For the YWCA delegation, the first day of CSW was one that was full of much learning, sharing and coming together as a global movement. We have been working hard on our advocacy programme. The first day saw us finalise a statement that we are now sharing with Government delegates and other advocates around how we suggest the conclusions statement may be strengthened. Key priorities include a stop to early marriage of girls, reducing violence against women, young women and girls, increasing rural women’s access to sexual and reproductive health, supporting rural women impacted by HIV and AIDs and increasing rural women’s access to a decent wage and livelihood.
The YWCA led and participated in many sessions. Particular highlights included the intergenerational workshop and the young women’s caucus. There were also exciting network opportunities created. The Australian Human Rights Office organised a coming together of Australian and Asia Pacific NGO delegates and it was fantastic to get to know each other and hear the ways each organisation is working in the region.
Reflecting back on the day, many of us felt that we had crammed weeks of learning into this one day. Already we are witnessing an increase in confidence in many of our YWCA women, and young women from the YWCA are taking leadership roles across CSW – presenting at workshops, convening the young women’s caucus, attending side events and meeting many people. If this is what we have achieved in one day, imagine at the end of two weeks… It is so exciting to imagine sending these young women back into their local communities and local YWCAs.