United Nations International Youth Day Aug 12, 2021

Girls rise up against gender-based violence

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For the last two years, Avon and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts have worked in Argentina, South Africa and Philippines to empower girls to speak up against gender-based violence. Together, we’ve rolled out a girl-led training and awareness programme for girl guides and girl scouts. Here, one of the participants tells her story – and why she’s just getting started….

I’m Cearlovey Granali. I’m 18 years old and a Girl Scout from the Philippines. I’m writing to tell you about how the Girl Scouts are working to end violence against women and girls in the Philippines.

This journey began for us in January last year when we launched a programme with the support of the Avon Foundation for Women, which we called ‘Together We Rise’. We took to malls and other public places across the Philippines to launch the programme and loudly and proudly call for an end to all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG). This achievement was no easy feat. There were thousands of Girl Scouts to coordinate but everyone got behind it and together we really made our mark.

Not long after the launch, COVID-19 disrupted everything. We had to think quickly and adapt, launching an online webinar series to mobilise leaders from different regions around the topic of VAWG. Empowered to focus on what was most important to them, each region then launched its own campaign. This had never been done before. Never before had we run simultaneous campaigns on VAWG across all the regions in the Philippines. It was a big achievement.

The campaigns resonated well in their regions, but to complement this, we also ran a broader national level campaign across all of the regions, creating engaging activities and focusing our efforts on social media. This meant that we were able to reach people who we would have never reached before, and girls even started to share their first-hand experiences for the first time.

The engagement was truly overwhelming. It became clear to everyone - to older Girl Guides like me and those in leadership positions - girls really want to work on this.

It took a lot of courage for them to speak out so seeing the girls do that was something great. It was a big step, and our work on violence against women and girls will definitely go on. I know I am just one of many Girl Scouts in the Philippines who are 100% committed to this cause. This programme was just the best first big step we could have possibly hoped for.

Indeed, it opened the opportunity for me to become one of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ delegates shaping the youth engagement plan for the UN Women initiated Generation Equality (GE) Forums. This role saw me co-design the entire youth journey process; a timeline of youth activation moments, and events, building up to the GE Forums and beyond.

With this experience behind me, I was then given the opportunity to co-lead a 300 strong team of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to further engagement with, and the impact of, the GE campaign. It was my first time working with girls and young women from so many different countries and cultures, and although it felt surreal, it was fulfilling to be able to share my story and experiences, and enable others to contribute meaningfully to the campaign.

I never thought that my involvement in Together We Rise would bring me to greater heights – to this big global arena. And I am grateful for that. Now more than ever, I am committed to raising my voice for change!

Avon’s work to end GBV

At Avon, we believe a better world for women is a better world for all.

1 in 3 women experiences violence or abuse in their lifetime. Since 2004, with the Avon Foundation for Women, we've contributed more than US$80 million globally to support awareness, education and the development and implementation of prevention and direct service programmes.

Learn more about how Avon works to end gender-based violence here and about the partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts here.