“Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights”
-United Nations Resolution 66/170
The United Nations declared October 11 International Day of the Girl, a day to celebrate progress and galvanize change for girls around the world. To commemorate the occasion, Together for Girls co-hosted a high-level event at the Embassy of Canada, “Data to Action: Breaking the Cycle of Violence Against Girls.” The session included a host of inspiring speakers and two informative panel discussions. We were honored to have Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau as our keynote speaker, as well as UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, USAID Senior Adviser Michelle Bekkering, and six bipartisan members of the U.S. Congress. The event was also supported by the UN Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, Know Violence in Childhood, Women Deliver, UNAIDS, UNICEF, PAHO/WHO, The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, and the United Methodist Church.
The first of the panel discussions, “Making the Case,” featured the latest data and research on prevention and response of violence against girls. The second panel, “Moving from Data to Action and Advocacy,” featured both seasoned experts and youth advocates discussing how we can utilize data to inform programmatic response, advocate for change around the world, and incorporate the perspectives of young people in this important work. Together, the panels highlighted the importance of collaboration across disciplines to develop the most effective, holistic strategies for ending violence against girls.
It was inspiring to see a packed room with strong support from Canadian and U.S. leadership, UN representatives, data and policy organizations, and youth advocates. Throughout the day, a clear theme emerged: We all have a role to play to break the cycle of violence, and when we all come together, we can create a safer, more equitable world for every girl.
As Rep. Katherine Clark said, “Let’s make every day International Day of the Girl!”
Photo Credit: Sharon Natoli