International Day of the Girl - Rea from Kosovo, one of the three speakers talking on girls participation in decision making!
In marking the International Day of the Girl 2020 - Cantering girls’ voices in the international system, an online intergenerational dialogue was organized on 8 October 2020. Rea Sylejmani - 17, was one of the Child Advisors that SC in Kosovo has been supporting to take part as a guest speaker.
The session was in the format of an intergenerational dialogue between 3 girl activists (Rea from Kosovo, Lubinda from Zambia and Angelica from Australia) and 3 high-level leaders (Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Martin Chungong, Secretary-General of IPU -Chair of the International Gender Champion Board, and Diene Keita, Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA). The event aimed to create a space for girl advocates and high-level international leaders to explore girls’ views on how the international community can include them in decision-making process, furthermore, the event was the occasion to hear the leaders’ perspectives on how the system/organization in which they operate can concretely change to actively engage girls in decision-making process. The girl advocate’s role was to give their opinions and discuss with the leaders on their perspectives on how the international community can include girls in decision-making processes. Rea, from Kosovo, spoke around the issue on why is it so important to involve children and young people, girls and boys, in decision-making processes at all levels, especially in the context of COVID-19.
“We want new policies that allow girls to speak up every day, not just on special days that mark an international movement,” said Rea, 17 years old, from Kosovo.
Save the Children in Kosovo asked Rea about the event before and after. See below quotes from Rea:
Before the event:
“This dialogue will be a great opportunity for any girl. I look forward to see our requests being heard and taken into account. My representation in this dialogue is the voice of every girl in Kosovo, so I will give my best to put forth their challenges and demand action. Let’s remember that every day is International Girls' Day and that every day is a new opportunity to be part of the change we want to see.”
After the event:
“It was amazing, even though everything was through a screen, I think the words we conveyed were very clear and had a great intention for all girls everywhere. This event allowed girls to have an opportunity to understand the flexibility of high institutions and that they’re not too far if you really want to reach them. I will keep with myself the words said in the event by the high commissioner Ms. Michelle Bachelet that, when you invite someone to sit on the table, we must give clear recommendations and ways to change and shape our future for the best.”
- If you wish to watch the dialogue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQdfUKO7XQ0&feature=youtu.be
- The WHO released an article of this event highlighting the girls’ intervention: https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2020/10/11/default-calendar/international-day-of-the-girl-child