To begin, I would like to sincerely thank NAWO for accrediting me and making my trip to CSW62 possible, along with Serene Communications. In particular, I would like to thank Zarin Hainsworth for all the help and support she provided, as well as Tori Keene for all her guidance with speeches and emotional support during both the preparation and time at CSW. I loved every minute of the experience, even during the stress of deleting my speech 1 hour before the debrief and practice, the night before the real thing!
It is hard to express just how incredible the experience was and is hard to articulate the complexities and intricacies of everything I have learnt. Through the experience, I have learnt how to effectively network, by the end of the week I found myself making conversation with people I would never have approached at the being. Through these conversations, I have heard such enlightening stories and inspiring sentiments and I have arrived home feeling enthused to make change and pursue what I want to do in life. In addition to this, I have learnt a huge amount about women’s issues, some of which I did not regard as having as much significance as they do until this trip. For example, it did not occur to me that the problem of widows, specifically child widows, are an issue of such magnitude and that this issue is inextricably linked with many other issues with vast consequence, for instance: lack of girls in education, limited opportunities, and the breaching of human rights. I think it is crazy how much happened in one day and how many amazing opportunities I was exposed during just one week. It has also made me reflect over how isolated most of the Global North is to many feminist issues. Of course, there are issues concerning us in the Western world, but these issues are amplified by a thousand in the Global South. We, as feminists are striving for equality between the sexes not just for within our own country but in the rest of the world as well. It caused me to think how absurd it is for people to not consider themselves feminists. Fear of a word is ridiculous especially as that word encompasses the incredible work of everyone at CSW and those striving for gender equality in all corners of the globe.
I have been aspiring towards a career in the media and it was fantastic to go to CSW during the year in which the review theme was in relation to the media. I learnt a lot about the sphere of work I would love to get in to, specifically conducting a speech on ‘a young woman’s experience of the media.’ CSW has furthered my drive for my voice to be heard and has solidified my aspirations. It has also resulted in me being more critical of what I am told and what is presented to me, as things aren’t always as they appear on the surface. The experience has been invaluable, and I have come away with a greater understanding of the world, as well as myself. We, as a school, are planning to undertake our own mini-CSW in the coming months, as well as raising money to purchase a solar panel for activists in rural communities to stay in touch via mobile phone technology. In addition to this, Hero and I are planning to do more research into Prostitution and the benefits of implementing the Nordic Model. This was something I knew very little about before the trip and we are also aspiring to create a short film/documentary/article surrounding the issue.
CSW62 was an invaluable, enlightening, and inspiring experience and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to take part.