Grace Wilce

Firstly I would like to thank Widows for Peace through Democracy for accrediting me and Serene Communications for enabling me to attend CSW62. I am incredibly grateful for the guidance and support offered by Zarin Hainsworth and Soroush.

During my time at CSW62, I have learnt a great deal about myself, for example I feel much more confident in public speaking and expressing my thoughts amongst a room of esteemed people and experts in their field. I have obtained a wide variety of knowledge on the different issues women face globally, such as that in Ecuador 7.29% of girls aged 15 – 19 are mothers, as well as the fact that widowhood is a leading cause of a mass of problems faced by countries in the Global South. Being on a panel about women in the media, I have gained so much knowledge about the representation of ethnic minority groups in the media and film industry. Within this, I enjoyed the learning about the empowerment of black men and women from films such as “Black Panther” through the positive representation and multifaceted characters. Additionally, I went to an event about the historical figures in film and the media, such as Queen Njinga of Angola, a 17th-century political figure, who reigned over Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms of the Mbundu people in Angola. We discussed how such prolific historical figure in African history is not taught in European schools due to the whitewashed, Eurocentric view of history taught despite the multicultural societies we claim to live in.

At an event on “The African Suffragettes” I met a woman called Macdella Cooper, a Liberian philanthropist, who ran for presidency in 2018. I feel inspired by her willingness to run despite being the only female candidate, as well as her determination to defy the odds and become the second female president of Liberia.

It is due to the many women that I met at CSW and events that I attended that I feel empowered to share my knowledge and reach out, spreading the empowerment of women as far as I can. I will be forever grateful for this experience.

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