Cynthia Arvide – WNN Features
“We must not think that this event is feminist or for women only”, Santillanez emphasized recently in an interview with WNN. “We are half of the world’s population and by empowering a girl or a woman you will improve not only her life, but her family’s and all the people around her as well”, she added.
This same idea resonated among many keynote speakers during the G(irls) Summit. “Men are [also] part of the solution and they’re benefited from whatever we do for women”, said Isatou Jallow, Chief of Women, Children and Gender Policy for the United Nations World Food Programme.
Delivering a ‘heartfelt’ speech during the G(irls)20 Summit outlining the role men can take in preventing violence against women, Jimmie Briggs, former journalist and founder of the Man Up Campaign, recalled having what he calls a, “life-changing moment”. When he met a woman in the Congo region of Africa who confessed to him her tragic story his life changed immediately.
She told Briggs she was gang-raped by the militia during the conflict in Congo, and saw her children and father killed in front of her. The shock of making such close contact with a woman who’s traumatic experience under conflict was so overwhelming to Briggs, caused him to discontinue his work as a journalist. Deciding to start instead the Man Up Campaign, Briggs now aims to activate global youth to stop all violence against women and girls worldwide.