WAGGGS launches Voices against Violence at a special CSW side event

12 March 2013

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) launched Voices against Violence, a unique educational initiative on violence against girls developed in partnership with UN Women. 

Voices against Violence was launched at a special side event entitled ‘Girls at the frontlines of prevention’ at the 57th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York. Guest speakers at the launch included Michele Bachelet, UN Women Executive Director; Ahmed Alhindawi, UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth and Mary Mc Phail, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Chief Executive.

The event highlighted the role of young people as agents of change and key actors in the prevention of violence against girls and women.

Imagining a different future for girls and young women

“We are all touched in some way by violence and the fear of violence,” said Mary Mc Phail, Chief Executive of WAGGGS. “For far too long girls and young women have had to live with this intimidation in fear and in silence. Imagine for a moment how the ever present threat of violence in our homes, in our schools, on the streets, influences the decisions that we make every day – both consciously and unconsciously? And now I invite you to imagine a world where all girls and women feel free and safe, and where they are fully empowered to fulfil their potential.”

Voices against Violence will help five million children and young people learn to talk about violence, understand its root causes, recognize their rights and develop the skills and confidence to claim those rights for themselves and others. It will empower girls and boys, young women and young men to be leaders, to speak out and take action. 

Voices against Violence is an international, non-formal co-educational initiative which engages boys and men, parents and the community in the sometimes challenging conversations about violence.  It is part of WAGGGS’ broader campaign to “Stop the violence – Speak out for girls’ rights,” which will engage 30 million people to add their voice and take action to end violence. 

Partners lend their support to 'Stop the Violence'

At the launch event, key partners reiterated their commitment to WAGGGS’ campaign. A number of youth organizations committed to using and promoting the curriculum among their constituencies.

“The World Alliance of YMCAs is proud to stand behind our sister organisation the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to offer our full-hearted support to the campaign to stop violence against girls and young women” – World Alliance of YMCAs.

"We have seen first-hand how effective education, particularly non-formal education is in addressing such important issues with young people and empowering them to be part of the solution. As an organization of 31 million young people and volunteers, we commit to support the Stop the Violence campaign and its work throughout our Movement” – World Organisation of the Scout Movement

“As an organization committed to working with young people to create global citizens and equipping them with skills for life, we understand the importance of supporting WAGGGS on such a significant topic.” – The International Award Association

14 young women delegates are representing WAGGGS at the 57th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). WAGGGS delegates lobby on important issues at the conference, organise and attend side events, speak on panels and represent WAGGGS’ 10 million girls and young women around the world. Learn more about the delegation.

Become a Voices against Violence partner: Deliver an educational programme to stop violence against girls

Through its campaign, WAGGGS is creating a global community committed to ending violence against girls and young women. As experts in education, community action and advocacy, we are reaching out to 30 million people in over 100 countries to break the culture of silence on violence and take action to end it. Building from a whisper to a shout we will end violence against girls.

We invite you, Girl Guide and Girl Scout associations, youth organizations, governments, schools and other groups, to deliver the curriculum and help make a difference to the lives of millions of children and young people and their communities.

For more information download our partners’ brochure.

Access all Voices against Violence resources

Learn more about other ways to get involved at the Stop the Violence website.