On October 11, every year, the world comes together to celebrate the International Day of the Girl (IDG), while committing to eliminating injustices against girls, one avenue at a time. The theme for this year’s IDG was “Digital generation. Our generation”. In the wake of the pandemic, the world went virtual, and education and earning shifted to a digital platform. 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 do not have internet access at home, with girls more likely to be cut off, which made discussion on digital access and digital activism crucial.
Prateeksha Shukla, a student of St. Agnes’ Loreto Day School, India was one of the moderators of this year’s Girls Speak Out, organized by the Working Group on Girls, and co-sponsored by The Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Peru to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, UNICEF, UNFPA, and UN Women.
The primary speakers at this meeting were girl activists and advocates from around the world, who were campaigning for equal digital access. Richard Arbeiter (Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to the UN), Counsellor Rivera (Permanent Mission of Peru to the UN), and Ms. Bilge Kocyigit, representative from the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Turkey to the UN were the high-level speakers addressing the gathering. Apart from the Permanent Representatives, the WGG also hosted Dr. Julitta Onabanjo, the Director of the Technical Division at the UNFPA, Ms. Pamela Mallinga, the Global Head of Impact at Girl Effect, Ms. Stacie June Shelton, the Global Head of Education & Advocacy at the Dove Self-Esteem Project with the UNICEF, and Mr. Dan Seymour, Director of Strategic Partnerships Division at the UN Women.
This conversation served not as the end, but the beginning of the discussion to get all girls online and connect them to a better future, so that they have the tools to empower themselves and shape the future of our generation.
Watch the SpeakOut here.
Author: Prateeksha Shukla (Girl Advocate)