International President’s Committee announced that Girls’ Brigade International has been accredited with special consultative NGO status by the United Nations. This is an integral part of Girls’ Brigade International’s future advocacy strategy moving forward and an achievement to celebrate on our 125th birthday year.
Girls’ Brigade International President Mrs Priscilla Penny from Zimbabwe shares: ‘We thank God for this tremendous opportunity to turn up the volume of Gospel hope for girls in this influential global forum. Being recognised by the United Nations will amplify GB International’s platform to advocate for and with girls on gender justice issues and help empower girls to transform their communities. As one of only a few recognised Christian organisations focussing on transforming girls’ lives, Girls’ Brigade has a huge opportunity to show how faith can make a difference in the lives of girls.’
What does having consultative status mean?
Having consultative status enables GB International and our members to:
- Provide expert analysis on gender justice issues
- Help raise public awareness of gender justice issues on the global stage
- Play a major role in advancing United Nations goals and objectives on gender equality
- Attend international conferences and events for free
- Make written and oral statements to United Nations and influence policy making
- Organize events at United Nations
- Have opportunities to network and lobby (and make fundraising contacts)
It also enables Girls’ Brigade International to have a presence at the annual Commission of the Status of Women (CSW).
What is the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)?
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global policy making body dedicated to gender equality and advancement of women. The Commission meets annually for a period of 10 working days each March in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide.
Attending CSW would enable GB International to contribute our unique faith-based Gospel hope perspective, influence global policies affecting girls and women and network with high-level individuals and organisations leading to collaborative partnerships.
A few members of the International President’s Committee will be attending CSW in March 2019 in order to assess future opportunities. It is hoped that in future years, GB members of all ages will attend to develop advocacy, communication and leadership skills and faciltate faith-based workshops at the event.
Why is Girls’ Brigade developing an advocacy strategy?
Over the last few years, GBI has been developing its advocacy emphasis along with its missional and evangelistic ethos.
GBI President: ‘GBI’s advocacy development is about equipping girls and young women to turn up the volume of Gospel hope for girls in communities across the world. Girls’ Brigade cares for girls because God cares for girls. GB wants to celebrate the value and potential of girls and women across the world as they’re made in God’s image. After all, that’s what Jesus did.’
‘Unfortunately in many places, it is very challenging to be a girl. I’m more likely to not be able to read and write because I’m a girl. I’m more likely to have tears of sorrow (not tears of joy) on my wedding day because I’m a girl. I’m more likely not to have a choice about where and when my first sexual experience happens because I’m a girl.’
‘But there is always hope. God has used Girls’ Brigade to help girls flourish across the world by providing life skills, a caring family of leaders who invest in them and empowering girls to discover ‘life to the full’.’ Let’s continue to bring Gospel hope to lives and communities across the world.’
On 11 October 2018, the UN’s International Day of the Girl, GBI launched its new social activism toolkit to enable girls to transform their communities. It will be free to download from the GB International website https://gbworldwide.org/
Dr Claire Rush, International Vice-President for Europe, shares: ‘GB members across the world are transformers, generations-shapers and hope-bringers! This free resource will help enable them to challenge injustices in their own community in creative ways and transform lives. It is part of our on-going advocacy strategy to enable girls and young women to turn up the volume of hope in their own communities.’
This new resource builds on the Hope For Girls resource which explores gender injustice across the world.