16 Days to Make Girls Heard: Day 8
Traduction à suivre
2 Décembre 2011
Lakshmi Puri is the Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director for UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. She spoke to WAGGGS about why ending violence against girls and women is a top priority, and why UN Women is supporting WAGGGS’ campaign to ‘Stop the violence. Speak out for girls’ rights’.
Why is ending violence against girls and women such an important topic for UN Women?
Ending violence against women is a core priority for UN Women. It is a gross human rights violation and data shows that 15 to 76 percent of women report having experienced it at some point in their lifetime.
Ending violence against women requires passing laws, budgets to implement legislation, establishing prevention programmes, protection services and campaigning to raise awareness. UN Women is active on all of these fronts.
UN Women’s efforts focus on mobilizing more attention and resources for prevention, especially working with strategic groups such as young people. For example, UN Women with UN partners has launched a programme in Asiaand the Pacific, Partners for Prevention, which aims to reach youth on the issue of violence against girls and women through the use of modern technologies.
Why do you think it’s important to focus on girls specifically?
[Girls] are a key resource for development and prosperity. A growing body of evidence shows that girls are the promise and the key to resolving poverty and many of the world’s most pressing problems.
At UN Women, we know that investing in girls and young women is one of the smartest investments any country can make, not only for accelerating progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, but for overall social and economic development.
What do you think can be done to help stop violence against girls?
Firstly, we need to ensure timely – quality response and counseling for abused girls and young women. We also need to ensure early intervention for boys.
Secondly, working on primary prevention, with emphasis on both adolescent girls and boys, is especially strategic. Adolescence is probably the most strategic stage of life in which to invest for equality and non-violence.
Thirdly, we need to foster youth leadership on ending violence against women in communities, supporting young women as champions for change, promoting their talents, energies and creativity for prevention, activism, advocacy, community and societal transformation.
One of the leading initiatives we are involved in is the UN Adolescent Girls Task Force, where a group of UN agencies are working together on a major global effort to roll out some of the first holistic programmes specifically designed around the needs of adolescent girls.
Why are you supporting the WAGGGS’ ‘Stop the Violence. Speak out for girls’ rights’ campaign?
Ending violence against women and girls needs a multi-pronged approach from legislative change to transforming attitudes and behaviors. At UN Women, we recognize that girls and young women are tremendous agents for change. The WAGGGS global campaign, puts girls in the very centre of prevention efforts. It will empower girls and young women through a non-formal education programme that UN Women and WAGGGS is developing together.
The programme will equip girls with knowledge about their rights and tools to claim those rights. It will enable girls to engage their peers and communities – boys and girls, young men and women – to lead and shape prevention efforts. UN Women is pleased to be part of this effort.
What is your message for the 10 million girls in the WAGGGS network – what role can they have in ending violence against girls?
UN Women believes in working with and for girls and young women. Young women have huge potential as activists, a reservoir of energy and creativity. They can raise awareness among their peers, be advocates for policy reforms, get crucial information about help, hotlines, legal aid, and services to other young women in need through word-of-mouth and online networks.
As girls and young women, you stand at the forefront of change. You have the power and the responsibility to make this world a better place for yourselves, your peers and your communities.
Learn more about how violence affects women and girls in your communities and around the world and how to begin a dialogue to change that. Work with your peers – girls and boys, men and women – to change attitudes and beliefs that allow discrimination and violence against girls and women.
Visit www.unwomen.org for more information on UN Women’s work.
|Read the full interview in the special Stop the Violence issue of Our World News. One complementary copy of Our World News will be sent to each Member Organization. Our World News is available by paid subscription for individuals and other interested organizations. Subscriptions are available at £12.50 (US $22.50). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
Download the '16 days to make girls heard' campaign worksheet for other ideas on how to take action.
Let us know how you will be taking action by emailing email@example.com