22 April 1997


Press Release
WOM/970



'TAKE OUR DAUGHTERS TO WORK DAY' TO BE OBSERVED AT HEADQUARTERS 24 APRIL

19970422
Take Our Daughters to Work Day will be observed at United Nations Headquarters on Thursday, 24 April 1977. All staff, members of delegations and accredited media are invited to bring to work girls from 9 to 15 years of age to participate in the activities.

The observance, organized by the United Nations, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the United Nations Staff Committee and the Group on Equal Rights for Women in the United Nations, will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the General Assembly Hall. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will address the girls at 10 a.m. From 10:15 a.m. to noon, girls 13 to 15 years of age will have an opportunity to participate in small group discussions with female delegates, journalists, and Secretariat staff from various occupational groups, while behind-the- scenes tours of Secretariat working areas will be offered for girls 9 to 12 years of age. Girls will spend the rest of the afternoon in the offices of their parents or mentors.

Take Our Daughters to Work Day, which was observed officially at Headquarters for the first time last year, was launched in 1993 by the Ms. Foundation for Women. In recognition of its fifth anniversary, and in order to underscore the life-long benefits to girls of accompanying adults to work for a day, the Foundation has chosen "Five years of work towards a lifetime of confidence" as this year's theme. The Day is designed to give girls an opportunity to develop a sense of their own potential by working alongside adult mentors. In that way they can see for themselves what women accomplish in the world and strengthen their belief in the promise and importance of education.

The Director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy, has referred to girls' education as "the key to ending the apartheid of gender and ... a lifeline to development". Research shows that teenaged girls receive less attention than boys do in school and tend to value themselves more for what they look like than for what they can do. While most boys are influenced early on to plan for a lifetime of work and career development, many girls are not, even though most will work outside the home for pay throughout most of their lives.


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Take Our Daughters to Work Day is the one day of the year when girls get the undivided positive attention of adults and the media, being celebrated and encouraged to pursue their dreams. It allows girls to see work as an integral and valuable part of women's lives, and to make crucial connections between their own education and their future in the workplace.

For further information, please call 963-6923; for media accreditation, 963-6934; for United Nations television coverage, 963-7650.

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