Stephanie, 14, displaying an "X" to advocate for women.
A few days ago, we learned of a campaign being put on by the UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict, who is leading an advocacy movement called "Stop Rape Now". The UN Action is a concerted effort by the UN system to improve coordination and accountability, amplify programming and advocacy, and support national efforts to prevent sexual violence and respond effectively to the needs of survivors.
The "Stop Rape Now" campaign seeks to mobilize people around the world to contact government officials to end rape as a weapon of war. It also invites people from all over the world to join the campaign by displaying a photo of their arms crossed like an X (like Stephanie, Aisatou, and Daija) as a symbol to stop violence against women. Like the Harlem girls, you can join global advocates by uploading your photo on their website here.
I thought this was an urgent topic that needed to be discussed, so I invited the Harlem Teens at Polo Grounds to learn more about this issue. After reading an article that reported 48 women in Congo are raped every hour, we were all moved to speak out. We talked about this global issue being very much a local and personal problem that could be felt by every one of us as women. We spoke of our strength of Sisterhood and the importance of standing in solidarity with women across the world.
Written by Ruby Veridiano, Girls Club Facilitator at the Harlem Polo Grounds