Girls from all the G20 countries are gathering in Toronto this week for the first G(irls)20 Summit to show what the world would be like if they were in charge.

The summit is part of an international campaign called 3.3 Billion Ways, which is led by The Belinda Stronach Foundation. Metro Canada asked participants what they thought the world’s biggest issues facing the world are.

Today, we feature Aiki Segawa, 19, from Japan.

Q- What are the biggest challenges for women and girls in your country?

A- One of the greatest challenges women face in Japan is domestic violence, especially incidents in which girls and women are violently attacked by their fathers or husbands.

Because domestic violence has not been considered a serious issue until recently, many women have not been able to speak up or ask for help.

Q- What do you do to help the lives of girls and women in your community, your country?

A- I believe that I can help the lives of girls and women in my community through the actions I take and by role-modelling. Just as I have been inspired by other great figures throughout my life, I hope to inspire and empower girls and women by living life to the fullest.

Since junior high school, I have challenged myself to do well in many different aspects of my life and by taking leadership roles. For example, I have engaged in ... a fundraising project to build a library in Mongolia for children living in poverty.

Q- How do you think we can improve maternal health worldwide?

A- One way we can improve maternal health is by providing education to girls, so that the pregnancy rate of young girls can be reduced.

Becoming pregnant at a young age results in higher risk to the mother’s body and the baby, therefore it is important that girls have the knowledge of how having a baby at a young age can be a risk. Education will also provide girls with choices other than getting married and having a family so young.

Q- How can we eradicate extreme poverty and hunger worldwide?

A- I believe that education is the key to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. If children cannot attend school and be educated, they will face poverty when they grow up because they cannot get decent jobs.

Q- How can we achieve universal primary education worldwide?

A- Free The Children reports that there are 80 million children who cannot attend school because of poverty. However, it is also said that if there is $17 billion, which is equal to four days of worlds’ arms expenditures, every child in the world can have a basic education.


I believe one of the solutions to achieve universal primary education is to cut down the arms expenditures and increase the funding needed to achieve universal primary education.

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