Globally, up to six out of every ten women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. Domestic violence is the single biggest cause of injury and death to girls and young women aged between 15 and 44 worldwide. 60 million girls are sexually assaulted on their way to school each year. 1 in 5 girls and women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. 100 to 140 million girls and women in the world have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting. 60 million girls worldwide are child brides. In post conflict and disaster situations girls and women are at high risk of violence and sexual assault. Violence against girls puts them at higher risk of contracting AIDS.
These are disturbing statistics. They tell a tale of daily tragedy – no need for headline-grabbing earthquakes or disasters. They call for action and far-reaching change in our societies. One organization – previously known mostly for organizing walkabouts and jamborees – has decided to take on the challenge and ensure that the life of millions of girls and women around the world will change. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) has more than 10 million members in more than 145 countries.
Yvonne Akoth of the Kenya Girl Guides Association explains why she is supporting the campaign: “I am aware that ending violence against girls and women is achievable, if we as members of WAGGGS work together to advocate for appropriate policies and programmes that once put in place will help us achieve our goal. (…) I believe the campaign is important because if we strongly advocate for an end to violence against girls and women, we will make remarkable progress in achieving our Millennium Development Goals. “(You can read more about the campaign and Yvonne’s statement on http://www.wagggsworld.org/en/take_action/violence).
The Millennium Goals (MDGs) were set in 2000 by 189 world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit as the most compelling global agenda of our times. The goals, to be implemented by 2015, are sub-divided into eight focus areas and cover the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; universal primary education; the promotion of gender equality and empowering of women; a reduction of child mortality; improvements in maternal health; combatting HIV, AIDS, Malaria and other diseases; environmental sustainability; and the development of a global partnership for development.
WAGGGS have produced the MDG +10 report, demonstrating how girls and women worldwide are taking action on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. The report was presented at WAGGGS’ 34th World Conference, which took place on 11-15 July 2011 in Edinburgh. It can be downloaded from http://www.wagggsworld.org/en/grab/22188/1/mdg-10-report.pdf. Its translation was proudly supported by The Rosetta Foundation who participated in the World Congress with a stand and presentation We joined more than 600 young girls and women from more than 145 countries, representing more than 10 million members, who sent out a clear and proud message around the globe: Together we can change our world!