Saturday, June 19, 2010

The G(irls) 20 Summit: Part I--Background

Along with the G-8 Summit (Huntsville, Ontario) and the G-20 Summit (Toronto, Ontario), there is a G(irls)20 Summit being held currently at the University of Toronto. This summit, the initiative of corporate chief and former Member of Parliament Belinda Stronach, is designed to focus on the empowerment of girls and women through an exchange by girls/women aged 18-20--delegates from the G-20 countries, one from the European Union, and one from Malawi (to represent the otherwise absent developing African nations as South Africa is considered developed). The themes of maternal health, which is one of the themes of the G-20 Summit, and economics are prominent. However, so is education, particular challenges to girls and women in specific countries and globally, and modes of social change and communication.

I thought it would be interesting to include a fair bit of background information, including from the website (which I found somewhat difficult to navigate--thank you Wendy!)in this first part of the post, to give all an idea of what is to happen, and how the delegates were chosen. The types of questions asked of candidates and their referees are rather standard here for applications to graduate and professional schools, scholarships, and even career interviews. In that sense they provide a glimpse into some things to think about in applications and interviews. They also show the type of candidate who would be chosen as a delegate. The next post will feature some of the delegates and excerpts from their applications.

From the Website

The viral global campaign to solicit grassroots ideas on how to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that most impact women and girls will culminate in the inaugural, ground-breaking G(irls)20 Summit. The Summit will bring together one girl from each of the G20 countries to Toronto ten days before the official G20 Summit. This inaugural G(irls)20 Summit will reconvene prior to next year’s G20 Summit in France. This is the start of a global conversation about the economic prowess of girls and women and our commitment to creating a space where girls voices can be heard globally.
The G(irls)20 Summit is modeled after the G20 Summit and will convene one girl from each G20 country: • Argentina • Australia • Brazil • Canada • China • France • Germany • India • Indonesia • Italy • Japan • Mexico • Russia • Saudi Arabia • South Africa • South Korea • Turkey • UK • USA and a representative of the European Union.

A coalition of national and international organizations has come together to raise awareness among G20 leaders about the pivotal role girls and women play in ensuring economic productivity.

With 3.3 billion girls and women in the world, it is imperative that they are integral and included as we look for innovative, sustainable and socially responsible solutions to global economic and social challenges. That’s why, one week prior to the G20, twenty girls from the G20 countries will come together to discuss and promote tangible, scalable solutions. If you are a passionate, forward thinking, solution oriented girl, you could be one of them.

Be a change-maker:
Apply to attend the G(irls)20 Summit and represent the voices of the 3.3 billion girls and women around the world. The G(irls)20 Summit is modeled after the G20 Summit and will convene one girl from each G20 country: • Argentina • Australia • Brazil • Canada • China • France • Germany • India • Indonesia • Italy • Japan • Mexico • Russia • Saudi Arabia • South Africa • South Korea • Turkey • UK • USA and a representative of the European Union.
The girls will provide G20 leaders with tangible recommendations about the direction they need to take to realize the MDGs. Here is your chance to change opinions, change the status quo and change lives.

Please Apply to participate in the G(irls)20 Summit if you are a Girl age 18-20 from a G20 Country.

Summit Details:
• June 15 – Arrival
• June 16 - 18 – Summit
• June 19 - 25 – Community Events and Workshops

Attendee Details:
The following will be provided to all G(irls) 20 Summit attendees:
• All Summit learning materials and supplies
• Travel arrangements from attendee’s home city to Toronto, Ontario, Canada
• Hotel accommodation in Toronto
• Meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner each day
• Ground transportation in Toronto
• CDN $200 spending money for incidentals

Requirements for participation:
The following are the application criteria for attendees to the G(irls)20 Summit. Applications will be judged on their individual merit by the G(irls)20 Summit Advisory Board. The
advisory board will consist of members of the G(irls) 20 Summit Organizing Committee
and key advisors.

Applicants must be 18-20 years of age at the time of the Summit.
This age range represents the transition years on the continuum from Girl to Woman, underscoring an important focus on secondary education and successful transition into the labour market.

Legal requirements:
Parental or guardian permission to travel to Canada, participate in the summit and appear in media. Valid passport (issued no later than May 15th, 2010) and any other required travel documents. Please note that any required travel visas to Canada will be paid for by the G(irls) 20 Summit.

English Language proficiency (verbal and written).

Community involvement:
Demonstrated community involvement or youth activism in one or more key
development issues.

G(irls) 20 Summit Attendee Application Form
(to be completed by summit applicant)
Applicants must be Girls age 18-20 years from a G20 Country
Please answer the following questions:
Email Address:
Phone Number:
Mailing Address:
Country of Citizenship:
Country of Residence:
Date of Birth:
Name of Guardian:

We require some referential information to be filled out by a school official, NGO sponsor or community organization who has known you for a minimum of one year:
Reference Name:
Reference Email Address:

1. What do you believe is the greatest challenge facing girls and women in your
community and why (max 200 words)?
2. Outline an innovative solution to tackle the challenge you have identified
(max 200 words).
3. What is the biggest challenge you have faced personally? How did it affect you?
(max 400 words for both questions)
4. If you could have a meal with anyone in the world who would it be and why?
5. Other than a family member, which woman do you most admire and why?
(Max 200 words)
6. What kinds of leadership roles have you taken in your school or in your community? What did you achieve in this leadership role? (provide in chronological order for past 5 years max)
7 . Why do you believe you are the right girl to represent your country at the
G(irls) 20 Summit? (max 250 words)
8. What are your future aspirations? Where do you see yourself in five years?

G(irls) 20 Summit Reference Form
(to be completed by school official, NGO sponsor or community organization who has known the summit applicant for a minimum of one year)
Please answer the following questions:
Applicant Name:
Applicant Country:
Reference Name:
Reference Email Address:

We are looking for one girl from each of the G20 countries to represent the girls and women in their home country. These girls will be confident contributors who are able to clearly articulate the ideas and opinions. We appreciate your time in helping us select these 20 girls.

Please select the response that most closely matches the applicant.
1. Assessment of academic ability:
Outstanding ___Very Good ___ Good ___Comments:
2. Ability to contribute verbally in a roundtable session:
Outstanding ___Very Good ___ Good ___Comments:
3. Assessment of applicant’s knowledge of development issues and current affairs:
Outstanding ___ Very Good ___ Good ___Comments:
4. Assessment of applicant’s level of independence:
Very independent ___ Independent ___ Not at all independent ___Comments:
5. Assessment of applicant’s contribution to community service:
Outstanding ___Very Good ___ Good ___Comments:
6. Why do you believe the applicant would be a good contributor at the
G(irls)20 Summit?
7. Any additional comments

(see also Panelists)

Opening Ceremonies
The Honourable Belinda Stronach

Opening Panel
What is the greatest challenge facing girls and women today?
What practical solution would you put in place to address the challenge you have identified?

* Pamela Shifman, NOVO Foundation
* Swan Paik, Nike Foundation
* Sarah Kambou, International Centre for Research on Women
* Jill Sheffield, Women Deliver
* Zainab Salbi, Women for Women International

Other Sessions
*The Common Sense of Education - Presentation and Q&A
Ndungu Kahilu, Plan Canada (Nairobi)
*The Economic Prowess of Girls & Women - Presentation and Q&A
Reeta Roy, President, The Mastercard Foundation
*Maternal & Child Health - Presentation and Q&A Screening of No Woman, No Cry
*Meeting with MPs and Senators hosted by Senator Frum. Speaker: Senator LeBreton

From the 19th to the 25th the delegates will be involved in a number of workshops, city events and will visit Ottawa to meet with MPs and Senators.

The workshops will focus on:
* Blogging
* Media and Public Relations
* Using digital to communicate your message to the world
* Government Relations
* Inter-generational Mentorship & Leadership
* Managing your finances

What do you think of the idea of having a G(irls) 20 Summit?
What is your impression of the way the girls were chosen?
Does the Agenda strike you as appropriate, interesting, worthwhile?
What would you expect of these girls/women returning to their countries?
Have you ever participated in something similar?
What was the experience like?
Any other comments, thoughts, experiences?

Related posts: The G-20 Meet the GLBTQ

All posts on the G-20 Summit:
The G-20 Meet the GlBTQ
The G(irls) 20 Summit: Part I--Background
The G(irls) 20 Summit: Part II--The Delegates
G-20 Summit 2010 Toronto: Protesters vs Demonstrators vs Rioters; Another Brilliant Harper Idea
G-20 Summit 2010 Toronto: Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, and Young Saudi Delegates
G-20 Summit Toronto 2010: Summarized--Part I Fake Lake and Fiscal Responsibility, Indeed
G-20 Summit Toronto 2010: Summarized--Part II Riots, Amnesty International, and an Unfinished Agenda


Anonymous said...

Chiara- i laughed when i saw the banner for the g(irls) 20 summit. very ingenious.
me irish? wow
will visit again but so far so good.

Chiara said...

Khalid (Patrick) Welcome, or should that be Fáilte! Of course Irish--of the seemingly Saudi sort! LOL :)

Thank you for commenting and I am glad you like the blog and will be visiting again.

Yes the banner is an ingenious marketing turn. It is ultimately very inclusive no matter how one interprets it. I will keep an eye out for news of the outcomes of this G(irls) Summit, and to update the profiles in the next post.

It is an interesting concept and a worthwhile one. Especially as most of Canada is cringing at Stephen Harper's maternal health proposal for the G-20 summit. Not to mention a number of farcical but costly ideas, going into the G8 and the G 20.

Thanks again for your comment and I look forward to future ones!

Wendy said...

Thanks for posting this. I've been busy finding a new home and now packing so not much time to peek in.
I really admire the fact that these young women are having a chance to speak up about how they feel with their world today. I wish I could be there to attend in person and hear every one of them.

Chiara said...

Wendy--thank you for your comment. I realize how busy and hectic your life has been recently. Thank you for your help in finding the resources too. I think this was an excellent initiative by Belinda Stronach, through the Belinda Stronach Foundation. This is the type of thing that marks the delegates in a positive way and contributes to how they view their own country and the ways to improve it. It also gives the rest of us a better insight into contemporary concerns as viewed by young women.
Indeed, it would be great to participate even just as a spectator! I hope there is good reporting on the activities themselves.


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