A Girls’ Brigade International event at UN’s Commission on the Status of Women.
You must register here if you’re planning to attend.
Christian young women’s voices are often missing from the conversations about climate change – particularly those from small nations. Girls’ Brigade International is passionate about amplifying their voices!
Girls’ Brigade leaders from British Virgin Islands, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Zambia will share how climate change has impacted their own families and communities as well as how they are advocating for change thus demonstrating how engaging young women of faith is critical in ensuring the successful implementation of SDGs and achieving gender and climate justice.
Compliments of the season! By His grace we are here, 2022, and God is saying in Isaiah 40:9 (NKJV) “…lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”Rise in Strength!
2021 is gone with all its challenges. We do not know what lies ahead in 2022, but one thing is certain, God is still God. The past two years have been blighted with a pandemic that has left no one untouched the world over. Despite being believers and optimists, we could approach this year with a heavy heart, which can steal our joy in celebrating the New Year. New variants of the pandemic keep coming up and there is no end in sight despite the breakthroughs in vaccines. But you know what, God hears our cries. He has not forgotten or forsaken us. God’s word is full of promises and in Lamentations 3:22-23 (ISV) “Because of the Lord’s gracious love we are not consumed, since his compassions never end. They are new every morning – great is your faithfulness!”
What does the new year mean for us? We do not forget the past but take stock of what God did in our lives during the past year. It will show us the faithfulness of God and draws us into worship. As we step into the future, looking back at God’s work in our lives, both the expected and unexpected gives us faith for what He will do next. We are assured of God’s faithfulness always. As an organisation, we thank God because we experienced His presence and guidance when the whole world went into lockdown. We have been connected as never before as an international body through Zoom and other social media platforms.
We make new year resolutions, but maybe the most important resolution of all is to make Jesus come first in our life. In the busyness of life, it can be easy to forget that we were commanded to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). When we focus on God, everything else falls into place.
Our theme for 2022 is “Rise in Strength” based on Isaiah 40. In Verse 9 God commands us to, “…lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” Are we ready to Rise in Strength to share the message of Hope? May I encourage each and every one of us to form some personal habits that will shape and focus our lives as we join God in His mission to ‘See girls’ lives transformed and God’s world enriched.” Let us read the word, speak the word, live the word and pray the word. For the word of the Lord endures forever.
Priscilla P. Penny
The International President
“For we walk by faith and not by sight”…. to see girls’ lives transformed: God’s world enriched!
Maintaining Kingdom Values With 21st Century Mission 2022: RISE IN STRENGTH Isaiah 40:9…” lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”
Booking is now open for our first ICGB event on Saturday 29th January 2022. This event is open to all GB members, not just delegates. You can book your place now by following the below link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/224107751317
The event begins at 12 noon GMT/ 7am EST. It is expected to last approximately 2 hours.
Gender-Based Violence, or GBV for short, is still a threat to the freedom of Australian women. In Australia, GBV can look like being cat-called on your afternoon walk, having a man rub his leg against yours on your morning commute, or having a car follow you home. The sad reality is that women learn to live with these experiences, keeping themselves as safe as possible when they navigate public spaces. It begs the question- are public spaces really public? In the last few years, I have come to learn that women are very in tune with their presence in public spaces. They understand the importance of being aware of their surroundings.
The different ways in which women protect themselves in public is collectively known as ‘safety work,’ a term coined by Vera-Gray and Kelly in 2020. The term is new, but safety work behaviours have been around for years. Women may identify with safety work behaviours; changing routes on your way home, selectively choosing where to sit on the bus, and even physically reducing oneself in public by wearing headphones and sunglasses. Safety work behaviours act to keep women not only hyperaware of their personal space, but ultimately to make us invisible to those who could threaten our safety.
Women are pretty tired of carrying the burden of safety work and we are calling on male allies to lighten the load. I recently read an article by ABC News (2019) where Patrick Wright outlined ways that men can be allies in public, here are his tips:
Keep your distance; as a woman it can be scary if we think people are following us. You might consider crossing the street to signify to a woman that you are not a threat.
Be a mindful runner; avoid running up behind women, especially at night, jog past at a good distance, or even use those few metres to take a walking break.
Play the tourist card; if you think a woman is in an unsafe situation but you are not sure how to interrupt the interaction, ask for directions to a certain location. Asking for directions is a great way to shut down a conversation without being threatening.
Safety work is exhausting for women. Male allies sharing that burden helps us move towards a world where public space is free for all to enjoy. GBV remains an issue for Australian women, but we have the power to make small changes to how we interact with public space that ensures inclusivity in our local communities.
Vera-Gray, F., & Kelly, L. (2020). Contested gendered space: public sexual harassment and women's safety work. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 44, 265-275. doi:10.1080/01924036.2020.1732435
Wright, P. (2019). Women don't feel safe in public spaces — and it's up to men to do something about it. ABC News.
Photo by Todd Diemer on Unsplash
MESSAGE FROM THE INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD, 11TH OCTOBER 2021.
This year The Girls Brigade International joins the rest of the world on 11th October 2021 to celebrate International Day of the Girl Child under the Theme, “Digital Generation,Our Generation“.
According to statistics by UNICEF, whilst the pandemic has accelerated digital platforms for learning, earning and connecting, some 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 still do not have internet access at home.
Girls are more likely to be cut off. The gender gap for global internet users grew from 11 per cent in 2013 to 17 per cent in 2019. In the world’s least developed countries, it hovers around 43 per cent. Only by addressing the inequity and exclusion that span geographies and generations can we usher in a digital revolution for all, with all.
The Girls’ Brigade is helping girls around the world to achieve their God-given potential through formal and informal education. The impact of informal education in the Girls’ Brigade may seem subtle, but it is a powerful force in the fight for gender justice. As the largest and oldest Christian organisation focused on the girl child, we are well positioned to ensure that NO girl is left behind. We can use our platforms to improve women’s and girls’ access to technology and digital spaces by pushing digital technology education and actively support and promote girls’ participation in IT related subjects. This will help ensure that they have equal access to opportunities in the workplaces of the future.
Girls might be reluctant to access computer classes and internet cafes because these spaces are dominated by men or they are located in places that are not accessible to women. Let us create safe spaces for girls and women to learn digital literacy and how to use technology to improve their lives. We also need to bring awareness to the girls, of the risks associated with using technology and being online. Knowing what to do and who to contact if anything makes them feel uneasy is a crucial part of closing the digital gender gap.
Let us rise up and encourage technology creativity among our Girls.
We are delighted that Rev. Tara Tyme-Campbell will be hosting our International World Day of Prayer on June 12, 2021 (0700 & 1300 BST.) Led by the Caribbean-Americas Fellowship, it is a space where our GB International family from various cultural backgrounds will share in praise and worship as well as celebrate 128 years of GB. Let us support and encourage each other during these challenging times!
The service will be led by Rev. Tara Tyme-Campbell.
November 11, 2020, marked the 16th anniversary of Rev. Tyme’s ordination to Word and Sacraments in the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands (UCJCI). She has served as Pastor in both contexts of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Since September 2015, she has served as Pastor for the St. Paul’s/Norwood Charge of United Churches in Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica.
In addition to her local pastoral work, Rev. Tyme currently serves UCJCI synodically and regionally as a member of the UCJCI’s Central Mission Council, a member of the Church and Ministry Committee for the Synod of the UCJCI, Camp Administrator for the Camp Ministry of the UCJCI, and Vice-Chair for Leadership in the Western Regional Mission Council.
Rev. Tara is no stranger to the Girls’ Brigade family. She served in Grand Cayman as National Chaplain and Chaplain for the company in her then congregation – the John Gray Memorial United Church.
Saturday 12 June 2021, 0700-0830 & 1300-1430 (BST, UK time)
Last month, five GB members from across the world represented Girls’ Brigade International at the virtual UN’s Commission on the Status of Women, the largest gathering of gender justice activists in the world.
The Delegation of Hope team – Caitlyn Robinson from GB Australia, Jessie Emms and Hannah Morpeth from GB England & Wales, Nelly Banda from GB Zambia and Ruth Utulu from GB Nigeria – attended a number of workshops, equipping sessions and conversation circles focused on issues impacting girls around the world.
On Thursday 18 March, the team led its own equipping webinar on the NGOCSW virtual platform. ‘She Speaks: Young Women on Faith, Social Justice and Transformational Acts’ was created and led by GB’s Delegation of Hope and explored issues like girls’ access to education, ending violence against women, gender-specific religious persecution and mental health and well-being. It included drama, spoken word monologues as well as interviews with people of expertise.
The webinar was the result of many months of research, planning and networking and it was supported by partners like Open Doors International, Christian Aid and the Women’s Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance. It included expert input from Bishop Sarah Mullally from the Diocese of London, Chine McDonald from Christian Aid, Helene Fisher from Open Doors International and Christine MacMillan who is an advisor on the UN Multi-Faith Advisory Council.
As a faith-based organization, one of the team’s goals was to demonstrate how Christian movements like Girls’ Brigade can make a positive impact on improving girls’ opportunities and self-esteem.
Team member Jessie explains: ‘I think Girls’ Brigade’s presence at UNCSW has made a big difference because we were able to show people why faith-based organisations are so important in achieving gender justice. We’ve helped turn up the volume of hope in this crucial area. Religion plays a key role in the lives of many people around the world with 84% of the world population associating with a faith. So, faith leaders are often an important and influential factor in many people’s lives. They’re trusted members of the community and can be agents for change. When people experience an injustice such as gender-based violence, it’s often faith-based organisations like the Girls’ Brigade who are the “first responders”. Our presence was very much needed and will make a difference.’
Booking will close on Wednesday 23 June at Midday UK time.
The webinar will be led by Ruth Chikasa.
Ruth brings great passion for the inclusion of young people in mission today and tomorrow. Having started her journey in the Girls’ Brigade at a tender age of 5 in a small town called Chingola in Zambia, Ruth has not looked back since then, rising through the ranks of GB and holding various leadership roles including that of National, Africa Fellowship and International president portfolios. Currently, Ruth is serving as Ambassadorial Patron for GB International. In all her time of service as leader, Ruth believes passionately in the potential of young people and that the leadership of today, should and must tease out and develop that potential for the benefit of the organization as well as the community. In this vein, she believes that leadership development of the next generation of leaders begins with the participation of young people in programme development and their eventual inclusion in GB management.
Ruth brings vast experience of leadership and management from her work as Country Director for Foundation for Better Health, a community-based organization working to bring safe motherhood practices as well as water and sanitation health in the disadvantaged communities in Zambia. In addition, her position as Regional Director for The Dreyfus Health Foundation, has further sharpened her leadership and management capacity to harness, train and mentor future leaders. All in all, Ruth believes in having a central mission and ethos “Prepare our young people today for a better world tomorrow”. Ruth lives in Lusaka, Zambia with her husband Abraham.
The webinar will explore the following questions:
What does empowering the next generation of GB leaders mean?
Why is succession planning important and Biblical?
Why do some people finding passing on the baton of leadership challenging?
What are the benefits of inter-generational leaders?
How can we provide space for younger leaders to grow and flourish in GB?
What are some practical steps that GB leaders can take at local, national and international level?
LEAD//FOLLOW is a series of online equipping webinars for GB leaders and officers which will run from September 2020 to June 2021. Each webinar will be led by expert facilitators inside and outside the GB family and are free for GB leaders. The 90 min webinar will be held by Zoom and accessible to GB leaders to join live online.
Please note that spaces on each webinar is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served space. Please only book if you’re able to attend.
On the day, please ensure that you’re logged into the Zoom call ready for the meeting to begin about 5-10 minutes before. Zoom is a really easy piece of software to use. Here is how you can download the software to your computer in advance. It’s best to use it with a laptop with a webcam. We’d love to ‘see’ you!
As the world celebrates Holy Week and Easter 2021, The Girls Brigade Worldwide and our Fellowships around the globe, are joining in from local communities that stretch from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean. During this strange time, as countries seek to overcome the Covid19 Pandemic with vaccination programs, many celebrations will be online, rather than face to face, but in all of this we seek as GB Worldwide to share our stories of salvation and the message of hope, Christ brings – both in word and deed.
A heartfelt Thank you to all our GB Worldwide Leaders and Volunteers who have stepped up to the challenge., supporting and nurturing the girls in your groups. In 2021 our theme ‘Fruitful and Overflowing…. Be Faithful’ is even more important as we engage with the Easter Message. The Risen Christ brings us hope and equips us to be faithful and fruitful in all we do.
The theme of God’s plan of Salvation, runs through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. At its heart is Calvary, the place where Jesus died so we could be forgiven. As we read the Scriptures, we see that the Cross symbolises . . .
Salvation: Jesus died a painful death on the cross and He carried the burden so we could be reconciled to God and receive eternal life.
Sacrifice: Christ, who was “in very nature God” (Philippians 2:6 NIV), chose to leave the perfection of heaven and live among sinful people and lay aside His divine authority. During His public ministry, He faithfully carried out God’s plan all the way to His death on the cross. Jesus’ days on earth are an example to us of the sacrificial life. (Romans 12:1–2).
Service: Jesus said He “did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Christ’s supreme act of service was dying on the cross so we might have eternal life. Our Saviour calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him through sacrificial service to others (Luke 9:23). As we embrace a lifestyle of humility and servant hood, we will bring glory to our heavenly Father.
I know that most of us in GB Worldwide are still facing restrictions in our movements/gatherings, and some as mentioned above, still cannot meet face to face as we used to in our GB groups. This can be frustrating, we are fatigued, and we miss each other. But we trust as we wait, that God will strengthen us, enable us to be creative and know that the Risen Christ gazes on us all with love as we seek to serve and follow Him.
We thank God that through technology, we have been able to keep connected, and in fact offer more opportunities to link up for training conferences and recently be represented virtually at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in the USA. Thank you again to everyone who has been able to adapt their leadership style & motivate volunteers. We pray that as vaccines are now becoming available, to help in the fight against COVID19 that soon life will resume to some sort of normality before too long.
I encourage you all to keep engaging with the theme “Fruitful and Overflowing….Be Faithful” in 2021, that at the heart of all you do, you will have faithfulness in God’s kingdom, found in a life of loving obedience and service, despite our circumstances, and reap the joy of seeing the fruit that emerges in GB Groups around the world, and in girls lives.
God’s plan and message of Salvation gives us hope, He has conquered death. The Salvation story would not have been complete without the Resurrection, and His Resurrection gives us hope for a new life in Him.
As we celebrate Easter, let us remain faithful and help spread the Gospel of Hope.
My name is Selina Phiri from Zambia, I am a Lieut. officer in The Girl’s Brigade and I am 30 years old. My passion for things range from self-care and being mindful of the people around and the environment that I am in. I also find passion in being confident in my own decisions and above all being true to myself, because there is no greater peace than that, which comes from being truthful to yourself. Helping others find their passion by speaking life into them and helping them rediscover the potential, make them feel good about themselves and everything around them also lend a helping hand where I can. I love singing, travelling, reading, cooking and watching movies. Last but not the list, the life of a girl child her wellbeing, future, dreams and her safety are my first priority.
“In the middle of the night she wakes up to pray so bitterly and so softly, She prays for her children, she prays for their education Then she prays for the man that leaves her with her children We, praise heroes everyday, But they are those that we forget “THE WOMEN OF THIS WORLD” They do not run from anything, they stand and fight for what is right, even when times are hard, they are so cool, calm and collected, GOD BLESS THE WOMEN!
We have heard since time in memorial, International Women’s Day (IWD) falls on 8th March of every year and we know that, they are plenty ways to embrace the day, from supporting women-owned businesses, to exchanging International Women’s Day flowers and messages. But the question remains what are the fundamental International Women’s Day facts, and the history behind it? The answers to both are fascinating.
According to the United Nations, International Women’s Day (IWD) started in 1909 to honor garment workers who had protested against inhumane working conditions the year before. In 1911, Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland celebrated the first official International Women’s Day on March 19, were more than one million people attended rallies which focused on suffrage, representation, education, and workers’ rights. It wasn’t until March 8, 1975, when the United Nations celebrated it as an official holiday. Since then, the day has gained awareness around the globe as a way to recognize women, Raising Awareness and support for organizations that help women and girls globally and also inspire people to act in accordance with the ongoing fight for gender equality and celebrate women’s contributions to society which is selflessness, love, hard-work, and sacrifice.
This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, under the main theme which is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” This highlights the importance of challenging biases and mistaken beliefs in the interest of creating a more inclusive and equal gender world in celebrating efforts from girls and women in order to create a more equal future.
Furthermore, the theme this year has been aligned with the priority theme of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which is “Women’s full and effective participation in decision making in public life as well as eliminating violence to achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. This calls for women’s right to decision making in all areas of life, such as equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work in order to end all forms of violence against women and girls.
As most women stand on the front line of the COVID-19, the crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the inconsistent burdens that they carry. Women leaders and women’s organizations such as Girls brigade Worldwide has demonstrated skills, knowledge and networks to effectively lead in the world despite the pandemic. There has been more acceptance than ever, that women bring different experiences, perspectives and skills to the table.
In order to uphold women’s rights and fully leverage the potential of women leadership in a diverse world where society has unfairly labelled a woman/girl to be a weaker vessel and that her place is the kitchen and her role is to be a submissive wife to her husband and bear him children and that she can’t amount to much, there is need to effectively involve women in all sectors of decision making and strategic planning, because when you EDUCATE A WOMAN, you educate the WORLD! CLEARELY, all the diversity must integrate to formulate and implement policies and programmes that will fully involve women participation in all aspects and stages of life.
Furthermore, All thanks to the United Nations for the initiative of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which is to empower and promote women’s rights and lives throughout the world and shaping global standards on gender equality. To follow up to the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development so as to accelerate the realization of gender equality and empowerment of women as we focus on this year’s priority Theme which is “Women’s Full and effective participation in decision making in public life as well as the elimination of violence to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
As we celebrate IWD, we continue to remain relevant and positive to take up leadership roles in a world that is diverse and challenging. Choosing to reaffirm and strengthen commitment to the empowerment of women and girls and their rights to ensure high level engagement and the visibility of the deliberations which are; To engage in discussions on gender equality and identifying goals, achievements and efforts to close gaps and meet challenges in order to emerge victorious. To consider the priority theme for the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. To focus on issues, trends and approaches to questions affecting women and girls. To agree on the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Finally, educate and empower a woman so she can speed the growth of a nation, do not restrict her growth, do not put her life at stake because she creates life and accord her, her much deserved respect and protection.
Happy International Women’s Day, Stay Blessed Virtuous Woman, you are strong and you are Loved.
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