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Spark Philippines 2019

Quezon City marks International Day of the Girl

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SPARK! Philippines, a non-government organization advocating women’s rights, in collaboration with the Quezon City Mayor's Office, kicked off on October 11 the celebration of the “Girls for Early Age Empowerment” at Gateway Cinema in Cubao.

The event is part of the organization's promotion of gender equality and women's rights protection supported by the Netherlands embassy in the Philippines, embassy of Sweden in Manila, J. Amado Araneta Foundation (JAAF) and Terre des Hommes Netherlands in Asia through the Girls Advocacy Alliance.

SPARK! executive director Maica Teves said the celebration of the International Day of Girl (IDG) is to push for the concerns and issues confronted by women.

“Through these initiatives, we can act as a partner alongside other organizations to tackle problems and address women’s needs more effectively while engaging men to advocate for women’s issues," Teves said.

Every October 11, IDG is celebrated in the Philippines through a series of activities related to the occasion all through the month.

IDG was created in 2012 to highlight human rights and promote girls' empowerment, as well as to address the needs and challenges currently confronted by today's generation of girls.

This year's celebration focus on bringing up conversations and recognition of girls' rights all over the world.

“This year, as we believe that breaking these barriers begins with exposing the youth to the inequalities that women and girls face in all parts of the globe, SPARK! has decided to celebrate girls not just for a day, but throughout the month, pioneering the Girls' Month Celebration through more initiatives for women and girls," Teves said.

The group said the celebration highlights the importance of social, economic, and political investment in the power of adolescent girls in breaking the intergenerational transmission of poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination, and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Several high school and college students from public and private schools in Quezon City joined the celebration.

Lectures and forums related to the girl's issues are the highlights of the program. Key topics include girls in science and technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), empowerment through sports, overcoming barriers, and leadership empowerment.

During her speech at the event, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte called on the participants to “make an impact” and do their share in nation-building.

"You are not only the hope of this nation's future but the hope of this nation's present. Though you are young, you have the power to make an impact, lead in your home, in your schools, and in your community," Belmonte said.

Belmonte also urged them to create a world free from gender-based discrimination where girls could also shine.

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