Online English News Across Asia
Taiwan Online English News
1) Civic group urges nation to establish annual ‘Girls’ Day’
2) Premier: Girls’ rights should be recognized by “Taiwan Girls Day” 3) Cabinet holds off naming Oct. 11 ‘Taiwan Girls’ Day’
4) Girls win award for their contribution to Taiwanese society
5) Taiwan has opportunity to back real girl power
6) Thousands march, rally for girls’ rights in Asia
7) Empowering girls in Taiwan
2013 Update: The Taiwan government has announced the inaugural Taiwan Girls Day. Read more about this!
Asian Ambassadors speak out on the International Day of the Girl Child
(October 11, Taipei, Taiwan) At the launch of the International Day of the Girl Child in Taiwan, representatives of the 15 countries, 80 organization and some 100,000 people taking part in Asian Girl Campaign gathered at the Garden of Hope’s headquarters in Taipei for a press conference on October 11, 2012.
Garden of Hope CEO Chi Hui-Jung, Vice President of the Legislative Yuan, Hong Xiuzhu and other government leaders highlighted the problems that face girls in the Asia region, including violence, abuse, trafficking, and discrimination.
Among the Asian representatives, 14-year-old Kanha from Cambodia explained how out of the four of her brothers and sisters, she is the only one still in school. She had been given confidence to seek an education and become a role model for others through a girls’ football program run by the Cambodia’s SALT Academy.
Another example of how education can help empower girls is 14-year-old Erdenetuul from Mongolia, who said after three years of classes at the Mongolian Youth Development Services Center (MYDSC), she is now a student leader at MYDSC’s internet club.
17-year-old Vashwati from Bangladesh spoke about the violence and abuse that girls in her country suffer, including forced marriage before the age of 15. When Vashwati was 14, she enrolled into a self-defense program organized by the Bangladeshi NGO NUK. The program helped empower her not just physically but mentally as well.
16-year-old Sandrine from the Philippines talked about volunteering with the elderly in her community, and raising awareness of social issues in her school through her role as editor of the student magazine.
Hong Xiuzhu stressed the need to have a Taiwanese “Day of the Girl”. Chi Hui-Jung expressed her regret that the Taiwanese government had failed to make October 11 a national day to mark the rights of the girl child.
The PPT presentations of the Ambassadors are as follows:
1) Bangladesh’s Shah Vashwati Madhurima Asian Girl Ambassador Presentation
2) Cambodia’s Kanha Keourm Asian Girl Ambassador Presentation
3) Mongolia’s Erdenetuul Batkhuyag Asian Girl Ambassador Presentation
4) Philippines’ Sandrine Espago Asian Girl Ambassador Presentation
Asia turns pink as 100,000 join campaign
With bright pink scarves tied around the necks, in their hair, on their wrists, or folded into broaches on their lapels, an estimated 100,000 people from 15 countries joined an Asian-wide campaign to mark the first International Day of the Girl Child on October 11.
The initiative was coordinated by the Garden of Hope Foundation in Taiwan, which set up this website, distributed posters and scarves, and sponsored Asian girl ambassadors to come to Taiwan to celebrate the occasion. Over 80 NGOs and schools signed up as campaign partners. The events they organized included rallies, award ceremonies, press conferences and workshops.
While the celebrations differed from country to country, a common motif at each event was the distinctive “Taiwan red” floral scarf. The bright pink fabric was the unifying theme of this year’s “Asian Girl Campaign”. The CEO of the Garden of Hope, Chi Hui-Jung, said the pattern represents “the exciting and endless possibilities that girls can create.”
For the campaign, the Mongolian Youth Development Services Center organized workshops and a televised talk show, which featured pop star Anu. Mongolia’s Princess Center organized a Freedom Parade on October 13th to support girls’ rights. In India, the Society for Education and Action (SEA) held a public awareness rally on October 10th. More than 350 girls, teachers, volunteers and activists marched for about four kilometers to call for the abolition of child marriage. The organization Door Step School India rallied girls in slum areas to mark the International Day of the Girl Child with marches, films, drawings and workshops. Meanwhile in Cambodia, girls flocked to a football festival organized by SALT Academy in Battambang on October 7th, where they also learned about leadership and self-respect. The Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development held a forum for 140 girls on stopping discrimination on October 8th.
The Garden of Hope has been lobbying for Taiwan to adopt a national day to celebrate girls’ rights for the last decade. After the United Nations designated October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child at the end of 2011, the Garden of Hope launched an Asian campaign in 2012 to mark the first International Day of the Girl Child and campaign for girls’ rights across the region.
In Asia, girls are routinely neglected and devalued. According to the Canadian NGO Plan, 48 percent of girls in South Asia are married before the age of 18 – the highest proportion in the world. The Global Gender Gap Index of 2011 placed Asia behind every world region apart from Africa in terms the disparity between boys and girls.
Even in developed Asian nations, girls are still trapped under a glass ceiling that limits their full potential, and are bombarded by media messages to conform to an unrealistic ideal of beauty. In Taiwan, the lower value attributed to girls can be seen in selective abortions, which accounted for 3,000 “missing” baby girls last year, according to the government’s Control Yuan.
In Taiwan, the focal point of the Asian Girl Campaign in Taiwan was the annual Formosa Daughters’ Awards, organized by the Garden of Hope on October 13. Outstanding girls picked up prizes for community work, fitness and sports, science and technology, courage and adventure, and creativity.
Now in their tenth year, the awards are designed to encourage girls to develop their full potential. To celebrate the first International Day of the Girl Child, this year the ceremony was attended by five Asian girl ambassadors, who represented some of the tens of thousands of people who took part in the Asian Girl Campaign.