Four of our Mary Ward Youth Advocates had the privilege of attending two webinars last October as we celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the International Day of the Girl. Below is their reflection on the webinars.
The first webinar, “#GirlsRightsNow for Climate Justice” hosted by the IBVM UNNGO, VIVAT International and Dominican Leadership. It was held on the 7th of October at 10am EST which was nearly 7:30pm in the evening for us. It was an eye opening session featuring 3 girl activists speakers.
Tariro and Ashley are student activists in Zimbabwe and Aarna is a student of Loreto Delhi who was just 12 years old. The session aimed to explore the inextricable link between climate justice and gender inequality. Aarna, in particular, shared her inspiring journey of working with over 2000 students on climate activism from Sunday clean up drives to designing a shoe from recycling single use plastic and tyres.
How do we counter girls dropping out of school due to climatic factors? Why do we need more political participation of women to fight for climate justice? Through their individual experiences and contributions, the speakers tackled these pertinent questions.
Watch the IDG Day 7 webinar HERE.
The second webinar, held on 11th October at 3pm EST (12:30am IST for us), was called the ‘2022 IDG Girls Speak Out’. It consisted of a panel discussion between girl advocates from different parts of the world and the UN consulates. The session saw these speakers talk about various topics ranging from education and empowerment of women to climate justice and environmental activism.
One such speaker was Samantha, a Nigerian woman advocate who specializes in helping girls get out of abusive situations threw light on the many horrors present in her country such as the likes of commercialization of sexual relations, and rape. Urging the policymakers and leaders of nations to take action, speakers Hereiti, Maka and Vivian along with many others
gave impactful and significant speeches.
The UN member state representatives of Canada, Türkiye and Peru, UNICEF representative, Karin Hulshof, and the Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Bahous, stressed on the urgent need to accelerate the pace of empowerment and upliftment of women. The meeting was held in a hybrid setup, involving Girl and Youth Advocates who were present virtually as well as in person at the UN headquarters in New York. Altogether, the session was a hard-hitting and powerful one that was to be remembered for years to come.
Watch the IDG+10 Girls Speak Out HERE.
Authors: Umika Panda, Srijoni Nandi, Melika Agarwal and Aparajita Banerjee (Mary Ward Youth Advocates Loreto House)