Tänään parlamentissa kokoontui tyttöihin kohdistuvan väkivallan ehkäisemiseen omistautunut poikkikansallinen työryhmä. Mukana oli kansanedustajia ranskankielisistä Afrikan maista, Euroopan parlamentin väestö- ja kehitysryhmän jäseniä sekä World Future Council.
Minulla oli ilo avata tilaisuus muistuttamalla meidän politiikassa mukana olevien vastuusta tuoda näkyvyyttä naisten ja tyttöjen oikeuksille, toimia esimerkkinä ja mielipidevaikuttajina, tehdä päätöksiä oikean tiedon perusteella sekä rakentaa yhteistyötä yli kansallisten rajojen. Tämä tilaisuus oli hyvä esimerkki jälkimmäisestä.
Yhteistyötä tarvitaan jotta saamme tyttöjen oikeuksille niiden ansaitseman huomion ja rahoituksen kansainvälisellä tasolla. YK:n hankkeiden kautta tehtävä työ ja kestävän kehityksen tavoitteiden toteutuminen ovat tärkeitä edellytyksiä tyttöjen aseman parantamiseksi. Minua lämmitti suuresti paikalla olleiden sitoutuneisuus ja määrätietoisuus viedä tyttöjen oikeuksia eteenpäin yhtä hyvin paikallisissa yhteisöissään kuin kansainvälisillä foorumeilla.
Tässä avauspuheeni kokonaisuudessaan:
Members of Parliament,
Dear Guests and Esteemed Partners,
First of all, allow me to extend the most heartfelt gratitude of to our workshop participants for being present today in the European Parliament on this special occasion of the European Week of Action for Girls. Please let me also welcome our partners for this event, respectively, the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development and the World Future Council
Please allow me to thank Hon. Ms Marie-Rose Nguini Effa, Member of the Cameroon Parliament and the Panafrican Parliament and Acting Chair of the African Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development for her commitment and for making this delegation possible.
Finally, let me thank our distinguished panelists and all organisations present at this workshop.
From Cairo & Beijing until today, strong evidence supports the cause of the transformational power that eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence can have in development. Active advocacy remains instrumental in directing activities aimed at eliminating gender-based violence.
Thank you for joining us today to discuss how empowering girls against violence can change the lives of women and girls worldwide and can change the world.
Our long-standing commitment for girls’ rights is also a movement for girls’ empowerment that we should be proud to support.
Your attendance helps sending a clear message: Investing in a world free of violence for girls is not just right, it’s smart because it benefits everyone.
By joining us today as we celebrate girls worldwide and by spreading the word tomorrow you are making a difference.
• For millions of girls worldwide, their dreams, ambitions and plans are shattered simply because they are girls.
Along with poverty and discrimination, violence continues to deny millions of girls around the world their basic rights, including to education, healthcare, adequate and nutritious food, and protection.
Girls remain likely to miss out on school, to be expected to participate in domestic chores and be married at a young age. They are also less able to make free choices, even concerning their own lives and bodies and face a greater risk of violence because they are girls.
The simple fact of being born a girl is often the greatest barrier they face to realizing their human rights.
Gender-based violence is often deeply rooted in social and cultural attitudes and norms, and is often reinforced by discriminatory national legislations or policies, social structures, and educational systems.
Yet, their gender and age are just two risk factors for girls. In reality, a girl may suffer from multiple forms of violence if she also has disabilities, comes from a minority background, lives in a rural area, is poor, or suffers from any other form of vulnerability.
• Let’s be honest, the Millennium Development Goals have largely failed to protect adolescent girls from violence.
Girls are not getting the help they need to live a life free of violence. Despite often being the most vulnerable in unstable environments, the issue of gender-based violence and sexual violence often remain ”invisible” and their needs are ignored.
Experience shows that when girls are not explicitly mentioned as a unique cohort, interventions do not reach them. Girls face particular and acute challenges which are different to those of women, men, and boys. At the same time, girls’ experiences differ according to their age, with adolescent girls facing different challenges from younger girls.
•The EU can play an important role in helping girls to unleash their potential as powerful drivers of change.
The International Day of the Girl was a major gain for our community as a moment where advocates for the rights of girls can draw the world’s attention to their vital cause. Since 2011, the European Parliament supported this initiative with an overwhelming majority via an adopted Written Declaration. At the European Parliament, we worked together with EPF as a group of committed MEPs and partners around an annual “Week of Actions for Girls” to help set the ball rolling at the European Union Level. For 5 years now, the week includes a range of activities in and around the European Parliament to draw attention to the challenges and injustices that girls face worldwide and the value that protecting them can have. The 2015 European Week of Action for Girls therefore calls on the EU institutions to promote and protect girls’ rights worldwide by ensuring girls are visible in policies and programming.
Empowered girls themselves demonstrate to all interested parties – from both in and outside government in both donor and partner countries – how useful it can be to invest in the fight against violence against women and girls. The model of parliamentary leadership it demonstrates illustrates the activities that parliamentarians can undertake to ensure that these issues are at the top of the political agenda including.
– Using evidence to inform opinion
– Cultivating leadership to create support
– Promoting global parliamentary engagement
At the European Parliament, we support this important initiative of creating and sustaining a worldwide momentum in favour of a world free of violence for girls. As Francophone West and Central African countries address this important agenda, we salute your commitment to ensure that progress is being made.
Our Parliaments must now strive to bring the whole international community focused on preventing all forms of violence and harmful practices. We must ensure full recognition of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the SDG agenda.
To do this, as Parliamentarians engaged for human and social development, we must work together at all necessary levels.
– To ensure that there is a sufficient parliamentary pressure at UN level, including on funding from European donors for our allies such as UNFPA which is pushing for progress in this area;
– To further advance domestic, regional and international legislation on women and girls’ rights at all levels and we must be committed to securing a place for it in the post -2015 development framework;
– To be active in raising awareness in our parliaments and in the media.
Our collective action must help underline that neglecting to address gender-based violence has made the MDGs impossible to achieve.
I therefore look forward to the adoption of an ambitious roadmap and as I wish you a enriching and fruitful workshop, I look forward to the outcome of our collaboration.
I declare open this francophone parliamentary workshop on the elimination of violence against women and girls.