We have already mentioned the decision made by the World YWCA delegation to wear scarfs as a way of identifying ourselves as YWCA delegates throughout the conference.
As part of our debrief and reflections at last night’s briefing, a discussion was held about how useful this has been as a strategy.
Everyone shared how wonderful it has been to be able to identify each other through wearing the scarfs. It has also been incredibly successful as a tool to increase our visibility and give volume to the YWCA’s presence at the conference. It has been a great tool to create a sense of belonging amongst our delegation
In fact, what we are now finding is that the scarfs have generated interest and excitement around other delegates at the conference. People are asking ‘what is the scarf all about’. It has provided us with an opportunity to discuss with others the work of the YWCA , who we are and what we stand for. People are now identifying it with some of the key issues that the YWCA is advocating for including wondering if it is a symbol around awareness raising around HIV AIDS and Violence Against Women. Finally, women want to be part of the fuschia scarf delegation. Women are asking if they can buy scarfs, and we are discovering other YWCA women in other delegations who wish to be part of this. This has meant that a few of us, including our General Secretary have given our scarfs away.
Ping Lee, from the YWCA of Taiwan (one of the delegates unable to obtain official accreditation) was the generous YWCA woman who made this possible. She sourced 100 scarfs during Chinese New Year! Her amazing effort has meant that we have created a brand which has started comment and interest for all participating in CSW.