On Thursday, October 15th the Parliament’s Next Generation Task Force hosted a special program in observance of the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. The program celebrated the critical importance of empowering girls in order to foster a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world and featured women leaders discussing their experiences in empowering girls and the lessons that can be applied in communities around the world.
The program featured the participation of:
• Dolly Dastoor - A widely published research clinical psychologist and specializes in the assessment of dementias, most recently was Clinical Administrative Chief at the Program in Dementia with Psychiatric Comorbidity at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal and Asst Prof in Psychiatry, McGill University. She serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Parliament of the World's Religions and Co-Chair of the Parliament's Women's Task Force.
• Sagri Singh - Senior Advisor of Gender and Development at UNICEF Senior Advisor, Gender Equality and Development at UNICEF where she provides strategic, management and technical guidance on gender responsive programming to achieve results for women and children. Sagri supports the implementation of UNICEF’s Gender Action Plan (GAP) as it relates to promoting gender equality in health, HIV, nutrition and education outcomes for children as well as on adolescent girls’ empowerment and well-being specifically in the areas of health, HIV, nutrition, ending child marriage and secondary education and skills, and the intersections between them.
• Dr. Sakena Yacoobi - CEO of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), which she founded in 1995 in response to the lack of education and health care that the Afghan people were facing after decades of war and strife. Since its founding, AIL has either directly or indirectly impacted the lives of millions of Afghans. Under her leadership, AIL continues as an innovative organization working at the grassroots level helping communities and individuals.
• Tania Islam - Chapter Head of Green Hope Bangladesh with a Master's Degree in Peace, World Religions & Conflict Resolution. Ms. Islam has been working tirelessly on the ground with women and girls in the slums and villages of Bangladesh. She has been focussing on educating girls and women about health, hygiene, sanitation and how to protect themselves from sexual assault, as part of Green Hope's work on Education for Sustainable Development.
The program was moderated by Carl Murrell, Representative to the United Nations for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States. He engages in discourses that focus on the advancement of women, race unity and human rights. Mr. Murrell currently serves as Interim President of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations. A member of the Board of Trustees of the Parliament, Mr. Murrell serves as Co-Chair of the Parliament's Next Generation Task Force.