Call to ‘Put Girls and Women in the Lead’
Friday, 11th October 2013 at 10:01 am
A group of leading community and advocacy groups are asking the nation’s leaders to take action to realise the potential of girls and women – at home and abroad as part of International Day of the Girl Child.
The organisations representing women and girls have released a Call to Action Statement that calls for cross party support against a framework for action called ‘Putting Women and Girls in the Lead’.
YWCA Australia, Girl Guides Australia, the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, International Women’s Development Agency and the Australian National Committee for UN Women have come together to develop the Call to Action on specific international development goals for girls and women.
“We have an opportunity to secure the future of our girls and women,” Executive Director of the NC for UN Women, Julie McKay said.
“This can be achieved if we endorse a new set of goals for sustainable development that put girls and women front and centre. Data illustrates that we must endorse specific goals to realise greater economic and social stability.”
“We are at a critical moment,” YWCA Australia Executive Officer Caroline Lambert said.
“Australia is a member of the Security Council and negotiations are on right now for the next set of international goals that will further eradicate poverty and take all our nations to the next level.”
“It is vital to ensure girls are given the tools they need to develop and grow into the business women, the executive, the leaders and the mothers they choose to be,” CEO at Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yolanda Vega said.
“It is time to remove the barriers women face and the best way to do it is to ensure girls understand anything is possible. Targets must be set if we are to move forward.”
“We are working with our colleagues to put girls in the lead”, National Executive Officer at Girl Guides Australia, Kit McMahon said. “We know that if you invest in girls and young women the benefits to the community and the economy are returned four fold.
“Our work with the World Wide Movement of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts shows us that equitable access to education, income, property and leadership is key for many of our members across the globe.”
International Women’s Development Agency CEO Joanna Hayter said: “Girls are profoundly vulnerable to sexual and gender based violence and a paucity of adolescent friendly information or services.
“From child marriage to prevention of teenage pregnancy or legal and medical support services following abuse, girl’s rights are often invisible or sidelined in development efforts and citizenship.
“Our program partnerships address these barriers directly.”