Emilia Thompson

On the 29th June at 4am, 12 Stroud High and 3 Marling students flew to the United Nations in Geneva to attend the 38th Human Rights Council as part of the NAWO Young Women’s Alliance. We were addressing and talking about a wide range of issues: 2 girls spoke on a FGM panels along with survivors, 2 girls gave speeches on child widows and the associated lack of data, 4 delegates spoke about the Sustainable Development Goals. The talks ranged from the impact of climate change on women, how menstruation can act as a barrier to education and empowerment, the crucial importance of gender equality as a way out of global poverty. Finally, 4 delegates spoke up about economic empowerment – this ranged from how to break the glass ceiling and why aren’t women getting the top jobs.

We all had the freedom to choose to attend a various range of events being hosted by other NGOS as well as the exciting and dynamic chamber where there was a constant discussion. We attended so many eye opening and inspiring events.  Some of the most interesting events included violence against women in Mexico, religious freedom, enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka, human rights in the Middle East and environmental human rights.

We returned on the 7th July with plans to raise awareness and share the things we had learnt in our own communities in order to make a change. I would like to thank Serene for organising this wonderful opportunity which was both inspiring and life-changing.