Girl Guides use art to demand change and end gender based violence across the world

24 Novembre 2017
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Girls are showing the danger and violence they face daily by drawing their unsafe spaces and places as part of an international campaign as a poll reveals 70% of girls feel most unsafe in the street

(London, UK) –  GIRL Guides from across the globe have united together to use art to show the places where they feel the most unsafe as part of a campaign led by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

To mark 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence in 2017, WAGGGS, who has partnered up for the first time with UN Women for the campaign, has asked Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to draw the places and spaces where they feel most under threat from violence and create a global voice demanding that gender-based violence is eradicated.

Themes on where girls feel unsafe have emerged, with a large number saying their unsafe place is walking on the street when it’s dark or on public transport.

16 days 2017 - Malaysia drawing Malaysia

In the run up to 16 Days, WAGGGS ran a global U-Report poll which had over 6,600 responses. The statistics from the poll has supported the emerging themes from the artwork with 70% of girls saying they felt most unsafe in the street.

The poll also revealed that 68% of female respondents said they feel most unsafe at night, 49% said they can’t move around freely in their communities without fear of violence, 41% said they feel most at risk on the way to school and 33% of all the respondents said they need freedom to speak out about these issues and info on ending violence in their schools in order to create safer environments.

We know that violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread human rights abuses on the planet and up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16, according to figures from UN Women.

16 days 2017 - Argentina drawing Argentina

WAGGGS’ World Board Chair, Ana Maria Mideros believes:

“Wherever she is from, whatever her background, every girl deserves to live her life without the threat from or fear of violence. However, these U-Report poll results show that for many girls, violence is still a huge issue. I want girls to know that Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting is open to every girl and will provide them with a safe space to talk about issues that affect them. I want them to know that together we are all working hard to stop gender-based violence.

“I am delighted that WAGGGS has partnered with UN Women for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence. This partnership will enable even more girls to speak out on a global platform about the violence, or the threat of violence, so many of them have to face on a regular basis and how they are working to stop it in their communities.”

“While closed doors still hide some forms of violence, young women are increasingly protesting against being attacked in public places, in full sight of passers-by or other passengers on public transport. I congratulate the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts on their campaign to build a global demand for the end of this and all forms of gender-based violence,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women. “Everyone has the right to go about their daily lives without fear of violence, and everyone has a role to play in changing this. There can be no bystanders”, she added.

16 days 2017 - Central African Republic Central African Republic

In 2011, WAGGGS launched its global campaign Stop The Violence to end violence against girls and women. Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are campaigning hard to make a difference all around the world.

Gender-based violence remains an issue in Tunisia but now girls are finding their voice and bravely speaking out in the face of violence.

Fatima, 28, from Tunisia said: “In Tunisia, girls’ rights are stolen from a young age. They are subjected to verbal violence and sexual violence on a daily basis. They are seen as inferior to boys and men. Women are not valued for their intelligence they are valued for their body or looks. Guiding and Girl Scouting has taught me so much. I feel I have so much to offer and I really feel like I am helping create a generation of future leaders.”

Harini, 18, lives in South India. She’s faced discrimination throughout her life. As an advocate for WAGGGS’ Stop The Violence campaign, she’s working with young people to challenge discrimination and speak out against violence.

She said: “Young people need to stand up and voice their views. It’s the only way we can change and challenge our communities. Stop The Violence has given me the courage to speak out and stay strong. It has taught me about my rights and the importance of gender equality and I want to continue to spread the message, during my day to day life.”

From 25 November – 16 December, WAGGGS will be sharing #GirlsareUnsafe to tie in with 16 Days of Activism. 

WAGGGS World Chair Ana Maria Mideros is available for interview.

For more information, please contact:

UK – Naomi Owen, Head of Communications
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
Phone: +44 (0)20 7433 6445




About World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is the world’s only movement for every girl and any girl because we believe that each of them deserves to be the best they can be. The diverse Movement represents ten million girls and young women from 150 countries. Free to make what they want from the Movement, girls learn by doing, making friends and having fun. In safe, local spaces, girls develop the skills and attitudes to change themselves, their communities and our world. WAGGGS keeps the global Movement thriving, united and growing.

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