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Communique of the Girls20 Summit

Dear members of the PulseWire community,

Below is the Communique that was produced by delegates at the Girls20 Summit to share with the world leaders. It includes three major parts:

-On the subject of Education
-On the subject of Child and Maternal Health
-On the subject of Economic Opportunity

I invite you to join the discussion and share with us your solutions. If you were one of the Girls20 Delegates, how would you improve the Communique? What do you think are its strong and weak points? What topics do you believe should be mentioned at the next Girls20 Summit in 2011 in France?

Communique of
The G(irls)20 Summit

Toronto, Canada
June 15 - 18, 2010


We, the 21 delegates of the first ever G(irls)20 Summit, know that girls and women have
the potential to play a pivotal role in building communities and countries and being catalysts for
economic progress around the globe.
We come together in the days before the gathering of the leaders of the world's most
powerful nations at the G-8 and G-20 meetings to be the voice that reminds the leaders of
the importance of eliminating barriers for girls and women everywhere, and to mobilize change-makers
worldwide to add their voices to ours.
We are here because:
We know that education opens doors for girls and women, yet nearly 40 million school-
aged girls worldwide are not in classrooms.
We know that 14 million girls age 15 to 19 give birth each year, and that pregnancy is the
leading cause of death in that age group.
We know that newborn children in least-developed countries are 14 times more likely to
die in their first month of life, yet when girls and women work and earn an income they help forge
a pathway out of poverty for themselves and for their families.
Many who have come before us have identified the barriers to girls and women making a
contribution to progress around the world. The UN has drafted the Millennium
Development Goals we need to work towards. We came together in Toronto to chart a way there.
In our deliberations we addressed the subjects of Education; Child and Maternal Health;
and Economic Opportunity and discussed ideas that have been shared by girls in 190 countries
who participated in a global online conversation in advance of our meeting.
We focused on solutions over the three days of the Summit and collectively, we have
agreed upon a set of recommendations. We call upon the leaders and change-makers in
our countries, and beyond, to admit that girls and women are an essential part of the
solution to global challenges by considering, building upon and adopting these recommendations.

On the subject of Education

1. We assert that there is an opportunity to support universal access to primary and
secondary education & non-formal education. We call upon leaders and change-
makers to:

2. Support policies and change laws to make education free and compulsory
3. Establish a standard term for compulsory education
4. Fund the necessary facilities to provide education as a national priority
5. Leverage all public and media resources to both teach and promote education as
an important long-term investment for girls in society

6. We assert that the level of professionalism and commensurate salaries are directly
proportionate to the quality of teaching. We call upon leaders and change-makers
to :

7. Implement compulsory training and raise the standards of graduation requirements
for teachers and educators
8. Raise the average compensation for teachers according to their qualifications and
9. Mandate regular school inspections and supervision of educators

Curriculum and Learning Tools
10. We assert that a more gender sensitive and relevant curriculum would empower
girls and women to reach their full potential. We call upon leaders and change-
makers to:

11. Re-visit the portrayal of girls and women in textbooks like history books
12. Equip students, including girls, with necessary and relevant skills for income earning
opportunities, either through internships and placements or vocational training for
relevant industries in schools
13. Mandate course diversity and gender sensitive curricula
14. Introduce training in self-defence and self-respect
15. Put sexual and reproductive health on school curricula to help girls to have control
of their own bodies and reduce their vulnerability

Community Benefits
16. We assert that people in underprivileged parts of developing countries would be
more inclined to send their children to school if they were incentivized to do so. We
call upon leaders and change-makers to:

17. Introduce benefits and incentives for school children including:
a. Meals
b. Agricultural gardens
c. Vocational training institutes
d. Housing for students
e. Bicycles
f. Subsidized goats
g. Play pumps (child-friendly structures that pump clean water through play)
18. Provide government subsidies for families who send all youth (including girls) to
19. Deploy local campaigns of teachers and community leaders to communicate the
incentives and benefits of sending girls to school

20. We assert that there exists a lack of safe and supportive school environments due
to violence, sexual assaults and lack of sanitary resources for girls. We call upon
leaders and change-makers to:

21. Require the presence of school security patrols
22. Introduce sanitation and other resources for girls and women in the school system
including gender segregated washrooms, sanitary pads and painkillers.

On the subject of Maternal and Child Health

Health and Sexual Health Education
1. We assert that the lack of comprehensive health and sexual health education for
both sexes from an early age in schools contributes to higher pregnancy and
mortality rates. We call on leaders and change-makers to:

2. Implement comprehensive health and sexual health learning in schools
3. Educate girls to be self-confident, inform them about their rights, and empower them
to refuse forced sex
4. Change existing health and sexual health curriculum from abstract lesson plans to
specific, effective and direct instruction
5. Raise awareness of the possible implications of sexual intercourse including
pregnancy and childbirth
6. Provide education on prenatal care, childbirth and childcare

Unplanned Pregnancy
7. We assert that girls and women should have easy access to contraceptive methods
as well as control over their reproductive and sexual health, and that maternity is a
choice. We call upon leaders and change-makers to:

8. Ensure that religious beliefs do not increase the vulnerability of girls and women
9. Challenge harmful traditional practices like child marriage, which leads to children
being involved in early sexual activities when not physically ready to give birth
10. Ensure education about, and access to, both male and female contraception, and
safe abortion

Health Systems
11. We assert that maternal and child death could be prevented by increasing the
number of skilled workers and implementing widespread and well-equipped medical
centres and mobilization of health services. We call upon leaders and change-
makers to:

12. Provide appropriate salary and education for healthcare workers
13. Focus on knowledge transfer and train healthcare workers to educate their patients
14. Provide incentives for healthcare workers to serve in high need areas
15. Encourage community and partner participation in prenatal care
16. Work to educate respected community leaders about safe practices and basic
medical knowledge
17. Deploy mobile medical centres (tents, trucks).

On the subject of Economic Opportunity

Societal and Self Value
1. We assert that changing the societal perspective that girls and women are inferior to
boys and men defined by their bodies and their motherhood, and encouraging girls
and women in challenging that perspective, would reduce the double burden and
open up opportunities. We call on leaders and change-makers to:

2. Use educational tools like life orientation courses in primary schools to teach
respect to boys and encourage self-respect in girls
3. Create role model mentorship programs by encouraging and incentivizing those
who have achieved secondary or post-secondary education to return to their
communities as mentors
4. Legislate universal childcare policies (including paternity leave) so women are not
restricted to being mothers
5. Encourage media to support portraying an alternative image for girls and women

Business Development
6. We assert that women in many countries, especially in developing countries, are not
able to be economically productive because of obsolete and misinterpreted cultural
practices and traditions and that reducing both economic and cultural barriers to women setting up small businesses would have a beneficial effect on economies.
We call on leaders and change-makers to:

7. Develop markets in small villages and rural areas, including handicraft, spices,
sewing, tailoring, etc.
8. Introduce vocational training for girls and women as well as skill building institutes
9. Reduce registration fees and simplify registration processes for small business
10. Provide more women with access to capital, whether through micro-finance or other
governmental means
11. Make small business development advice available to more girls and women
12. Provide financial literacy training at the community level
13. Identify and promote alternative employment opportunities for women who only
have the sex trade as an income-earning option

14. We assert that initiating an effort to teach employable skills and self-preservation
starting as early as primary education and opening up opportunities in the job
market would lessen restrictions that currently exist due to maternal responsibilities.
We call on leaders and change-makers to:

15. Recognize the double burden women face by exploring monetary return and access
to childcare centres
16. Establish carefully constructed course curricula for training to be distributed around
the world on multiple platforms.

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