On Wednesday 11th July, NAWO Young Women’s Alliance delegates from Stroud High School delivered a brilliant mock CSW Conference to over 600 students. The first of NAWO’s two Learning & Action Conferences, this groundbreaking day gave young women a unique taste of what CSW is, how it works and the call to action on which it was founded.
Funded by National Lottery Awards for All, the whole-day event was held at Stroud High School in Gloucestershire, which culminated in a distinguished panel of guest speakers, including Charles Ramsden from the Government Equalities Office, Sue Moffatt from the Welsh Government and Zarin Hainsworth OBE as a representative of NAWO. Panelists introduced students to the vital advocacy work they do, after which the young women were given an opportunity to speak during a Q & A session. Catch some glimpses of the day’s achievements through organisers’ live tweets at @NAWOYouth.
— NAWO Youth (@NAWOYouth) July 11, 2018
Following the plenary session, students participated in breakout workshops run by YWA delegates and expert groups. These workshops gave students an opportunity to learn about crucial issues around women’s human rights, as well as think about how they could deliver their own follow-up event in their local community. These workshops covered a wide variety of issues – from #MeToo and FGM, to Women in the Media and the work of the UN. The tweet below shows just one example of the amazing creative output of these workshops, created to show participants’ solidarity with widows across the world. Other creative projects included plasticine vaginas, to illustrate the physical effects of FGM, and rally posters calling for the end of violence against women and girls.
— Stroud High 6th Form (@6thFormSHS) July 11, 2018
The day also featured sessions from the Government Equalities Office; Khoboso Hargura, on the importance of sponsorship for girls otherwise unable to access education; an SDG photo booth (see above); and a Maasai jewellery sale, to raise money for Naserian – a charity for and run by Tanzanian widows, which Stroud High regularly supports. Stroud High was also pleased to welcome participants and staff from Ribston Hall High School in Gloucester and Maidenhill School in Stonehouse.
NAWO would like to warmly thank everyone who made this event possible. We are very grateful to The Big Lottery Fund, for enabling NAWO to continue our vital work in educating and empowering young women and bringing the message of CSW to local communities. We also thank Stroud High School for hosting the event and the generous donations of time and energy from students and staff. Many thanks, of course, to our guest speakers of the day – who kindly volunteered their time from their very busy schedules to recognise the importance of engaging young people in the work that they do. Lastly, we would like to extend our particular thanks to the conference delegates, without whom the day would not have been the productive and lively event it was.
NAWO is hugely looking forward to the next steps of this project. Not only will there be another Conference in November, as the two-part title of “Learning & Action” suggests, this is just the beginning of Stroud attendees’ experience. NAWO is already working to support conference attendees to translate their learning and enthusiasm into action in their communities! To keep updated with these developments, you can keep in touch with us via @NAWOYouth on Twitter, or by getting access to our newsletters by becoming a NAWO member, here.