NEWS RELEASE: Girls as Leaders for Future Youth Revolutions to be Trained in Downtown Manhattan Sunday

Over 275 young women between the ages of 16 and 25 from nearly 20 countries will be trained in New York City this coming Sunday at a “boot camp” conducted by the Working Group on Girls (WGG) at Pace University’s downtown Manhattan campus. Increasing women’s participation in science and technology and discrimination and violence against girls will be among topics covered.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: Rucha Kavathe, member, WGG, kavathe.rucha@gmail.com,.1-732-447-8037
Mary Ann Strain, Co-Chair, WGG, marystrain1@mac.com; 1-551-482-5729

Girls as leaders for future youth revolutions to be trained in downtown Manhattan Sunday

Girls’ rights on center stage in advocacy workshop at Pace University for young women attending upcoming 55th annual meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

New York, NY, February 17, 2011 – Girl advocates for change across the world are being trained in New York City this coming Sunday.

Their “boot camp,” conducted by the Working Group on Girls (WGG) at Pace University’s downtown Manhattan campus, will orient them to advocacy techniques, and to topical issues like increasing women’s participation in science and technology and discrimination and violence against girl children.

Over 275 girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 25 from nearly 20 countries will be present, having come to New York to participate in next week’s meetings of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). In the short run, Sunday’s training sessions are to orient and prepare them for those meetings; the longer run tactic is to “strategize for gender equality.”

The participants represent almost 45 non-governmental organizations ranging from the Plan International to Girls Learn International and Girl Scouts of the USA.

Around the world, youth-led rights advocacy efforts are gaining prominence and Sunday’s sessions, from 8 AM to 5 PM, will teach advocacy skills and introduce key CSW themes, presented by prominent girls’ rights advocates.

Media are invited to cover the gathering, which will take place at Pace University’s 1 Pace Plaza building just east of City Hall. The diverse young faces should make a fine photo op. Media admission by press pass. If possible, please reply before coming to the contacts above.

“Meaningful dialogue”

The event will provide a chance to meet and take the measure of several powerful global advocates.

At the opening session, at 10 AM, Michelle Bachelet, the President of Chile from 2006 to 2010, will deliver the keynote address. She is now Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile at a UN press conference

At 3:45 PM will come an address by Laymah Roberta Gbowee, Executive Director of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa. Gbowee has extensive experience in advocating for gender equality, and has developed and lead workshops on such tools as trauma counseling, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding.

Leymah Roberta Gbowee, Executive Director of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa (Photo credit: Michael Angelo/Wonderland)

Speeches will be interspersed by workshop sessions for participants. Organizers say the event is designed to help girls from around the world advocate for their own rights and engage in meaningful dialogue on gender equality.

The event, titled “Girls Stand Up,” is a partnership of the Pace University department of Women and Gender Studies and the Working Group on Girls (WGG), a 17-year-old coalition of nongovernmental organizations concerned with women’s issues. The WGG in turn is part of a wider coalition, the NGO Committee on UNICEF.

“The event provides a safe space for girls to connect with one another, share their experiences, and strategize for gender equality,” said Emily Bent, a member of WGG and a PhD candidate at National University of Ireland, Galway.

She added “We believe that girls’ voices, concerns, and ideas need to be heard at all levels of society; and we hope that this event brings visibility to girls’ rights and political agency.”

Orientation Day presentations will focus on the theme for this CSW 55, “Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work.” Training also will involve a review of progress on last year’s theme, “The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child.”

Next week’s sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women will be the 55th.

The Working Group on Girls (WGG) and its International Network for Girls (INfG) are dedicated to promoting the rights of girls in all areas and stages of their lives, advancing the rights and status of girls, and assisting them to develop their full potential as women. For more information, visit www.girlsrights.org.

A global policy-making body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide. For more information visit: http://www.unwomen.org/how-we-work/csw/

For 105 years, Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

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