Raising our voices to demand a better future for girls and young women

- Anna Spencer, CSW 60 WAGGGS Remote Delegate

Anna SpencerOver the last 3 months I have had the privilege of working with 13 motivated and inspiring young women from around the world to prepare for the UN’s 60th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) in New York, getting ready to engage with decision makers at and raise our voices to demand a better future for all girls and young women. 

Together we have all been working hard learning about UN CSW processes, connecting with our national government delegations and other organisations attending CSW, developing WAGGGS key messages, planning events the delegation will be involved in during the conference and developing exciting plans to get our fellow WAGGGS members involved! We want to represent you the best we can in New York.

The WAGGGS delegates participating in CSW60 are currently packing their bags! As a remote delegate I am excited about supporting the efforts of our ten youth delegates and sharing WAGGGS messages as widely as possible. We want to make sure the voices of ten million WAGGGS members are heard! We will be working hard to ensure there are as many opportunities as possible for you to get involved too.

032016_CSW60_Anna from New Zealand during a GOLD projectThe passion each of the delegates has for the empowerment and advancement of girls and young women around the world was evident from the time our delegation first met. Each has a wealth of experience working with girls and young women and a depth of knowledge on the issues affecting them. It is exciting for us all to have such a high caliber delegation representing us and speaking out on our behalf in New York!   

Get involved!

Where ever you are in the world you can join me and the other remote delegates in following the conference and engaging with our delegates in New York. Follow us on Twitter, our blogs and Facebook posts and take every opportunity to contribute and tell us what you think! Find out more about how to get involved here.

What motivated me to participate in CSW60

As a girl I was privileged to grow up in a family, community and country that supported me to become empowered to identify and pursue my personal goals and aspirations.  

I refer to this as a privilege because I am very aware that in my own country and around the world there are a huge number of girls and young women who face issues such as discrimination and violence in their daily lives, do not have the opportunity to attend school or university and cannot participate in non-formal education such as Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting.

This holds girls and young women back from developing their skills and confidence and reaching their potential in life. It also prevents their communities, countries and the world benefiting from their unique skills and abilities.

I believe that the fundamental rights of girls and young women should not be considered a privilege.

Last September, world leaders agreed on a set of global Sustainable Development Goals. The explicit recognition that gender equality is critical to progress on all goals is something to be celebrated.032016_CSW60_Anna from New Zealand with a Brownie

Girls and young women must be part of decisions on the implementation of the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Our voices and unique contributions are crucial if real progress is to be made in the lives of girls and young women around the world. We must be agents of change.

Being part of the WAGGGS delegation participating in CSW60 is an opportunity to ensure that the voice of young women and girls is heard and that a commitment is made to empower them to participate in change.

Reflecting on my experience as a young women I know that one of my challenges has been developing confidence in the value of my ideas and the belief people will listen to me and respect them. Young women’s ability to articulate and make our voices heard is fundamental to us realising our potential and maximising our contribution to our societies.  

Last year my manager at work persisted in asking me ‘what do you think’?, rather than telling me his answer to my questions as I was used to.  This was hugely empowering and made me realise that I have valuable ideas that people want to hear. I made the decision to take every opportunity to develop the skills and confidence I need to make my voice heard and to do this well. 

Participating in CSW60 to me represented an exciting opportunity to make my voice heard on an issue I am passionate about – the rights and empowerment of all girls and young women all around the world. 

- Anna Spencer, CSW 60 WAGGGS Remote Delegate 

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