Young Women's Alliance News and Events

CSW61 – Youth Delegate Testimonials

A group of twenty students from Stroud High School and Marling sixth forms attended the CSW61 Youth summit in New York

“I was incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to go to CSW61, I was accredited by Widow’s Right’s International and it’s thanks to them and the kind invitation of NAWO that I was able to attend.
I enjoyed going to panel events, my favourite of which was entitled ‘Pimping in Black and Indigenous Communities’. With an emerging theme of Rural/Indigenous Women, I particularly enjoyed the great deal of learning on the on-going struggle of Indigenous women in Latin America and Canada.
I spoke at a NAWO-run event hosted by the UK mission:’Youth Voices on Economic Empowerment’; my speech was on the implementation of SDG1 for Young Women and Girls. Speeches from representatives for WAGGS and the Justina Mutale Foundation offered insight into empowerment for youth in Scotland and Africa.
I have developed a heightened awareness of the number of issues facing the movement for Women’s equality, and have developed oratory skills and confidence that will be an asset to my personal and professional life.”

Isobel Chappell
“Attending CSW was a life changing experience in a completely positive way for me.
Having the opportunity to go to The United Nations has allowed me to learn about issues I had never heard of before and often altered my opinion or let me view an issue in a new light.
Hearing personal stories and meeting people so involved in helping tackle issues was incredibly inspirational and moving.

For me, CSW has given me a new level of confidence and made me see that my voice should be listened to, something I am extremely grateful for.
It has also inspired me to want to push harder for change, even if it’s in small ways.”

Lucy Owen
For me, the opportunity to attend CSW61 has been utterly incredible.
I have been able to gain a greater understanding of the issues facing women and girls from all over the world and I have learnt about how I, as a young woman, can help work towards gender equality.
CSW has also given me the opportunity to develop my confidence and communication skills by talking to people from different cultures and backgrounds and I have learnt how to network and ask questions, all of which are invaluable skills.

All in all, the trip was an amazing experience which I will remember for the rest of my life.
I would like to thank everyone that played a part in allowing me to attend CSW61, namely the National Alliance of Women’s Organisations for providing me with such a brilliant experience and to the Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform for accrediting me.”

Georgia Young
“The CSW was the most amazing experience that I have ever had.
It meant so much to me as I could express my views to an audience that I wouldn’t have been able to do in my current situation.

I learnt so much about issues which I never knew occurred to women in the world, which I am keen to teach others.
I feel that I have changed from this experience as I am now more confident in myself and what I believe.”

Lauren Davies
“I’d like to begin by extending my thanks to NAWO and Widows for Peace through Democracy, as well as to Zarin Hainsworth, for giving me the overwhelming experience of being able to visit the United Nations at the 61st Commission on the Status of Women, to learn there, to network there and, vitally, to engage and be active in processes and events held on this fascinating occasion.

Whilst the experience showed me the feats women have to go to across the world for equal rights within the workplace and outside of this sphere (some of which were terribly moving), it also highlighted to me the vast amount of organisations and people working for a better and more equal world. It taught me not only to be proactive in working for equality, but to be proactive in searching for solutions to these far reaching problems.

Highlights of the event for me were learning about issues I was previously unaware of, and hearing about them through different forms of event: panels, discussions, films and even fashion shows! Over the course of the week I learnt a huge amount about the plight of widows within their communities: their ostracisation and the horrible practises they have to go through, which in the west we are largely oblivious to. I was also moved by the struggle of Native American women, who are often ‘pimped’ as sex slaves and who have been affected hugely by the fight at Standing Rock. Hearing about these experiences broadened my previous narrow amount of knowledge, and I am eager to continue expanding this knowledge as well as imparting it on others.

Whilst there, I also went to a fabulous event on ‘Women in Africa’ regarding FGC, its impacts and future implications. At this event I made contacts from the organisation SafeHands for Mothers as well as a young leader of Africa, Aisha, who a group of us will be working closely with to mentor teenagers who have gone through FGC and befriend them: giving us and them a learning experience and broadening our knowledge once again. We also hope to build a campaign locally for this in order to spread awareness of FGC which still continues in the UK. These contacts have given me advice on how to go about launching such a project and have also offered their future support.

This experience has allowed me to develop interest for different subjects, expand my knowledge, and have my voice heard at various events without being disregarded for my age. It has allowed me to build on my knowledge of campaigning and has inspired me to take action in doing so.

A huge thanks once again must go to NAWO and Widows for Peace through Democracy for allowing me to attend this life-changing event.”

Youth Statement for CSW61

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