G(irls) 20: The biggest issue facing women today

Currently, I am attending the G(irls) 20 Summit in Toronto as a part of the Free The Children delegation. G(irls) 20 brings together one delegate from each of the G20 countries who is between the ages of 18 and 20 to discuss the Millennium Development Goals and issues facing girls and woman in the world today. For more, please visit girlsandwomen.com. I’ll be providing coverage from the summit and posting it to this blog. Also, check out my Twitter for photos and more. Enjoy, Thunderbirds.

What is the biggest issue that is facing woman today and how do we tackle it? This was the big question presented at the G(irls) 20 Summit on June 16th in Toronto to a panel consisting of 5 distinguish women’s rights activists. One panelist, Pamela Shifman of the Novo Foundation took the lead and stated that girls today are not safe from violence and the entire world suffers because of it. She provided three concrete recommendations on how to change this major issue.

Her first recommendation was to change the equation that girls and women fit into. Shifman advises that we give girls economic assets like a bank account and an income. In many nations, women do not receive the proper education to obtain a job or marry young and bcome a housewife under her husband.

Secondly, Shifman told the G(irls) 20 Delegates and guests that the next step would to be provide girls and women with social assets to be girls. What does she mean, to be girls? In Canada, it isn’t a struggle for girls to embrace who they are. In many countries though, girls cannot act like girls because they are not provided with safe spaces to socialize.

Shifman’s last point stands strong, stating that boys and men must be engaged to become allies to girls and women. The issues against girls and women that still stand today cannot be fixed if only girls and women take action. It is a conversation that both men and women need to be a part of to correct the issue of violence against women.

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