Speaking out, as a young Tunisian woman, at the Youth CSW Forum

Imen from Tunisia shares her experience of leading change at the first ever Youth Forum, before the 60th Commission on the Status of Women.

"The WAGGGS delegation to CSW 60 attended the first ever Youth CSW Forum held at the UN headquarters on March 11th and 12th. I was able to share my voice and my opinions as a Tunisian and Arab young woman and to represent WAGGGS. I was very excited to take part in this life changing opportunity and to meet and to connect with youth from all over the world.


Workshops and panels0216_CSW60_Imen from Tunisia

The Youth Forum consisted of panels and working groups on building a global youth community to achieve #planet5050 by 2030, as well as skills development and creative workshops to strengthen the voices and actions of young women and young men in the implementation of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

I was able to mention the hard and very sensitive conditions of the girls and young women living in conflict zones and wars and the need to make specific measures for them in terms of health care and security.

Our delegation ran two workshops: the first one was on ending violence against women and girls and the second was on non-formal education as an empowerment mechanism for young people, in partnership with LitWorld and Global GLOW. Myself and Krysta, a youth delegate from Canada, spoke on behalf of several working groups to give an overview of the discussions and recommendations during the general presentations, which was a special moment for me. 

I felt brave and powerful for standing up and speaking on behalf of the groups and representing their voices. I also felt empowered to facilitate the workshop on non-formal education - I was really proud to be a leader that participants looked up to and were able to learn from.


My inspiration

032016_CSW60_Imen from Tunisia speaking with microphoneOne of the most inspiring moments for me was hearing Anita Tiessen, our Chief Executive, give a speech in the opening ceremony. I was especially inspired when she highlighted that girls and young women have the expertise to decide their future, and the important role Girl Guides and Girl Scouts play in changing the world.


Recommendations

Some of the discussions were really interesting in terms of the diversity of the organisations and the countries represented in this Youth Forum. The suggested recommendations to the decision-makers are really important if implemented, such as ‘Ensure the inclusion of young women and girls in the decision making process, and ensure their full participation in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Adding to that, young women and girls should be invited to the table to take part in all the discussions and contribute in the decision making process'.

However, I would prefer to see higher youth participation supported in the future, especially that of young women and girls. 


Conclusions

The Youth Forum concluded by announcing the youth CSW agreed conclusions from the drafting committee. 

I was happy with the connections I have made as I hope they will help me in making the change in my community. I am grateful for the new things I have learned.

Now we are ready for the two weeks of CSW 60.

Stay tuned!"

- Imen, WAGGGS Delegate, Tunisia

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