How to break down barriers: top tips for adolescent girls
International Day of the Girl 2020
Every year on 11 October, the International Day of the Girl, UNICEF launches an annual campaign with girls to amplify their voices and stand up for their rights. This year, under the theme, “My voice, our equal future”, let’s seize the opportunity to reimagine a better world inspired by adolescent girls – energized and recognized, counted and invested in.
To celebrate the day in East Asia & Pacific, young female leaders from across the region have come together on Facebook Live to share their insights and their three tips for adolescent girls and young women who want to help change the world for the better.
Top tips on breaking down barriers
Anbita Nadine Siregar, Generation Girl
Anbita Nadine Siregar is the CEO of Yayasan Generasi Maju Berkarya (Generation Girl). Generation Girl is an Indonesian-based non-profit organization that provides young girls with both technical and soft skills to become future leaders. Before Generation Girl, Nadine worked at Gojek as a Product Engineer and graduated from Boston University with a degree in Computer Science. She is currently getting her Master’s in Social Business and Entrepreneurship from the London School of Economics.
- Take every experience as a learning experience. There will be times when you will feel frustrated or demotivated, but if you can break through those walls, it will make you that much stronger.
- Find a support system that will help and encourage you to chase your dreams.
- Hard work pays off. Strive to be remembered for your achievements.
Han Tran, TEKY Holdings
Han Tran is co-founder and Edtech director at TEKY Holdings- an Education Startup Ecosystem that aims to teach children English language and Technology (coding, robotics, and digital literacy). With 16 academies and two online platforms, her program has reached more than 10,000 students across Viet Nam. Besides her interests in education and technology, Han is passionate about youth empowerment activities. In 2012, Han also founded the Viet Nam Social Entrepreneurship Empowerment and Development (VSEED) project- the first-ever social entrepreneurship capacity building program for university students in the country. Han graduated from Bates College, USA and Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Switzerland.
- Find allies in the wild: Being in career support groups, be it girls in tech or any others, helps girls understand their challenges and realize their potential without fear of judgment. Support groups can also be a good networking source for professional opportunities.
- Find a good mentor: Mentors not only can provide guidance on knowledge, skills, and strategy but also professional socialization and personal support to help girls facilitate success.
- Find your own goals: Each girl should have her own definition of career goals, which might not necessarily be similar to those of boys or even other girls. That’s the key to a balance between professional life and personal life
Talitha Amalia, Solve Education!
Talitha is an international development and education practitioner dedicated to providing access to quality education and employment opportunities for the marginalised communities around the world. Talitha has 10 years of combined experience in the fields of teaching, curriculum development, and research. She often receives scholarships and awards for academic achievements including Fulbright and LPDP scholarships. She is experienced in building networks and partnerships throughout the world and is active in a variety of humanitarian activities. She is currently a Director of Programme Operations at Solve Education Foundation and a research consultant for The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Germany.
- Explore your interests! "Explore what you like doing, explore the things that give you fulfilment and excitement. Take some time to learn well and explore all your skills. Don’t be too obsessed with finding a “passion.” You have a lifetime to do you and to be you. Life isn’t some mad rush to find that one thing you’ll be stuck doing the rest of your life. What matters the most at the end of the day is this...“Does the thing you do create a meaningful impact in your life and your surrounding?”
- Be present! We are human beings, not just human doings. We are the values we hold, our efforts, how we treat people and the environment we live in.
- Most importantly and perhaps the hardest part, be kind to yourself! Practice accepting yourself for everything that you are. Practice taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others for irrational reasons. At the end of the day for better for worst, you've only got yourself.
Audrey Pe, WiTech
Audrey Pe (@audreyisabelpe) is a freshman at Stanford University and the founder and executive director of WiTech (@witechorg) -- a nonprofit organisation based in the Philippines that aims to educate, inspire, and empower youth to break gender barriers and use tech to make a difference in society. Through WiTech, she has been working on projects at the intersection of technology and education since she launched the organisation at age 15. Her work with WiTech has garnered her recognition such as a 2019 Global Teen Leader, 2020 Pinterest Council of Courage member, and Opportunity Desk 30 Under 30 Changemaker. A two-time TEDx, ASEAN and UN speaker, she has delivered over 30+ talks and has also been featured in local and international publications like Forbes, Esquire, and Elite Daily.
- Let go of the idea of a set path — nonprofit work doesn’t have a single blueprint. You need to adjust to the challenges you face each day and know that there isn’t only one correct way of doing things!
- Clearly identify a problem you want to help solve and take action — choose a problem that keeps you up at night (that way, you know you’re really invested in creating a solution to it).
- Don’t partake in the culture of comparison — with social media, it’s easy to look at others’ profiles and achievements. Direct your energy to making an impact, regardless of what others’ may do or say.
Odontuya Altansukh, moderator
Odontuya Altansukh is the Coordinator of United Nations Youth Advisory Panel in Mongolia. UNYAP works for empowering youths to raise their voices, expanding youth participation in society, and becoming a bridge between UN agents in Mongolia and Mongolian youths. As a young woman, she has always been passionate about social equity and woman right. She has done research work under the topic of "Suicide and self-harm efforts of Mongolian adolescent girls", which was introduced in a couple of international conferences.
- Start from yourself. Remember that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Try to develop yourself, and influence your family, friends, and your community. Society is made up of people, and we ourselves are the people. If we can change better, society will change better, too.
- Love yourself. When someone treats harshly for you, bullies you, or disrespects you, you have to keep loving yourself. Remember that nothing in life is more important than you are. No matter who you are, where you are from, you should believe in yourself and keep moving forward by your path, ignoring all the negative attitudes. If only you can love yourself, no one could harm you.
- Speak yourself. If someone bullies you or looks down on you, or violating a tiny single right of you, you should not remain silent. You should speak it out and protect yourself. So that people can fight for you, and by you, I mean all the girls over the world.