Friday, November 4, 2011
Because I'm a girl...
On Thursday night, a very close friend of mine and I went to the monthly meeting of the Melbourne chapter of the Young UN Women Australia - A group of young women whose "aim is to engage young people in raising the status of gender equality and development issues, advocating on behalf of young women, and supporting the work of UN Women through fundraising events". I was surprised at the diversity of the women in attendence, most were under 25 (of course) but there were students, and business women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities and all of them had killer style! We were lucky enough to catch the meeting in which the group's activities over the past few months were being summarised. Three sub-comittees make up the Melbourne chapter: one organises fundraising events, another organises workshops at schools and the last works on policy and law reform. Currently, the team has been working on their Spring campaign, fundraising for the Pacific Facility Fund which targets violence against women in places such as Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Samoa (the Pacific...duh). They've made an ample contribution to the fund and their work has been recognised by the Federal Government.
We were also lucky enough to have women in attendance from Plan Australia an organisation that works at the "grassroots to empower communities to overcome poverty so that children have the full oppurtunity to reach their potential - and children are encouraged to be actively involved in the process". We were lucky enough to have two teenaged girls from the Plan program their to speak to us - a fifteen year old girl from Zambia and a twelve year old from Bangladesh. They were incredibly inspiring, speaking from the heart about issues such as early marriage, poverty and gender inequality. They were both spritely, and positive and so strong. Their stories were so inspiring and they definitely made me feel more motivated and encouraged to join the Young UN and participate.
It was a wonderful evening and I look forward to meeting and mingling with the other women of the chapter. I would encourage young women to get involved and look into your own local chapter and see what you can do to get involved. I will most definitely be attending more meetings and trying to help out on a sub-comittee.