Report by Patricia. Stringer, OP, and Sr. Dusty
The students from three Dominican Academies: Mount St. Dominic Academy, Caldwell, NJ, Lacordaire Academy, Upper Montclair, NJ, and Dominican Academy, NYC, marked the occasion of International Day of the Girl on Tuesday, October 10, with a field trip to the United Nations.
“This year, at a time when we are seeing a range of movements and actions to curtail girls’ and women’s rights and roll back progress on gender equality, we see particularly harsh impacts on girls,” according to the United Nation’s website. “From maternal health care and parenting support for adolescent mothers, to digital and life skills training;… to survivor support services and violence prevention programs; there is an urgent need for increased attention and resourcing for the key areas that enable girls to realize their rights and achieve their full potential,” it continues.
The theme of this year’s International Day of the Girl Summit was “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership and Wellbeing.” The theme was chosen as a reminder that girls’ rights continue to be neglected with the message that girls are capable of being the leaders and voices of the future, shaping government policy and spending to inform the rules and norms businesses should use to operate, and direct the priorities for new research and innovations.
Ava Ciauro, a senior, from Mt. St. Dominic, was one of the students selected to attend the summit. “The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights,” she said. “Girls are breaking boundaries and barriers posed by stereotypes and exclusion, including those directed at children with disabilities and those living in marginalized communities. “Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is integral,” she continued. “Only by ensuring the rights of women and girls will we get to justice and inclusion, economies that work for all, and sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations.”
A Mt. St. Dominic senior Erin Araneta, of West Orange, was thrilled to be chosen as a chat moderator at the summit. She asked participants questions pertaining to the live speakers’ discussion in the Zoom chat to stimulate conversations between virtual attendees across the globe. She said it was so impactful to read global participants’ different insights about girls’ well-being and investing in girls’ leadership based on their individual experiences, “which are so vastly different from ours.” The experience solidified her strong belief in the importance of diversity of thought.
Stephanie Mutuku and Mary Mecheal from Lacordaire Academy also attended this event and have since decided to take initiative in addressing global issues that girls across the world face at their Academy.
In addition, the Dominican Academy also sent eight girls to the UN for the International Day of the Girl. This is their second year in attendance.