Over the past many months the team at World YWCA was actively involved in the preparations and programme design of Women Deliver 2019 through the presence in the Advisory Group, the Communications and Advocacy Group as well as the Youth Group.
As a representative of a wide movement of young women and women, active in communities, our role in advocacy has been to work and engage young women meaningfully in matters that impact their lives, amplifying their voices and sharing experiences and practices.
Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver, Canada saw World YWCA representatives excited to be part of the largest gathering of Government, UN, and Civil Society Organisations and community leaders with the common purpose of achieving Gender Equality.
Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver was host for over 3 days of an inspiring array of sessions. The theme for the event resonated with the larger Goal of the YWCA movement, reinforcing our commitment to 2035 as a collective action. Casey Harden, the General Secretary shared the lived experiences of young women in leadership and use of technology at an innovative session on Investing in girls and women: How can technology ensure a new generations of leaders be heard. World YWCA shared this platform with DFAT and GirlRising, highlighting to a full room how tech can certainly be used to enable young women to exercise their agency, have their voices heard and support one another to lead change. She emphasized how young women are designing, assessing and testing the tools themselves with the World YWCA.
The event provided unique opportunity to engage with organisations and companies that are generally missing from development conferences including companies like Starbucks, providing opportunities to engage with them on development discussions catered around gender equality through young women’s engagement.
While in Vancouver, Casey Harden and Aïda Rehouma the Lead- Global Programming and Impact took the opportunity to visit the YWCA Metro Vancouver Branch and met the YWCA representatives from across Canada and beyond. There were also great moments of sisterhood and solidarity as the event was attended by a number of past and present YWCA representatives from YWCA Canada national and location chapters with YWCA Metro Vancouver, YWCA of New Zealand, YWCA of Belarus and the YWCA of Australia.
Unfortunately, due to the ever more restrictive practices of far too many countries, Suchi Gaur Lead, Global Engagement and Strategic Communications and Daniela Zelaya Raudales, Young Women Engagement and Mobilisation Specialist living in Geneva but with an Indian and Honduran passport respectively, didn’t receive a travel visa on time, and thus could not benefit from the experience. The World YWCA continues to advocate and call on host governments to do more for women’s rights, and support their meaningful participation in global human rights platforms.
World YWCA would also like to thank our friends and volunteers like Elizabeth Nash for their support in spreading our voice at Women Deliver.
At Women Deliver 2019 we were invited to use our power for good and to look at power of movements. One of the most powerful suggestions is to donate to a women-led organisation and movements. We urge you to reach out to your local YWCA and make a difference or contact us for further questions.