The Girls Caucus is a public forum that we co-hosted with five other NGOs advocating at the UN on Girls Rights. The virtual event is an opportunity for girls to discuss the progress at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in regards to the interests and needs of girls and review the Zero Draft and various drafts of the Agreed Conclusions of the Commission. Working together, they propose edits and new language as it relates to girls, as well as to develop advocacy strategies for CSW and beyond. Nine Mary Ward Youth Girl Advocates participated in the event. Below is a reflection from Roan MacDermot.
The Girls Caucus youth advocacy was such an amazing experience for me. The fact that I was able to meet so many new people through the internet over the course of only a few months is incredible. To properly discuss intersectional feminism and sexist laws, policies and social norms, without the hindrance of disapproving and discriminatory misogynists, was perfect.
The process of statement writing and discussing what specific language to use for which sections was beyond interesting and so engaging, as well as a proper learning experience. Listening to the perspectives of other girls and women from all over the world, different countries, different continents, was like an introduction to all the other versions of feminism. So many points of view coming together on issues like this widened everyone’s own view, which resulted in us finding the best appropriate suggestions.
I hope that this whole experience becomes more and more popular, allowing more girls and women to give their opinion! It’s such an important event to participate in and truly a little adventure for all of us! So glad I got to be a part of this and even be associated with all these amazing women and girls! I’d like to thank the organisers of these events as the sheer amount of women and girls that needed to be led and trained is massive and we all appreciate the amount of time and effort put into this whole ordeal.
If I could only say one thing that went well, I would probably say… everything! The interactions and engagement from all of the girls and women over the zoom calls was incredible and so exciting! To speak with everyone and really gather opinions and points of view was genuinely so helpful to me. If not to widen my own scope, but also to everyone else who needed to hear other aspects and experiences to settle on how to reflect on different situations.
If I could change anything it would be better communication over email; I found it difficult to understand exactly what was happening, the name of what we were doing and times. However, replies were so quick and helpful that this is a very minor issue that could be solved instantly by the amazing organisers!
Where to next? Hopefully more women and girls to be included. Although we had a massive amount of both throughout the process, I do think the more perspectives we get, the better! Hopefully this can bring more awareness to problems that face women and girls in our world and communities today.
Read the Girls Recommendations HERE.
AUTHOR: Roan MacDermot (Mary Ward Youth Advocate – Loreto Ireland)