Isadora Bursey

I attended the 38th Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva as a member of the NAWO Young Women’s Alliance.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank NAWO for giving me the chance to attend this event accredited as part of the Young Women’s Alliance, as it provided me with a life changing experience that opened my eyes to a vast range of issues and ideas that I would never have had access to elsewhere.

Although we had the great community and shared experience of attending the Human Rights Council with other NAWO members and YWA delegates, the freedom we had to attend events suited to our interests throughout our time in the United Nations. I attended a range of events including those on violence against women in Mexico, religious freedom, enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka and the implementation of the 2030 agenda. I learned so much and had my mind opened to a breadth of different ideas and experiences.

We were also given the chance to speak in the UN about a range of serious topics, supported by Serene at different side events alongside an amazing range on panel speakers who were experts in their field. The events were very successful and it was great to see the other YWA delegates speaking so fluently on serious issues such as child widows and FGM.

The experience Serene gave me by accrediting me to the 38th HRC was incredible, and I am so grateful to them. On our return to the UK, we were motivated to continue striving for equality and human rights, and events such as the mini-CSW in which some other YWA delegates and I ran a workshop about the SDGs, an on-going theme throughout all the work the UN and HRC do, was an example of this motivation. I hope I can continue raising awareness and making positive change in my community thanks to the skills and knowledge this trip gave me, and I would like to thank Serene again for making any of this possible.