As the UN member states gather next week in New York to embrace the Sustainable Development Goals, the world is reeling from the heartbreaking reality and images of massive human flight — from war and broken states, from poverty, and yes, from the effects of climate change.
With this flight of refugees and other migrants, we see more and more women and girls pouring into urban areas in both impoverished and advanced industrialized countries. These women and girls, and their families, are at tremendous risk — joining those already at terrible risk, the women, girls and families living in chronically impoverished slum settings who, on a daily basis, endure the constant privations, indignities, lack of opportunity, and physical, sexual and psychological abuse borne of extreme urban poverty.
For the world to realize the Sustainable Development Goals, most notably
11 (to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,” and to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,” respectively), we need the following:
1. Far greater financing of the specific targets included in these Goals
2. To hear, and to respond to the needs and challenges of urban women and girls, about their needs, and challenges, and to learn from them what is working and what is not.
This morning, we were joined by four esteemed panelists to discuss how to bring these ambitious Goals close to the ground:
WomenStrong Consortium Project Directors, Abenaa Akuamoa-Boateng, of Women’s Health to Wealth, in Kumasi, Ghana, and Beldina Opiyo-Omolo, of Alice Visionary Foundation Project, in Kisumu, Kenya, as well as two of our brilliant colleagues with a global reach — Judith Bruce, of the Population Council, and Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro of the Global Fund for Women — to share their approaches to helping women and girls in under-resourced urban settings remain safe and lead more resilient, fulfilling lives.
We’ll be talking more about the contents of the webinar over the next couple of weeks, but we wanted to share some visuals from today’s webinar while it is still fresh in our minds.
– Judith Bruce’s presentation on the success of Population Council partners in identifying and reaching out to at-risk girls in hard-to-reach areas in Ethiopia, and the importance of doing so at an early age; Download Here
– Abenaa Akuamoa-Boateng’s discussion of providing reproductive health education and services to at-risk adolescent girls, and health services and economic empowerment opportunities to market women, in and around Kumasi, Ghana; Download Here (/document/11)
– Beldina Opiyo-Omolo’s discussion of the extreme vulnerability of girls in the slums of Kisumu, Kenya, and how her organization has begun to address it comprehensively, including by reaching out to at-risk boys; Download Here (/document/10)
– Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro’s description of the work and philosophy of the Global Fund for Women, in enabling women’s organizations on the ground to grow, expand their reach and share their successes, all while advocating for greater financing and commitment on the part of the international community to women’s and girls’ empowerment. Coming Soon
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