15 March 2007 - The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child
“Girls’ education is a barometer for wider society. If we get it right, solutions to other social problems can fall in behind.” - Lucy Lake, UNGEI co-chair and deputy executive director of CAMFED International, at the UNGEI panel at the 51st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, New York, 1 March 2007
Youth activists speak out at UNGEI panel at the Commission on the Status of Women
Youth panellists shared the experiences and challenges of girls growing up in different countries in a discussion on ‘Partnerships for protection in the education of girls’ hosted by UNGEI (the United Nations Girls Education Initiative) at the United Nations in New York. The discussion, on 1 March 2007, was a side event to the 51st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, held from 16 February to 9 March 2007.
The UNGEI panel gave a voice to youth activists at the very centre of the struggle to see all girls receive an education. Chaired by Lucy Lake, UNGEI Co-Chair and Deputy Executive Director and Director of Programmes of CAMFED International, and moderated by a representative from Nepal, the panel included speakers from Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa and Zambia. Opening remarks were made by Grace Datiro, Minister for Education in the Western Equatorial State of southern Sudan.
All speakers said that poverty is a critical factor in keeping girls out of school and described struggles with domestic violence, sexual violence and cultural traditions that can hamper a girl’s education.
Cheryl Gregory Faye becomes new head of UNGEI Secretariat
Cheryl Gregory Faye, former representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Gambia, assumes leadership of the UNGEI Secretariat today. She is the second head since the Secretariat was launched in 2000 by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Faye said her top priorities are to link the work of UNICEF country offices with the Fast Track Initiative process through gender assessment of all FTI proposals – with support from the UNGEI network, donors and others – and to help revitalize the gender parity targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the country level.
The report “It’s time to listen to us!”is an appeal to the members of the 51st Commission on the Status of Women. It summarizes the ideas, concerns and recommendations of children and young people from 59 countries and eight regions.