Last month, I spent a beautiful and chilly afternoon at George Washington University (GWU) as a speaker on the panel, Violence against Girls: From Child Marriage to Dating Violence. The event was in honor of the 16 Days of Action against Gender Violence and I represented Girl Up and its mission to eradicate violence against girls. Joining me were panelists Ann Warner, Senior Gender and Youth Specialist for the International Center for Research on Women; Rhett Walker, the Campus Training Coordinator for Men Can Stop Rape; and Tara Pereira who is the Director of Campus Inclusion Initiatives at GWU.
Not only was the panel an outpouring of facts, figures, and statistics, but it was also a forum for people who care about the safety of girls to talk about solutions to ending gender violence. I loved hearing Ms. Warner’s presentation on how ICRW is implementing educational programs for girls who are already married and Mr. Walker explaining how his organization, Men Can Stop Rape, gives young men in the Washington, D.C. area a place to talk about problems with the masculine stereotype. Ms. Pereira included what the GWU community is doing to combat gender-based violence and to ensure that the university is making the campus the safest place possible for its students.
What was my role? I spoke on what everyday people like you and me can do to help to make the world a safer place for girls. Get involved in organizations like Girl Up. Find your voice. Be confident and strong to help girls in the underdeveloped world to be confident and strong and together we can make the world safer for girls.