Next month, b5media will be a media partner for the G(irls)20 Summit in Toronto. The summit, which is modeled after the G20, aims to empower women and girls throughout the world. 20 young women, one representing each of the G20’s participating nations, will take part in a multiday conversation about women’s issues around the world. At the end of the summit, they’ll each take home a “tool kit” full of stuff they can use to encourage the same conversations to continue back home and to make changes that will positively affect girls and women where they live. I’m honored to be attending the summit, and I will be reporting back about my experiences.

Who is organizing G(irls)20?
A wide range of charities from around the world, including the Belinda Stronach Foundation, Right to Play, Oxfam, Save the Children, and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. You can learn all about the participating organizations here.

How can I get involved?
If you are a woman between the ages of 18 and 20 and come from one of the G20’s participating nations, click here to apply for a spot. You can apply a variety of ways, including uploading a video of yourself.

What if I don’t fit that criteria? Does that mean I can’t participate?
Not at all. In order to highlight the diversity of the 3.3 billion women in the world, G(irls) 20 is randomly assigning numbers to women who sign up on their website. You can get yours here. There are also some cute “What’s Your #” tees that you can buy from the G(irls) 20 webstore. If you’re passionate about a particular issue, you can submit a question to The Change Room. Here, you can also read ideas and stories from other involved users and vote on what you think the most important issues are.

Why is it in Toronto?
This year, the annual G20 summit is being held in Toronto. The idea of G(irls) 20 is to make sure that women’s issues get special attention. By holding it in the same city, just before the G20 starts, we can make sure that issues relating to women and girls get their own time in the spotlight.

How come I’ve never heard of G(irls) 20 before?
Because it’s brand new! This is the inaugural year of the summit. We are already planning next year’s summit, which will take place in France just before the 2011 G20.

G(irls)20 takes place from June 16-18. Check back over the next few weeks for more posts relating to the summit, including some cool giveaways and more ways that you can get involved. We’ll also be reporting live from the summit and posting photos and video from some of the seminars.