congresswomen. She took the floor to highlight the participation of girls in decision-making spaces. Tamairu commented that in her community, household chores take up most of the day. This coupled with the lack of technology has impacted girls’ school attendance. She highlighted the need for a gender focus and called for the voices of girls and women to be heard in public and decision-making spaces.
“I am interested in issues such as feminism and gender equity. But above all that girls can have equal opportunities for participation. Like doing extracurricular activities, of which we must deprive ourselves (in many cases), just because we are girls, in many cases we are assigned household chores that boys are not, and this limits our opportunities to participate in spaces like this”.
“During the pandemic, the child participation groups have been just that, an opportunity for us to be heard and taken into account, since they are inclusive and it is an incredible experience that accompanied me throughout this process of growing and generating changes to achieve gender equality.”
Save the children
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