Lucy Jenkins

As a result of having a long history of strong opinions and cemented feelings towards the position of women, I was delighted to hear about CSW, let alone being offered the chance to attend. In preparation for the UN’s largest gathering on gender equality, our group learnt about many key terms and actions in place from previous years. This included CEDAW, The Beijing Platform for Action, SDGs and many more which helped us gain knowledge before attending. This also allowed us to be able to use these ideas in our speeches and opened up a world of people we could talk to on these issues/solutions. Importantly, in my opinion was the support from Zarin, Soroush, the teachers and peers in the group. Not only did they give feedback on speech writing and structures but also on presentation to therefore help us all improve and feel our most confident selves. I would also like to thank Serene Communications for the incredible opportunity this trip offered.

There are countless things I learned from being at CSW for the week, more than I could’ve ever expected before attending. To name a few would not even scratch the surface on the incredible experience I had, however, the most influential things for me were the gain in confidence, independence and overall self-validity of my own views and outlooks I received. These things only came about as a result of networking and ultimately challenging myself in different situations, whether that be speaking to new people, understanding tough concepts or doing my speech in front of a room of people. Overall, not only did I hear innumerable stories from people all over the world, and learn a lot from that, I additionally learnt a lot about my own strengths and weaknesses, consequently helping me in all sectors of my future life.

Now that I have recently returned from my journey into the world of CSW I plan on doing many things to continue my interests as a feminist and youth and rights advocate. This trip has only made me want to work harder for gender equality and the empowerment of women of every age, class and ethnicity. ‘Leave no one behind’. I will continue to project this onto the NAWO Youth social media, and by word of mouth at school and in the local community. I will continue to enjoy attending FemSoc, the schools feminist society and will bring what I learnt from CSW to that group. Additionally, I am going to apply to run FemSoc and if successful will support those going to CSW63. For those who will be attending CSW63 from my school we will collaboratively be creating a guidebook as a support system where it explains clearly, and in detail everything you could possibly need to know surrounding the UN and CSW, plus how to make the most out of the experience. As a whole group we will be creating our own CSW on a local/national scale at our school rather than global. This benefits those who did not get the opportunity to go to CSW and can encourage them to accelerate their own interests in gender equality and female empowerment. This is especially exciting for me as I want everyone to feel the way I do about female empowerment and CSW after my inspirational journey. However this is not the end, collectively our group has numerous contacts and intriguing paths ahead of us thanks to CSW.

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