Update from Cecilia O’Dwyer IBVM –
October 2014 Click Here
Update from Cecilia O’Dwyer IBVM – September 2014 Click Here
Loreto at the UN – Update from Cecilia O’Dwyer IBVM – July 2014 Click Here
Loreto at the UN – Update from Cecilia O’Dwyer IBVM – May 2014 Click Here
United Nations Day, 24 October 2013: Secretary-General’s Message for 2013
The following information is about the way a new set of global development goals is being devised and how you can join in the conversation before they are finalized. Click here for more information.
Outcome of Women’s Commission 2013
International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation
6 February 2013
10 December 2012 – Two weeks ago the UN passed its first resolution condemning the practice of FGM; a university in Chicago awarded Ephigenia Gachiri ibvm an honorary doctorate for her work on this issue; and Pat Hanvey ibvm completed her internship with Sr Anne Kelly in our UN office.
Click here to read more
Perspective on Africa … from the UN –
Sr Pat Hanvey IBVM
I have been very privileged recently to undertake a seven-week internship experience at our Loreto NGO office at the UN in New York. Having been engaged in grass roots community development for many years, and presently living and working in the remote impoverished and undeveloped District of Lukulu, Zambia, I have valued this time as an opportunity to see and understand how these same development issues are dealt with at a more universal and global level.
Click here to read more
Fighting Human Trafficing
In the coming days, an important worldwide campaign against gender-based violence will come to an end. These “16 Days Against Gender Violence” began on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and they will end Dec. 10 on Human Rights Day.
To read more click here
First UN International Day of the Girl!
The first International Day of the Girl Child was celebrated with much enthusiasm in many parts of the world. What did you do to mark the occasion?
Why choose 10/11/12 to focus attention on the girls of the world? The girl advocates, who submitted the request for an international day to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, explained that this date was significant because for many girls gender inequity becomes apparent when they turn 10, 11 or 12and their lifelong struggle to combat discrimination, harmful cultural practices and violence begins.
Kamleesh Rai, Loreto’s UN Contact in Darjeeling, said that the schools in the region celebrated the International Day of the Girl with much pomp and gaiety. The purpose of the day was to generate in our students a sense of belonging, ingraining in them a confidence to face this challenging world. The day was marked with merrymaking and fun, which indeed left an indelible impression on every girl, preparing her for what is to come in the future.
A Darjeeling newspaper, the Statesman, filed a special report to mark the occasion. International Girls’ Day was observed here at Loreto Convent School and St Teresa Higher Secondary School. The United Nations General Assembly last year passed a resolution to create the 11 Oct day highlighting girls’ issues. St Teresa’s girls organized a school fete, open only to girls, and gave each one a number of specially designed coupons. Both staff and students wore pink.
Loreto Convent’s girls performed a street play for an open audience in Chowastra, as part of an anti-trafficking program with Darjeeling-based Mankind in Action for Rural Growth (MARG). As hundreds of audience members enjoyed the play, the convent girls distributed brochures and leaflets to raise awareness about the issue.
“With the UN passing the resolution to celebrate October 11 as Girls’ Day, the Convent students performed a play today on how easily Hills girls get trafficked,” said Loreto Convent Senior School Coordinator. “Although women in the Hills get good opportunities, trafficking is a major concern. While many arrests are made, wealthy traffickers can easily get bail.”
While the girls in the mountains of Darjeeling were demonstrating that advocacy about serious issues can also be fun, not so far away in Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai and two companions were gravely wounded for exercising their human right to attend school. An outspoken critic of gender inequity and oppression from an early age and proficient blogger in both English Urdu, Malala has been strongly supported in her activism by her family despite the obvious danger of retaliation from the Taliban. Nevertheless her father believes that not allowing her to talk about injustice is actually a greater risk than silence, because then she would have given into the slavery and subjugation of ruthless terrorism and extremism. In Malala’s words: If this new generation is not given pens, they will be given guns.
What is inspiring you at present in your advocacy efforts? I look forward to hearing what you and the people with whom you work are doing.
Anne Kelly ibvm, UN Representative
21 October 2012
Celebrate the first UN International Day of the Girl!
In recognition of the particular challenges and power of girls, the United Nations has declared 11 October “International Day of the Girl Child”
The United Nations General Assembly has nominated 11 October as the day to recognize girls’ rights and their unique challenges. This global action follows a multi-year campaign by activists in Canada and the United States. In reserving a day for advocacy and action by and for girls, the UN has signaled its commitment to end gender stereotypes, discrimination, violence, and the economic disparities that disproportionately affect girls.
The Day of the Girl is about highlighting, celebrating and advancing girls’ lives and opportunities across the globe. When girls come together to talk about what matters to them, they can teach other people – adults, boys, girls all across the world – a new way of thinking about issues such as gender stereotypes, discrimination, and opportunity.
Goal: To help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for ways to improve girls’ lives, by providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential
- To obtain a toolkit of resources go to: http://dayofthegirlsummit.com/learn-more-about-day-of-the-girl/
Other International Days to keep in mind at this time are:
21 September International Day of Peace
25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Elimination of Discrimination
Much of the work at the UN is aspirational in nature, consisting of declarations and resolutions intended to persuade political leaders to work together to create a safer and fairer world. To read more click here
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
Earth Summit, known as RIO +20, takes place in Brazil in June – to read a detailed account click here
DESPERATE 5-YEAR-OLDS WORK 11-HOUR DAYS
The attached document which was published in Australia, gives us an idea of the plight of child brickmakers and a beautifully creative IBVM initiative to help them. Millions of women and children are performing back-breaking labour in brickfields across India for about $1.30 a day. Aussie journalist Elouise Hahn, who spent three months in Kolkata filming a documentary on the issue, tells Grazia it can’t go on..To read more click here
The Permanent Session on Indigenous Issues is in progress at the UN from today, Monday 7th, May 2012. The special theme this year is the “Doctrine of Discovery” and its enduring impact on indigenous peoples throughout the world. It is worthwhile reading up about the Doctrine of Discovery initiated more than 500 years ago. Today, it is still being applied to indigenous peoples and is often marked by the violations of cultural practices and spiritual expressions, expropriation of lands, territories and resources and ongoing violations of indigenous peoples’ human rights. How about visiting the following Web site: www.un.org/indigenous where you will find background and other related documents of the eleventh session of the Forum!
RIO+20, BRAZIL, JUNE 2012
“Rio+20” is the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012. Rio+20 is an unprecedented opportunity to look ahead to the world we want in 20 years. To read moreclick here
HUMAN TRAFFICING SEMINAR – TORONTO 2012
The Canadian Lorettos recently organised a seminar on human trafficking that attracted much interest from a wide range of people, including male and female high schools students. A federal MP, who has introduced a number of bills on the prosecution and sentencing of human traffickers, opened the proceedings. After a moving testimony by a trafficking survivor, three activists working at the national and international level took the floor: an ex-policeman, a First Nations woman and the Canadian director of International Justice Mission. Evanne Hunter ibvm (Provincial Leader) set the scene for the day in the following manner. To read more click here
COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN 2012
From 29 February to 9 March, representatives of member states of the United Nations spent two weeks working on ways to improve the situation of rural women throughout the world. At the same time civil society women came in their thousands, bringing their concerns and experience of specific situations and aspects of this ongoing process. The official negotiations by governments were accompanied by over 300 NGO events. Boys and men also took part in the numerous activities and discussions.To read more click here
The Commission on the Status of Women, commences next week – (27th Feb – 9th March 2012). The followingpiece was written by Cecilia O’Dwyer IBVM, who is currently working with Sr Anne Kelly at the UN in New York. To read the article click here.
Theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2012 – Stronger women, stronger nations
“Invest in rural women. Eliminate discrimination against them in law and in practice. Ensure that policies respond to their needs. Give them equal access to resources. Provide rural women with a role in decision-making.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Slavery is a word we associate with antiquated and deeply unjust societies, yet for the 15 to 30 million slaves living in2011 it is a daily reality. Characterized by a denial of self determination, these enslaved individuals are forced to work for little or no pay under the control of another person. Trafficking of persons plays a large role in modern day slavery, with 75-80% of all human trafficking victims being sold into the sex trade. To read more click here
Valuable resources – learn more about slavery, human trafficking and what you can do
- Interactive website where you can see how many slaves play a role in producing the products you consume: http://slaveryfootprint.org/
- Learn more about multinational companies are working towards fair-trade cocoa production: http://www.raisethebarhershey.org/wpcontent/uploads/2011/09/HersheyReport2011.pdf
- Sign on to the Blue Heart Campaign: http://www.unodc.org/blueheart/en/about-us.html
- Video representation of the reality of human trafficking and the sex trade: http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DBdW05BC4emw
- Mary Ward Social Centre works on programs to combat human trafficking in northern India. http://www.ibvm.org/index.phphttp://www.ibvm.org/index.php option=com_content&view=article&id=499:loreto-sisters-combat-human-trafficking&catid=136:the-un-ngos&Itemid=181
- At the United Nations, human trafficking comes under the umbrella of the Office of Drugs and Crime. Learn more: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/faqs.html
Online Campaign to End World Poverty
Are you concerned about the inequitable distribution of wealth and resources in our world?
Would you like to make Poverty History for everyone in both the so-called developed and developing worlds?
Take a minute to have your say about poverty.
This online campaign to hold all governments around the world accountable for providing the basic rights of their citizens is gaining momentum around the world. It would be wonderful if Loreto schools and communities registered their support as well.
Vote in the online petition for a Social Protection Floor by clicking on the following link
‘Social Protection Floor’ means ensuring the basic human rights of each person. Please vote in this online petition if you believe that every person is entitled to a basic set of essential social rights including food, water, housing, education and work. By voting you are using your voice to encourage governments to allocate more money to social services that meet the most basic needs and respect the dignity of every person.
It only takes a minute to register your vote, but its impact could be long lasting. This online campaign is rapidly gaining support among grassroots activists around the world, and has the potential to become a powerful advocacy tool, so we urge you to do your bit.
After you have voted, please use your networks to spread this message. Talk to your friends and family, post this petition on facebook, email your contacts and/or share the link with colleagues. We are aiming for one million signatures by the end of the year. With your help this petition will improve people’s lives in every country round the globe.
Here are two valuable resources on the Social Protection Floor.
Anne Kelly, IBVM UN representative
On behalf of the NGO on Social Development