To begin, I would like to thank NAWO for accrediting me and Zarin Hainsworth of Serene Communications for making my trip to CSW61 possible. I am very grateful for the support that I was given by Zarin and others whilst at CSW61 and am honoured to of had the opportunity to attend.
During CSW, I learnt more than I could ever fit into a short testimonial so I would like to outline a few of the things I found most interesting. I learnt about circumstances that women are in that I would never have considered have issues. For example, I attended many events about the issues that widows face, issues to do with polygamy and events about sexual harassment. This was the starting point in my considerations of problems that women are facing. The thing I enjoyed the most was learning about many solutions that have been created to help protect and support the discrimination women face. I have been inspired to support these solutions.
The first solution I found particularly interesting was the heforshe campaign as it is all about engaging men and boys in the conversation about women’s rights. Men are represented at CSW but I would personally like to see more men and boys involved and heforshe are really helping this. I am supporting this project by doing assembly’s at local schools about getting men and boys involved in supporting women’s rights. I have formed my opinion that we must all work together towards equality and my experience at CSW helped me to realise this and taught me what I can do to help this. As well as this I learnt about ways in which we can help prevent human trafficking.
Women are exploited for many reasons but many believe it is because it is easy to make a profit from trafficking. This profit drive comes due to consumers, so without consumers we have no need for a market. This is the drive that ‘operation big sister’ is taking. This started out as a small group of women putting a fake ad in a newspaper in Sweden in order to get the numbers and emails of men wanting to exploit women. These numbers and emails were exposed at a press conference. As the operation grew it created more and more unease in men as they had no idea if ads were real or not. This stopped the buyers. I find this ingenious way of fighting trafficking inspiring. I wish to come up with my own ideas that are as effective as operation big sister.
To finish, I hope you can see how grateful I am to have played a role in CSW61. My experiences and the people I met have inspired me to make a change. CSW61 is a truly exciting event that is so important for all women. I am confident that equality is possible and I am confident I can help make a difference.