Girls will tell their own stories at UN

Solana Larsen

Some 200 young girls from around the world will be participating in the CSW. No doubt it’s a bit of a media ploy, but it does sounds like they will be given a chance to address the 4000 government and NGO delegates directly.

Giving girls a chance to voice their own views is perfectly in tune with goal of the meeting. Reminders that the lives of real people are at stake is probably a good thing, seeing how far away from everything Midtown New York feels.

The UN’s NGO Working Group on Girls represents a ton of NGOs, many who will bring girls they work with directly. Together with the NGO Committee on the Status of Women they have sent out a press release with biographies of some some of their special guests.

INDIA, Age 17: We were a family of seven, but not for long. My father abandoned us and all because my mother asked him to buy us books for schooling. We were alone at that time but later on we developed strength and courage I believe that family support, moral values, education and my faith has given me the strength to face life bravely and look forward to a wonderful future.

KENYA, Age 16: Where l live, in the slum many young girls have been victim of severe poverty, being forced into prostitution. Reality here is bad. Prostitution results in pregnancy and backstreet abortions, leaving some girls dead. Other girls are seen as suitable only for a second or third marriage in polygamous relationships. She is used to bear children for the man, especially if he is rich. She is the one who labors for the new family. NGOs have saved many from this fate.

TOGO, Age 14: I am a member of a radio club. We promote the rights of child through radio and sensitize others on bad things that happen in our communities and in the country. I can talk in front of everybody because I believe that if people get to know what is happening they will be able to help us to fight against it.

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