My Girl Scouts journey
As Guides and Girl Scouts, colourful badges tell our unique stories of change. They record the opportunities we take, from sunny summer camps to a programme to end violence against girls and women, or leadership in the community. The opportunities our Movement creates are the ones that change lives. It is the same Movement that helped me to discover my full potential as a young woman and brought me to a global stage where I am able to use my voice on behalf of 10 million girls worldwide. After all, Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting takes pride in turning dreams into actions.
I attended the World Conference on Youth in 2014 as a WAGGGS Youth Delegate, and since then I have been actively involved in the policy making and advocacy for the welfare of the youth in the Philippines. The experience demonstrated to me the possibilities for what girls and young women can achieve if we are given a platform and opportunity to have an active voice. We are no longer just the beneficiaries of development, but in fact the key to change.
Women Deliver: Showcasing the power of girls and women
This month, I am continuing to take action for girls as a Youth Scholar at the Women Deliver Conference. With at least 5,000 in attendance, this year’s gathering in Copenhagen, Denmark is set to be one of the largest gatherings of world leaders, advocates, policymakers, journalists, young people, researchers, and leaders of corporations and NGOs, showcasing what it means for the world when we invest in girls and women.
I will be participating in the Youth Conference on 16 May, where I’m eager to meet and work with young people from around the world, especially on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs). It is important for me that we look at how young people can and are contributing to successfully deliver these ambitious Goals. I am looking forward to sharing some of the best practices and major themes of WAGGGS, like empowering girls to be leaders, working to end gender-based violence, and building girls’ body image and self-esteem.
Learning from the best
At this year’s conference, we are looking at around 200 sessions and special events to choose from! The roster of speakers includes, among others, Melinda Gates, Darren Walker, Graca Machel and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. The conference has 14 core themes and there are a few themes that I am particularly excited to attend.
First is Making the SDGs Work for Girls and Women We have already done a great job in WAGGGS in rallying for the inclusion of girls and women in the SDGs. I’m interested in exploring the impact of all the Global Goals on the lives of girls and women at a grassroots level. Through this, I will be able to help create more comprehensive advocacy for the SDGs in Girl Scouting and Girl Guiding, especially with a girl’s lens.
The second theme I’m interested in is Strengthening Women’s Political Participation. I’d like to hear stories of women leaders who served as role models in their communities. In Girl Scouting and Girl Guiding, we encourage our girls to take leadership roles in their own troop and my vision is for them to translate these roles into meaningful political participation in the future.
There will also be a special evening with Danish Ministers and Parliamentarians where I can learn more about why Denmark was recently named as the best place to be a woman. These presentations will help me learn about the policies and implementation strategies that we can probably follow back in the Philippines. Maybe we can lobby for new laws or strengthen the implementation of the current laws, either way I’m excited to engage in this interesting chat.
The world I want to see
In a world where we are challenged to make a difference, it is my aspiration that:
- More girls stay longer in school
- More women are healthier and are free to make their life choices.
- More women own enterprises and are able to provide for their families.
- And finally, more women take on key decision-making positions in the government.
For a young woman like me, this is what a successful future looks like, and it is my dream that we all continue to take action for all girls and women worldwide. I know that I will meet people at Women Deliver who share my aspirations; together we can work to change the world and create more opportunities for girls and women, now and in the future.
- Angeli Monique Siladan
Young Adult Volunteer, Girl Scouts of the Philippines
Create opportunities for girls
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