Guiding Girls to Eliminate Violence Against Women

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, a day recognized by the United Nations for over 30 years. We know that violence still continues to affect us all, including the young and old, rich and poor, female and male. For many, the task of stopping violence against women seems impossible. Where can one begin? We say: by taking smalls steps.

There are so many ways you can help. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is sharing it’s Stop the Violence Campaign message loud and clear. Today, they are asking us to participate in the ‘16 Days to Make Girls Heard‘ campaign.  They also provide numerous other ways we can all take action.

Here are some small steps shared with us on twitter by some of our online friends:

Queens University WISE Twitter Account Message

Queens University WISE Twitter Account Message

Guider Belinda on Twitter

Guider Belinda on Twitter

If Manifest Twitter Message

If Manifest Twitter Message

At the Girl Guides of Canada National office, we all feel very passionate about this topic too, after all, we participate daily in the administration of the volunteer managed ‘girl greatness’ machine! And so we couldn’t ask you to commit to one small step towards stopping violence against women, without making our own personal commitments! Here is what we had to say:

When I hear a sexist “joke” I will let people know why it isn’t funny and how it damages women and girls. — Jacqueline. Girl Programs

Explain to my daughter that any form of violence is not acceptable even if a boy says ‘it was just a game’. — Talya. Marketing and Communications

I commit to loving-kindness meditation. — Anne.

Raise awareness about the sheer prevalence of violence against girls and women – both at home and abroad – and how none of us are disconnected from its impact, no matter how far away it may seem. -– Myna. Girl Programs

Tell my friends, both male and female, to watch the company they keep to avoid being dragged into potentially dangerous/violent situations.
— Christine. Marketing and Communications

Volunteer at a women’s shelter or other organizations that helps survivors or works to prevent violence against women like Amnesty International.
— Aliya. Cookie Department

I will share with my friend that violence isn’t only physical, that verbal abuse is a form of violence as well and she doesn’t have to accept the verbal abuse dished out by her partner. — Heather. Executive Suite

Teach my kids that everyone should be treated with respect, courtesy and kindness. — Nisha. Marketing and Communications

I will explain to my son that when a woman or girl is walking home alone when it’s dark out, he should not come up close behind them to pass, but walk on the other side of the street to give the woman or girl the feeling of safety.  — Andrea.

I will teach my 2 sons that any form of violence with words, weapons or fists is not acceptable to anyone, at any age. — Pat. Merchandising

Women are human beings and any form of violence against them should be stopped!  I will bring up the topic on our next coffee hour session where I meet a group of ladies in my community.  Just thinking about it, I can already hear their voices talking about this topic.  — Yolanda.

When my twin son and daughter are getting a little too silly and a little too loud together, I’m just going to let it go. Because a strong brother-sister relationship will help them support each other as young adults and know the inherent value of healthy relationships.  — Mary. Communications

To make a donation to a local women’s shelter so that women and children continue to have a safe place to go when they choose to leave violent homes
-– Sharon.

I will support the white ribbon campaign. — Linda.

Continue dialogues with my young adult son to never commit violence against women. — Patti. Executive Suite

We help create norms – the more we enable the unacceptable, the more it becomes acceptable. When I was younger, I shared in humour that demeaned women – that demeaned me (I am a woman). I now let others know that I value myself and other women, by refusing to laugh at these types of jokes.
— D. Adult Member Support Department

Violence against women can take so many forms beyond obvious physical abuse. Violence includes psychological or emotional abuse, verbal abuse, mistreatment and neglect, and any woman, of any age, can be a victim. I commit to ensuring my daughter and her friends understand  that none of these behaviours are acceptable, ever, and to believe in themselves enough to speak up and bring this issue out in the open. It’s the only way it can, and will be stopped.  — Margaret.

I spread the message about NO MEANS NO to as many of my little sisters out there as I possibly can. — Anita. Finance Department.

Additional Resources:

A list of Girl Guide programs that educate girls and women on healthy relationships and anti-bullying activities.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls in all parts of the world.

YWCA’s Rose Campaign to end violence against women and girls takes its name from the rose button created after 14 young women were murdered on December 6, 1989 and commemorates December 6 as Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Watch and share WAGGG’s Stop the Violence video:

What small step can you take to stop the violence?

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3 Responses to Guiding Girls to Eliminate Violence Against Women

  1. Ashes says:

    I just found this blog, and I love it! I’ve been involved in guiding for as long as I can remember. I was a spark, brownie, guide, pathfinder, ranger, and junior leader, and now I’m a unit leader of a 18 girl Spark troop. It’s the first time I’ve been *in-charge* in-charge, and as someone who naturally migrates to second-in-command positions it’s been intimidating.
    In regard to the current post I’d like to address bullying, which I know isn’t strickly violence against women, but it’s a topic my girls are more likly to face. Girl-to-girl bullying, what GGC documentation likes to call “social bullying” is a topic I worry about. Not the outright and obvious situations, which are easier to deal with IMO, but the more subtle exclusion. One thing that bothers me is when my girls are already clique-y, they have their little packs and best friends. The exclusion of girls not in these groups is sometimes heartbreaking.
    I think in guiding girls should leave their best friends at the door. When they enter our meeting area I expect them to be friends with everyone, and not to favor each other. One way I encourage this is my assigning partners and groups randomly, I don’t let my girls pick their own.

  2. Holly says:

    At this week’s meeting our Pathfinder unit talked about healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships. We were surprised how much the girls were interested – asking lots of questions and seriously thinking about how to help yourself/friends if they end up in a bad situation. They’re all just starting to date and think about boys, so it was a timely activity! We feared some of the parents might think it was too soon for them to learn about these issues, but the response we got from our “heads-up” email was super supportive! All the parents were saying these issues should be discussed more in school. Next week we’re also attending a Dec. 6th Vigil and dedicating our work with the Girls For Safer Communities program to the memory of the Polytechnique victims.

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