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Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day Celebrations Conclude GSNorCal Girls' Participation in UN's Commission on Status of Women

World YWCA's Nyaradzai Gumbonzvada
We think it's perfectly fitting that on International Women's Day, 5 of our girls from Girl Scouts of Northern California are finishing up an incredible experience in New York City as part of the United Nation's Commission on the Status of Women! 

This morning, our girls from GSNorCal marched - in the snow! - in the International Women's Day Celebration March starting at the United Nations and continuing through the city, and they are returning to Northern California this evening. Safe travels, girls -- you were excellent leaders before you departed, and you'll be even more exceptional after this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Highlights of our girls' work this week included:
  • Allison was a featured speaker and panelist at the Boy Girl Dialogue.
  • Jessica presented group recommendations for impacting violence against women.
  • America, Larissa, and Allison helped to complete the teen statement at the Girl's Caucus.
  • Varsha testified in a case at The Girls’ Tribunal on Violence, which was a unique opportunity for teen girls to share the impact that violence has had on their own lives. Girls are the experts of their own experience and the Tribunal created a space in which girls’ voices are given the respect they deserve. The Tribunal highlighted girls’ experiences with violence and how they have taken steps to move forward and work towards preventing violence. Divided into three topics, the girls’ testimonies addressed violence in the media, in their communities and in their schools. Special attention was given to the ways that girls’ experiences have led them to advocacy and activism against violence.
  • Larissa and America presented to Commission on the Status of Women delegates a session called “Girls Ending the Cycle: Combating Inter-Generational Violence Through Leadership and Empowerment.”
  • Jessica and Varsha were asked by the Princess of Saudi Arabia, Her Royal Highness Basmah bint Saud, to join her in a Skype session. The Princess was the sponsor of The Girls' Tribunal on Violence and wanted feedback from our girls!
  • Varsha and Prince Zeid
  • Our girls had the opportunity to interact with many leaders, officials, and dignitaries, including World YWCA Gen. Secretary Nyaradzai Gumbonzvada; His Royal Highness Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations; UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and actress Monique Coleman from High School Musical.
About International Women's Day

International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900s. IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The United States even designates the whole month of March as 'Women's History Month.' The tradition sees men honoring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

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