The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of a Girl Child, a day that focuses on recognising girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. This October 11, 2016 SPARK celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child with Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo and alongside other partners.

The celebration was attended by the SPARK board of trustees and members, members of the international community, staunch supporters of women’s rights and empowerment from the government, private sector and civil society, and 450 school girls from Quezon City.

img_9734[From L – R] Ma. Aurora Geotina-Garcia, SPARK Secretary-Treasurer: Rebecca Dixon, Gender Specialist of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID): Ronna Reyes Sieh, SPARK Trustee: Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, SPARK President: Joy Belmonte, Vice Mayor of Quezon City: H.E. Amanda Gorely, Ambassador of Australia to the Philippines: Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines: Imelda Nicolas, SPARK Trustee: Maria Isabel Quimson, SPARK Trustee: Phyllis Stimson, Gender Coordinator of the Political Section, U.S. Embassy: Geraldo Regalado, Vice Consul of the Embassy of Mexico in the Philippines.

Vice President Leni Robredo, our keynote speaker, outlined in her speech that women empowerment in the Philippines can be strengthened by empowering girls to be “taught how to value themselves” from a young age. VP Leni stressed the importance of this because “it is not something that you can teach overnight. It’s something that has to grow in each and every one of our girls, who will soon turn into women”.

dsc_0292Keynote speaker, Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo

VP Leni also emphasised that advocating for women empowerment “is not a fight against men and women” but “a fight for equal treatment for both genders”.

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 SPARK Secretary-Treasurer, Ma. Aurora “Boots” Geotina-Garcia; Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, SPARK President; Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo; SPARK Board of Trustees: Imelda Nicolas and Ma. Isabel Quimson.

Our other speakers for the event comprised of members from the international community, Her Excellency Amanda Gorely, Ambassador of Australia to the Philippines; Phyllis Stinson, Gender Equality Program Coordinator from the political section of the U.S Embassy Manila; Rebecca Dixon, Gender Specialist from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation. As a response to the stories shown from the Girl Rising film, they provided their expertise whilst speaking about the importance of girls rights.

dsc_0421Speakers receive certificates of appreciation from SPARK Board of Trustees
[From L – R] H.E. Amanda Gorely, Ambassador of Australia to the Philippines: Ma. Isabel Quimson, SPARK Board of Trustee: Rebecca Dixon, Gender Specialist of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID): Imelda Nicolas, SPARK Board of Trustee: Phyllis Stimson, Gender Coordinator of the Political Section, U.S. Embassy: Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, SPARK President.

Alongside these speakers were SPARK President, Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, and SPARK Secretary-Treasurer, Ma. Aurora Geotina-Garcia. Zorayda Amelia Alonzo gave the welcoming remarks, highlighting that the celebration is for the girls in our country and nationwide. Ma. Aurora Geotina-Garcia, SPARK Secretary-Treasurer, gave the closing remarks, thanking everyone for being part of this revolution for girls.

[From L – R] Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, SPARK President, gives her welcoming remarks: Ma. Aurora Geotina-Garcia, SPARK Secretary-Treasurer, gives her closing remarks.

 We would like to thank our event co-organizers; Office of Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, J. Amado Araneta Foundation, Araneta Center, and Cineplex 10; Our event partners; Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), Chicano Development Corporation, ACM Landholdings, Inc.; and sponsors; PHINMA Energy, PLDT Home, Holly’s Milk, Gee Whiz Girls, Dimaculangan Dimaculangan and Co. CPAs, Emmanuel C. Alcantara & Associates Law Offices, and Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles, for their support in aiding the event to be a success.

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