Our board member, Dawape Giwa-Isekeije was one of the speakers at the UNICEF NZ commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child. The International Day of the Girl Child, celebrated each year on 11 October, was established in 2011 by the UN General Assembly and is designated for promoting the rights of girls and the unique challenges they face.
In recognition of the importance of preventing and eliminating the various forms of violence adolescent girls experience, and the importance of investing in and empowering them, the theme of International Day of the Girl Child for 2014 was Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence.
The shocking facts state that one in four girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide (almost 70 million) report being victims of some form of physical violence since age 15.*
We know physical, emotional and psychological violence against girls is entirely preventable when people come together and say that it is not acceptable. UNICEF’s #ENDViolence campaign aims to make visible the violence that hides in plain sight.
Thanks to everybody who celebrated the International Day of the Girl with us!
Saturday 11th October, 12pm @ Frank Kitts Park in Wellington.
Young women from various backgrounds spoke at the Wellington event and shared their unique perspectives on ending violence against adolescent girls:
Sarah Morris – International Advocacy Manager, UNICEF New Zealand – spoke about the UNICEF #ENDViolence campaign to make visible the violence that hides in plain sight in our societies.
Dawape Giwa-Isekeije – 17yrs, Wellington Girls College student from Nigeria/Canada – talked about the #BringBackOurGirls campaign and how 6 months on from the abduction of the 234 Chibok girls in Nigeria we need to move on from social media action to being a social warrior.
Kesaya Baba – Volunteer Services Abroad – talked about empowering adolescent girls in the Pacific with a focus on service delivery for physical and mental health and unique projects for the special circumstances in the Pacific.
Pollyanne Pena – Organisational Development Coordinator for Shakti in Wellington – described her experiences in working with minority communities and what our legal and policy responses to those issues should be.
In addition, Ed and Ant entertained us with their great music and Genevieve from Poetry in Motion in Wellington and Heather Walker from Youth for UN Women added a special flair with beautiful pieces of Slam Poetry and Haikus. A self-defence demonstration by Sue Lytollis from Women’s refuge and the kids’ activities also added practical elements to the day.
The art installation with 100 pieces of girls’ clothes around Frank Kitts Park and the Wellington waterfront attracted a lot of attention and UNICEF NZ achieved its goal to inform the wider public about the shocking statistics and ways to combat violence against girls.
Things you can do now after the Day of the Girl
Have a look at the photos of our event and share it with your friends
Share your thoughts on social media using #ENDviolence and #IDG2014
Read more about this year’s Day of the Girl here
Plan your event for next year’s Day of the Girl with your friends and family! Check out the Take Action Toolkit for ideas
Physical, sexual, and emotional violence affects adolescent girls in striking proportions. A gross violation of adolescent girls’ rights, violence threatens a girl’s health, diminishes her potential and hinders the development of her community.
The rights of adolescent girls to be protected from all forms of violence and discrimination is guaranteed under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This year’s Day of the Girl theme is linked with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence initiative and supports UNICEF’s position in the ongoing debate around the post-2015 development agenda.
Story credit: UNICEF Publication ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’