Young Women's World Forum - Day 3
“Small steps. Huge impact. Lifetime legacy.” This is the message that inspirational keynote speaker and Liberian peace activist, Leymah Gbowee, imparted to delegates of the Young Women’s World Forum during her speech on Thursday evening. The Liberian peace activist spoke to the Forum about how each young woman can begin to action change and make a difference in their community. She told the young women that every small action is part of your journey – if you want to be a successful politician, activist, campaigner; your immediate community and environment is the best place to start. If you take each small step with passion and enthusiasm there are no bounds to what can be achieved!
Ms Gbowee certainly made a huge impact on the delegation, who were enthralled by her talk. She then became the first recipient of the WAGGGS Centenary award. Linden Edgell, Vice-Chairman of the World Board, presented the award:
|Leymah Gbowee planted her own seeds of change in her home country, Liberia. Leymah founded a grassroots, inclusive peace movement among the women of Liberia when her country was in the throes of a civil war. She inspired women to take peaceful and powerful action and speak out against the government, urging leaders to bring a rapid end to the war. She started and organised a powerful, united voice that couldn’t be ignored.|
The Centenary Award recognises Leymah’s invaluable contribution to her country, and on a global level the award recognises that Leymah’s story continues to inspire millions of girls and young women to become leaders, advocate for change, and become active citizens of the world.
Declaration of recommendations
During the day delegates had begun working on their Declaration of recommendations. The document will lay out recommendations for WAGGGS, Governments and Civil Society for how to achieve each of the three MDGs the Forum is focussing on; “Ending Poverty”, “Gender Equality” and “Environmental Sustainability”. Through a variety of exciting and varied workshops delegates discussed what issues they felt were most important and drafted statements which they think should be included in the Declaration.
Throughout the rest of the Forum these thoughts and ideas will be solidified through a process of further workshops as the Declaration begins to take shape. The Declaration should make for very interesting reading as the delegates are enthused and excited about getting their messages heard and speaking out on behalf of 10 million girls worldwide!