The issues

Violence against girls and women is one of the most widespread violations of human rights around the world:
  • UN Women estimates that up to six out of ten girls and women globally will be subject to violence or abuse in their lifetime
  • Domestic violence is the single biggest cause of injury and death to girls and women aged between 15 and 44 worldwide
  • 60 million girls are sexually assaulted at or on their way to school each year
  • Women and girls constitute 80 per cent of the estimated 800,000 people trafficked annually, with the majority trafficked for sexual exploitation
  • Over three million girls a year still suffer the trauma and long-term consequences of female genital mutilation
  • More than 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18
  • In post-conflict and disaster situations girls and women are at high risk of violence and sexual assault

Why are Girl Guides and Girl Scouts taking action?

AIDS 2010 conference- Global VillageThe campaign will reach out to Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in over 100 countries, to their communities, to our partners, to decision-makers in governments and internationally, to influencers such as the media and celebrities.

At its heart, the campaign is about empowering girls and young women to understand their rights and have the skills and confidence to claim their rights and the rights of others. It will ensure that it is girls and young women who are the instigators of the change they want to see in the world.

Because we must

It is estimated that up to six out of every ten girls and women will experience violence and/or sexual abuse in their lifetimes. These girls are part of our Movement. They are our family and friends. They live in the communities where we have pledged to make a difference. We have a responsibility to them and an opportunity to empower girls to speak out and take action.

Because we can

We are the voice of girls and young women, we work with millions of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts across the world and already many of our members are working on stopping the violence.

Because education is key

Sangam YWWF delegates at workEducation, and in particular non-formal education, has a huge role to play in ending violence and we are experts in non-formal education. By empowering girls and young women to understand and assert their rights you create a powerful force for transformation. By challenging gender stereotypes and reaching out to boys and young men through non-formal education you challenge the root causes of violence.

Because girls and young women told us this is important

We identified this issue in a consultation process with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts where it was highlighted as one of the things they most want to take action on.

Because no-one else is

You might think there are a lot of campaigns out there to end violence against girls. There are not. There are some that focus on ending violence against women. There are some that focus on ending a specific form of violence in a specific place. But there are no global campaigns dedicated to ending violence in all its forms against girls and young women.

UN Women’s end violence against women section tell us that this is a space where there is no data, no voice, no programmes and no investment, and our research shows this to be true on the ground. Our education programme on ending violence and girls’ rights is unique in the world, the only global programme of its kind.

So if we don’t take a stand, who will?