The ITI in Korea was an inspiring experience for me. In the spirit of solidarity, it brought together women from all over the world; some of them came to teach, some of them came to learn, but all of us came together to work towards ending violence against women at all levels. It was absolutely wonderful to wake up in the morning and be around such positive women. Solidarity was my take- away from this conference. The ITI conference reminded me there are women all over the world working towards the same goal as me.
The most valuable tool that any one woman can possess is knowledge. I learned this from the strength of all my colleagues and from all the personal stories they shared from their respective countries and cultures. We cannot change what we do not know. So while listening to some of the recounts was difficult, hearing the voices of these women is crucial in catapulting change. Change needs to be embedded in the minds of people. We need to change what people think they know about women.
It feels like I am returning home with the voice of 50 women from all over the world. The campaigns and practices shared through the ITI conference reiterate the abundance of support and resources available to women advocating through the YWCA for ending violence against women. The creativity of the women I met ensures that I don’t have to re-invent the wheel; their successes are my successes and our successes build capacity and strength everywhere.
The experiences at this conference have reaffirmed the resiliency within women all over the world. It was truly an honor to meet empowered women who lead change in our world and it makes my heart smile to know that although we are walking in different places we are taking every step together.
Filed under: Violence Against Women