Girls can be drivers of positive change

News Release
10 October 2013

Girls as drivers of change
Sen.Pia pushes for ‘girl empowerment’ on Int’l Day of the Girl Child

Senator Pia S. Cayetano is taking the cudgels for the country’s ten million adolescent girls, whom she describes as an ‘invisible sector’ often overlooked in the formulation of laws, government policies and in the delivery of social services.

“Girls aged 10 to 19 comprise an invisible and largely ignored sector in many developing countries, including the Philippines,” said Cayetano.

“Yet studies also show that these girls have great potential to become very productive members of society. That is, if sufficient resources are devoted by their respective governments to help uplift their situation through investments in health, education and technical and livelihood skills,” she added.

“By depriving them of opportunities to realize their full potential as they transition to become adult members of the family and society, we are virtually chaining adolescent girls to a life characterized by poverty, unemployment, and low-skill and low-paying jobs. We must begin to see their role as drivers of positive and meaningful change.”

The senator said that calls to advance the rights, welfare and social role of adolescent girls are included in a landmark document called the ‘Girl Declaration,’ which is set to be presented by advocates to United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon on October 11, the ‘International Day of the Girl Child.’

Cayetano is one of the leaders around the world who have signed the international declaration which pushes for five sets of goals for the upliftment of adolescent girls, including access to education, health, safety, economic security, and citizenship rights.

The declaration was drawn up based on inputs from 508 adolescent girls living in poverty in 14 countries across four continents, with the assistance of 25 leading development organizations.

Other notable signatories of the declaration include Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, South African peace icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and family literacy advocate and former United States First Lady Barbara Bush. #

Note: Full text and details about the ‘Girl Declaration’ are posted online: http://www.girleffect.org/2015-beyond/the-declaration/

[File photo] Empowering young girls: Sen. Pia Cayetano with young female students at Lamut Elementary School in La Trinidad, Benguet  in 2011

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